We have all been bombarded by this image over the last several days, by every non-profit out there, and for-profit organizations as well. My inbox, junk and spam folders are full of them. Yes, many of these organizations need money. Yes, many of them are worthwhile. And yes, many of them are not.
My husband and I give generously to many organizations that we have supported over the years. But when I get a phone call or email from some obscure group I have never heard of, thanking me for my donation last year and would I give again, I have to laugh. I do a lot of fundraising, but I have never seen that tactic proposed in any fundraising workshop that I have attended.
And then there are all of those “gifts” that come in the mail, asking for a donation. Always accompanied by a heart wrenching photo of …..well, you get the picture. And when you don’t respond, they spend more money on printing and postage to remind you that you haven’t paid for that “gift”.
So I started thinking about other ways that we can give on
Here are just a few things we can do:
- Collect all of those “gifts” that came in the mail that you didn’t ask for, such as shopping bags, note pads and pens, calendars, etc. and regift them to a school, retirement home or other appropriate place.
- Take those nickels and dimes so carefully glued to a donation form asking for more and give them to someone who really needs them.
- If you have a fruit tree that is the gift that keeps on giving over a very short period of time, like my mandarin orange tree, ask some local teens to come pick the excess fruit and donate it to a food pantry or homeless shelter. Definitely better than letting the excess fruit rot on the tree.
- Clean out a closet and donate used clothes to a homeless shelter. Take your children or grandchildren with you when you do. It will leave a lasting impression when they see that someone else has been made happy by their no-longer needed things.
- Donate unwanted items to a thrift shop whose profits go to a cause that you support. You know what I mean, those hostess gifts that you will never use, things you bought on vacation that seemed right at the time, but now look ridiculous at home, etc.
- Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Don’t just text or email. Call them. The sound of a human voice is so much better than a ding on your phone.
- Give hugs. Your spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, pets. Hugs make everyone feel better.
- Give thanks those who make your life better. Your spouse, family, friends, caregivers. We don’t thank people enough.
I am sure you can think of other ways to give. The important thing is to know that you are doing something positive for yourself and for others.