Date: December 21, 2010
After reading the article on “How to be charitable regardless of the economy” on the Eaupening blog, I was inspired to write even more on the subject of charity.
Let’s define the word charity. Commonly, charity is defined as the practice of giving help to those in need who are not related to the giver. Charitable giving could be financial donations, car donations, food donations, clothing and furniture donations. However, even a struggling family could help someone in need. Being charitable does not always have be a donation that has monetary value.
It could also mean helping your local homeless shelters provide support to the homeless. It could be helping your favorite church help others in need. In fact, I encourage some families to help organizations instead of going to church. Many families go to church as a routine and are not getting much out of it. In cases like this, I suggest families to help soup kitchens or volunteer at children’s hospitals. This will teach your children much more about the meaning of life. Why waste a hour of your child’s time and have them help others in need instead. This is not meant to reduce the value of religion and spirituality. God should always have a place in our heart, however God wants us to do good for others.
Use Online Social Networks To Help Charities
Everyone has a Facebook page these days. Most Facebook users do not use it for its true potential. Users can create community and group pages for specific local charities to raise awareness of the cause. It can even help you start a fund raiser for your chosen charity. Remember, it is free to create a Facebook account! It also takes no more than 10 minutes.
Links for websites for nonprofit fund raising:
Turn A Party Into A Fund Raiser
Everyone loves to party. Why not turn your Christmas party into a fund raiser or food drive? Bake some cookies and ask for donations. Please make sure you tell your guests that the donations will help the specific charity you choose. It can raise money very fast, especially if you have a large family or if it is a party for work. Have your kids set up a lemonade stand and give the proceeds to a charity. Remember that even small amounts of money mean a lot to people that have nothing. If planned correctly, a family of 3 can survive on $10 for food for an entire week! It’s true!
Be A Nonprofit Psychologist
Well, not exactly. Many people that find hardship in their life just need someone to talk to. Perhaps the individual lost a loved one or received some other tragic news. Emotions can sometimes overpower all other senses or feelings. If you know someone that is going through some difficult times, talk to them. Listen to what they have to say. Treat them as a friend. (Even if you do not like them personally). I know from experience that venting my emotions is my best medicine to recover from difficult situations. Keeping all your thoughts of anger, hatred, confusion and depression inside will only elevate your situation. As I work with many of the homeless people in our homeless shelter, I realize that many of them never had anyone to talk to about their life. Perhaps if they had someone to talk to for advice their current predicament could have been avoided!
As an example to prove my point, I will share my story. I recently I became a home owner. Even though I had years of painting and repairing work to do, I took the time to meet my neighbors. I learned that my neighbors were struggling to keep their home. The wife was diagnosed with stage 3 throat cancer and the husband was laid off from work. At the age of 60, their insurance funds were running out and their unemployment was about to expire. Their two kids lived in Arizona and California. Due to work conflicts, their children were not able to visit them much. I discovered that they were lonely. I did not have money to give to them, but I did offer my God given ability to listen to them. I speak with them for at least 2-3 minutes every day just to see how they are doing. I am not sure of the impact I am making on them, but it helps others to know that someone cares! I will bring their garbage cans out to the street and grab their mail for them. This is what life is all about. Even though it is easy to get caught up with our own ambitions, there are people out there that are lost. Help them find a way! Never underestimate the gift of a smile, holding a door open, or helping someone carry some packages.
Adopt The Elderly and Volunteer at Nursing Homes
That’s right. Adoptions are not just for pets and children anymore. Visit your local nursing home and help put a smile on the face of older men and women. Many elderly people die from loneliness. What if you had poor memory, vision and hearing? You could not have normal relationships and you would not be able to enjoy T.V. The elderly love meeting new people. You might even save their life!
Be a Mentor or Coach
One organization that I support is the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). It is a community for young athletes that allows them to show off their athletic abilities. It is for the grades 5-12. Many schools are always looking for help to coach their teams. Coaching kids can help them develop into strong men and women.
The organization- Big Brothers Big Sisters is another great way to give back to children that may not have a role model to look up to. Good role models can help children learn how to make good decisions later on in life.
Car Donations Are Great
If you are able to donate your car to a kids charity, that is fantastic. The charitable car donation is tax deductible which means you will get something back for your efforts. However, volunteering your time can be nearly as valuable to children in need. Share your life with others by showing them that you care! Sometimes the less fortunate just need to see a smiling face!