Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Charity begins alone

I used to give some little amount to charity at Christmas and say it was in the name of my friends, which made it sounds much more impressive than it was. But it was a good excuse to write everybody! Then I decided maybe people thought I was implying that THEY should give to charity, and that made me pretty much of a dork…so now what.

I could send an email saying I am not giving anything. But still…so I decided to give to our newspaper’s Sharing campaign where they add to the money…leveraging, sort of. Even if I am a dork, people can use a hand, right?

Karen Blumenthal writes about charity in the season of recession (WSJ, Dec 2, 2009).

Did you know that poor people tend to give more percentagewise that the richies? I can see that. The Red Cross found that 20% of people were giving less, but 62% were holding even.

Still, if we can, we need to give more. The Food Banks are maxed out. Half of all charities have had shortfalls this year.

Half the money comes in at the holidays—not the time to skimp.

The Red Cross has had fewer disasters to bring in the money—and that is a disaster.

They did a catalog of gifts—but these are for others, such as $54 for three blankets.

The American Cancer Society has a campaign that says, “Cancer doesn’t take a rest.” Personally, I don’t love that slogan. Hey, you lazy slug—cancer is gaining on you.

One expert says act like a family foundation—group your donations to one place.

The average person, according to the Wall Street Journal, gives to two dozen places. Well, not this average person!

If your company matches donations—do it that way.

Be selective. Be smart. There are plenty of scammers around this time of year.

Don’t donate over the phone. Charities are exempt from the Do Not Call list, but you can ask them to put you on their own list.

If they ask for even just $5, saying every little bit helps, beware. It costs $15 or more to solicit each person.

Just don’t be a Scrooge. I used to know this very rich guy who said he could give a huge amount, but wouldn’t give anything. Watch out for those ghosts in the night, bud. Wonder if that guy is still alive—bye, off to google to see.

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