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charity begins with me

August 24, 2010

I spoke tangentially about money in my last post, about fear-mongering politics that try to get me to donate to them out of fear that “the other side” might win.

Today I want to look at money from a different perspective, and the place where I do like to put my money (when I have it to give).

In today’s economy, most of us find ourselves in tight spots from time to time, and when we look at all of the terrible, awful things in the world, it can be overwhelming and we can get to feeling like our little bit, our $5, $10, $20 just won’t make a difference.

But every penny counts.  I know, everyone says that.  So today, I want to direct your attention to two place where you can see that in action.  One is a private individual who has been attempting for years to adopt a child from China.  For the first time in her quest, she is suddenly close to making this dream a reality.  She needs to raise $8000.  To read her story and see how she is attempting to prepare for this momentous event, read her blog at http://cjredwine.blogspot.com/.  The price of a double latte is all she’s asking.  All it takes is enough people with their $5 to give an orphan a home and two parents a daughter, and three sons a sister.

Next, I’d like to draw your attention to something a little more in line with what some of us consider “charity”, in that it is a 501c non-profit organization.  It began as one actor (Misha Collins, who plays the angel Castiel on the CW’s Supernatural) asking his fans (affectionately known as minions) to help during the Haiti earthquake.  The need was immediate and pressing.  His fans raised $30,000 in increments of $5, $10, $20 and more…and it started something that has become Random Acts.  From continued sponsorship of three orphanages in Haiti to buying a child shoes and clothes for school to replacing worn out furniture for an elderly couple….Random Acts seeks to dominate the world, one Random Act at a time.

I am a generous soul when I have the money to give.  My favorite forms of charity are unannounced, unclaimed, behind the scenes bits…paying someone’s electric bill when I know they’re struggling.  Dropping a gift card for $20 in the mail slot of someone I know just needs a little cash to keep the kids fed.

The needs in this world are many.  They can be huge and overwhelming when we try to wrap our minds around them in their immensity and we can feel there is no hope.

Step back a bit.  Take a look at the places where you drop $5 that you don’t really need to.  Consider taking that $5, and rather than buying that latte or that energy drink or that fast food, change the world with it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kim permalink
    August 24, 2010 4:16 pm

    I used to think that my little bit of $ wouldn’t amount to anything. I realized about a year ago that even if it’s “only” $5 it can still help, in some small way. And truthfully, I feel like I need to pay it forward a little bit. The petty concerns and stresses in my life pale in comparison to the things others struggle with. So now I give when I can.

    I think the whole Random Acts thing, and how Misha has harnessed the power of his ‘minions’, is amazing. How wonderful for the elderly couple who got new furniture and for the boy who got new shoes. They must have been stunned.

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