Sunday, December 13, 2009

Giving, Thinking

I almost finished our year-end charitable donations tonight. As I’ve written in previous years, we handle most of our favored organizations through the year as their campaigns run, but there are usually a few to catch in December. Our themes are education (alma mater, Legos and science tools for primary school through Donor’s Choice, back to school backpack drive), healthcare (children’s hospital, various organizations combating cancer), and poverty assistance.

Looking through previous year’s donations, I notice that we didn’t explicitly tackle disaster relief this year, but we gave more to hunger/poverty causes, which is kind of the disaster of the year anyway. In addition to our company match for the food bank, our former CEO personally matches every dollar as well, so that donation goes a long way.

I didn’t put anything towards the company’s canned food collection though, as I’m going to have Q-ster take our cans to his preschool event. It’s a more tangible way for him to learn giving than the Donor’s Choice selection we made earlier this year (even though we contributed towards a kindergarten Lego fund!), and they’ll be talking about sharing in class.

(Side note: I also use bi-annual food drives to remind myself to refresh our emergency canned food supply. I donate all our cans at that time and buy new. Everyone wins - food goes to hungry people, and we don’t let our supply sit for years. Unlike, say, our water supply, which I discovered dates back to 2007. Oops. I have water purification tablets, so it wouldn’t be a total disaster, but a water refresh is due shortly too.)

Our donations would be considered modest, but every bit counts. I saw a few good posts recently about how to make the most of one’s giving, including this one on BlogHer, in case you’ve also been strategizing.

P.S. Why did I only almost finish the donations tonight? Because we discovered a potential fraud issue and had to cancel the credit card we use for web purchases. Visa told me that it takes 7-10 DAYS to issue a new card. Are you crazy? For a card that we use for monthly automatic bills? In December, right in the midst of holiday shopping? I was able to put a “rush” on it, which means that we’ll get it in only 1-3 days. Three days is considered a rush order in 2009? After I finish spluttering and I get the credit card in hand, I’ll make the last donation (Livestrong, for cancer survivorship).

7 comments:

mayberry said...

I love Donors Choose -- I didn't know they had Lego projects. How cool!

kimberly/tippytoes said...

I had the same credit card issue, but no one told me about the possibility of a rush. I've got a bunch of last minute things to buy, including adopt-a-family stuff using rewards linked to my card, so no card + no rewards use = UGH!

You are on the ball to do a year end review of charitable giving. Sadly I usually forget to do that until tax time.

Asianmommy said...

Thanks for the reminder. I need to get going on this!

Lara said...

These days, most of my charitable giving goes to a beloved group of children from three little villages in Malawi. You find yourself a lot more eager to give when you've held these little ones in your own arms...

Glad you're helping spread the giving spirit to others. :)

Kimberly said...

Great list of charities! We donate to the NY Times Neediest Cases fund, hunger, education and environmental causes. And most of my races are for a charity of some kind, so I consider that part of our giving too. I wish we could do more than we do.

Britt Bravo said...

Thanks for linking to Have Fun Do Good!

kittenpie said...

Two things I've taken joy in being able to add to giving this year were the remains of baby cereal and food and a stack of review books for Christmas drives. May someone else enjoy them in good health!