18 December 2013

The guilt of giving

Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It's the holiday season, so there's a big push from charitable organizations for donations. People are more generous around this time of year, and different organizations try to use that generous nature to help fund their causes through the next year.

For the majority of my adult life, I've been not unlike most Americans. I've wanted to give to charitable organizations, but unable. I paid for college on my own (student loans) and had a job that provided for my needs, but just. Unfortunately, I didn't have the money to support these organizations the way I wanted to.

Since changing jobs toward the end of the summer, my situation has changed, and I'm able to give back to my community by supporting organizations that support causes important to me.

The problem now is that there are so many worthy causes. We live in a world where there are many, many people willing to stand up for what they believe in. From the Human Rights Campaign to PETA to Susan G. Komen, men and women work tirelessly to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves, make a difference in people's lives, and give voice to those who have been censored for too long. And it seems the more causes I discover in my reading and roaming online, the more organizations I discover that work for those causes.

It's wonderful that there are so many organizations, and people can find ways to stand up for causes that are important to them. But when I see the different organizations, and see how many good people are being helped by them, it can be hard to decide where to place your support. How do you decide who deserves* your donations? How do you look at people and animals who truly need help and tell them, "No, I'm sorry. I'm giving support to these groups instead."

I have chosen one organization to donate to during this holiday season (though it will certainly not be the only or last!) based on what I'm passionate about in my life. For me, that seems to be the best way to decide. If it's a cause that I have a connection with somehow based on my own life and experiences, I'm going to want to support it, yes?

There are lots of people doing lots of really great things during this holiday season, and through the whole year. I hope you will stop and think about how you can contribute to worthy causes not only this month, but in four months, six months, ten months.

Do you give to charitable organizations? How do you decide what groups to give to?

*I used the word "deserves," but I don't mean it in the traditional sense. I know that all of these organizations deserve support for the good work they're doing. But this is the best descriptor for this sentence based on connotation when you have limited support to give and countless organizations to choose from.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Add a little caffeine to my life...