Charitable Donation Advice
Charitable Donation Advice is a recurring column here at Change Gangs, and the holidays are THE time of the year where we are asked for donations. Here are a few thoughts about making those donations count!
Holiday Charitable Giving Guide
I started working on a guide for making donations this holiday season, when I discovered the “Holiday Charitable Giving Guide” at the Good Intentions Are Not Enough site. I regularly visit Saundra’s website, and I find her especially helpful when I’m trying to get my bearings about an international aid issue. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m going to point you to this great resource, which you can download here: http://goodintents.org/good-intentions-holiday-guide-to-charitable-giving.
About the Guide
The guide does cost $3.95, and I know that may feel a little odd. After all, we can get so much free information out there today, why would I want to pay $3.95 for this guide? For me, it’s worth $3.95 to make sure that the tens or hundreds of dollars I’ll contribute in time, goods, and money this holiday season are wanted, needed, and put to good use. Plus, I’m glad to support Saundra’s hard work and experience.
In this guide, Saudra talks about gift giving programs, canned food drives, clothing and toy drives, gift catalogs, giving in someone’s name, and feeding the hungry. Throughout, Saundra has a laser like focus on ensuring the dignity of aid recipients. This is important to me, because I believe that sometimes the one thing people can’t do for themselves is see what they’re really capable of, and anytime we undermine people’s sense of self-sufficiency, we deprive them of a fundamental human need they need to live happy and fulfilled lives.
As you donate this holiday season, keep in mind Saundra’s advice:
Perhaps the biggest lesson to walk away with is the fact that we should not put our needs for a holiday charitable activity above the needs and desires of the people we are trying to help. Make sure that any project you support provides choice and dignity. Sometimes the most important thing for the people you are trying to help is for you to see them as being as capable you. This is a gift far greater than material goods and it leads to better assistance. Also, remember, for you it might be just a holiday event, but it has an impact on other people’s lives, which continue after New Year’s Eve.
True charity is about meeting their needs, not our own.