Giving Tuesday

Don’t Forget To Give!

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By Jerry Lambert

Welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club and to the Holiday Season!  By this time, you should be preparing for Christmas and had all the turkey you can handle (no, I’m not talking about Cousin Eddie) .

Black boy putting money into donations jarThis year, I learned about a new charity event.  Have you ever heard of Giving Tuesday (#givingtuesday)?  I put the title all as one word, with the hashtag for a reason.  This is a campaign that was started by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y(MCA) in New York.  They use Social Media Influencers to spread the word and encourage giving at this time of year.

Giving Tuesday is the day after Cyber Monday each year.  I would have scheduled it the day before Thanksgiving and called it Giving Wednesday.  After blowing your bankroll on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I wouldn’t think there would be a whole lot left over for Giving Tuesday.

However, it is a reminder to take care of your charitable giving early.  Before the “Christmas Steamroller” plows through December and you wind up in January with a mountain of bills, wondering what just happened!

Since Giving Tuesday is a Social Media-based event, it gives me hope for the younger generation of this country.  The Selfie-Generation seems so self-obsessed, it is encouraging that a campaign like Giving Tuesday has caught fire.  It is promising that this age group can count their blessings and consider giving to others, who are genuinely in need of their help!

BLM028702During this extremely busy time of year, it is difficult to sit down and figure out which charity deserves your donation.  The hassle of trying to figure out who should receive your hard-earned money can become more of a chore than a blessing.  Also, how do you know which charity you can trust?  How do you make sure the money you donate is finding its way to the people or animals who really need it?

Unfortunately, there are many charities who make a living off the generous nature of its donors.  Check out this article that details The 20 Best Charities in America: 2010.  You may not be familiar with many of these charities, but they have the lowest overhead of any charities reviewed in 2010.  That means that virtually every dollar donated goes directly to the people or animals that need it the most.

Here is another chart that details some of the best vs the worst charities.  There are a lot of terrific military charities listed.  So if you want to give to our Heroes, here is a great way!

As far as animal charities go, I have always found it is best to stay local.  I avoid the national money-grubbing charities that tug at our heartstrings, with commercials of neglected and abused animals.  Petfinder has a great way to find a local shelter in your area that can use your donation of money (and time).

Portrait of a pit bull mixI know what you’re thinking.  “I would love to give to charity, but I don’t have two pennies to rub together.  I am barely making ends meet as it is.”  I know it’s a lot to ask.  However, since I have started donating 10% of my income to a different charity each week, I have found a string of blessings have been coming my way.  I can only account for these blessings by my charitable giving.  It’s like “Indiana Jones and the Leap of Faith” I mentioned in my last article about Goals.  Sometimes, you just have to take that first step and see what happens!

I hope you decide to donate to a charity of your choice this Christmas Season.  Just remember, no matter how bad things are for you right now, there is always someone else who is worse off.

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!