Yesterday I went to three different grocery stores picking up some last minute items for the weekend and the arrival of my in-laws for the holidays. Upon entering or leaving each store I was solicited for charity by at least 2 people. Everyone wants a dollar or your spare change for causes like the environment, women and children, homelessness, etc.. As much as I want donate to all of the above causes, I just want to shop in peace without being solicited everywhere I go. Do you ever feel the same way? I spent an hour this week looking at the sale ads and clipping coupons so I could save a few dollars on my shopping trips, it is hard to give up all of that hard work for a charity on the way out of the store when the truth is, I really don’t know how legitimate they are.
I am not suggesting that you should not donate to charity, I am suggesting that you be organized and smart about it. At the beginning of each year, set a goal amount that you would like to donate to the charities that are important to you. If you cannot donate financially, there are many ways to donate your time and energy.
Each year I choose to donate my time to particular organizations, this year I volunteered as a high school basketball coach which saved a needy school over $2,000. I also have volunteered with the YMCA and organizations like the Family Giving Tree (a few posts down). Regarding financial donations, my husband and I set aside a financial amount at the beginning of the year that we agree to donate to the human society, our church, our Alma maters, and the local organizations that we believe in. Because 2010 is approaching, I urge you to get organized and determine ahead of time where you are going to donate your time and money. By doing so, you will know each time you are asked for a dollar while leaving the grocery store that if you decide not to donate you are not a bad person because you have already donated to the organizations of your choice for the year.