I’ve wanted to write this for a long time because I feel it is very important to give to local charities especially because of the state of the economy is at this time.
Charity – in fact, altruism in general – is a very difficult concept to explain in a general sense. What I’ve found often is that you either have an innate understanding of why you give or you don’t, and introducing the idea to someone who doesn’t see the benefit is likely to get a shrug of indifference. The best I can do is explain in detail why I give to various causes.
First of all, charitable donations are a direct reflection of my values and perspectives. Whenever I donate money, I’m contributing it towards something that I feel has importance. If I want to see food available to homeless people in my community, I can donate to the local food pantry or soup kitchen. If I want to give toys to needy children, there are plenty of organizations that will gladly accept such donations. The real question is whether you have found something with enough importance to you to speak out with your pocketbook.
Second, helping others improves yourself worth in many ways. Once you’ve given something to a charity that you truly believe in, you feel good about it. The money in your pocket went towards a cause beyond what you can manage in your daily life, a cause that combined with the similar actions of others can actually bring about change in the world. That’s not something you can get from buying yourself a flat panel television.
Third, charitable donations have indirect benefits. Here’s an example: My oldest daughter Lexii helped her youth group at Our lady of Angels, get donations for over 200 back packs filled with school supplies. She and her youth group then distributed these back packs at Sister Nora’s Stillpoint House of Prayer to over 200 needy children who didn’t even have a back pack or schools supplies to start this years school year. In the process she also drug her two sisters, Jordan and Taylor along with her. All three of my children not only were able to brighten up child’s face but also learned a valuable lesson. A child can make a difference in this world one child or family at a time. Most of the kids they helped that day were mostly older than my own children. Not once did my children or youth group members feel they were better than the children they helped. They just gave and were amazed at how grateful these children in need were. Lexii not only devoted her time but was an incredibly positive example to her younger sisters. Shortly before I wrote this, Lexii agreed to volunteer three Sundays in October for the Special Olympics’ games at the Hunsader Farms Pumpkin Festival. At only 14 years old, Lexii not only helped out a large number of needy children but also inspired other children and adults to follow her lead.
One final comment: I don’t think, like many do, that whether or not you tithe or give to charity is a sign of whether you’re a good person or not. I know some very wonderful people who don’t give to charities and I also know some people who give to charities that I wouldn’t trust my child around. A person should only give to a charity if they truly feel it is the right thing to do with their money – if it doesn’t feel right, don’t donate.
In short, even if you don’t donate any of your income to charity right now or you don’t see the purpose, don’t close your mind or your heart to the idea. When the right reason comes to you, open up your wallet and see what happens.
By the way, what have your learned from a 14 year old today. Hopefully, allot!!