Ever since Malcolm and I have been married, which is now 47 years, we have been supporters of various charities. Well, you can imagine how upset we were when shortly before Christmas we heard that one of the organizations we supported had stated publicly that they are anti-gay. Now, I don’t know about you, but as opinionated as I am, I don’t believe that I should decide who should love whom!
My brother was gay and lived with his partner for over 20 years. They were accepted into the community in which they lived and were terrific citizens of that town. They participated in any and all projects that were planned. When my brother passed away, his friends and acquaintances mourned his passing because of who he was, not what he was.
I am sure that there are those of you who are asking yourself, “Why is she telling us about this?” Well, the reason is, I am sure that most of you get lots of mail asking you for donations. And almost every single one of those letters has some good reason to part you from your money and to help them out. If you actually sent money to all of them, I am not sure if you would have enough left to feed yourself! So, here is what I suggest. Before you send any person or organization any money, do a little research first.
I am suggesting this because some of these well-known and worldwide organizations only use a small fraction of what you send for their specific projects. And many of these requests are terrific, especially if your money is actually going to help. I am specifically thinking about 9-11, and the terrible tornadoes that have destroyed life and limb within our own country. And what could be worse than the devastation that was created by Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene?
All of us who were spared feel the compassion needed to help those poor people who were hit beyond all belief. However, you need to make sure that your hard-earned dollars are actually going to those people. How much of your money is spent on a fancy new office building? Are our heartfelt donations going to help those who have had their lives completely wiped out, or do they go to pay exorbitant salaries to the organization’s CEO and staff?
I don‘t know about you, but I just can’t waste my money on what is called a request for donations to help during a disaster, but really goes to pay someone a salary that I can only dream about. I heard a statistic that almost floored me, which was that some of these non-profits give less than 5% of my donation to the victims that I thought were getting it. I just can’t and won’t afford to do this. But there are many non-profits that do excellent work and make the most of your donations. Just do some research before you donate.
So, unless you don‘t care, keep your wallet and your checkbook tightly closed until you are sure where you want your donations to go. All of us work too hard to piddle it away and give it to people who don‘t need it and are only feathering their own nest with it.
I hope your new year is going well. And with a little thought and concentration, you can be assured that your entire year will be one that is happy, healthy, and prosperous!