February 12, 2010

20 Charity Tips

20 Charity Tips

(Tweeted by Shara Lawrence-Weiss on February 12, 2010)

Tip 1: Charity (noun): generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless. Or: something given to a person or persons in need.

Tip 2: Charity can be a constant state of mind (not ‘seasonal’). If you look around, there is always someone to help; someone in need.

Tip 3: I like to say that even if we have just two loaves of bread, someone else has none. We can share what we have; even if it’s not much.

Tip 4: My parents raised us to keep our eyes open to the needs of others. To be aware. That awareness is a PRICELESS gift to offer your kids.

Tip 5: Before choosing an organization to donate to, check out this site: charitynavigator.org

Tip 6: Some folks feel drawn to help the needy in their own town. Some want to help in other countries. We can also choose to do BOTH! It’s do-able.

Tip 7: In my small town we run a town charity group. We help the children & the Seniors. We help buy clothing, pay bills, get food, etc.

Tip 8: Your town most likely has groups running, also. Call around. Call the churches, or DES or CASA. Whatever you feel drawn to.

Tip 9: When my father ran a homeless shelter we gave out “food vouchers” to the homeless on the streets. NOT CASH. Worked well!

  • If your town charity group does not provide food vouchers to purchase, consider purchasing a meal for a homeless person – or taking them in to eat at a local, affordable restaurant. They may love the company (if you feel that the situation is a safe one).

Tip 10: Keep in mind that many homeless & needy people were once successful & doing well. It really can happen to ANYONE. Be empathetic.

Tip 11: Charity…can also be *actions.* Say a kind word, build someone up. Offer to listen and genuinely care about their needs. That helps!

Tip 12: Many Senior Centers really need help right now. Budgets are being cut left/right. They need plumbing, walks, cards, a friend – help where you can.

Tip 13: My mother is a CASA. This is a fantastic option for those of you who want to work with children in need. They need HOPE!

Tip 14: When I give to overseas groups, I like to check how their money is distributed. Many orgs give most of the donated money to ADMIN. For me that = NOT good.

Tip 15: If a charity group is spending a huge portion of money on ADMIN & advertising, that means the cause itself is getting very little.

Tip 16: Many schools have back rooms where they hold clothing for the kids in need. Donate items to that room! Winter clothing in winter, etc.

  • Side note: many parents are unaware of this back room. The schools do not promote the room, many times, because they don’t want the students feeling badly if they are taken there. Pull the principal or school nurse aside to ask if your local school has this clothing room. They will usually take both new and/or used items.

Tip 17: If you do not yet donate your money or time, sit down & make a plan. What can you give? Even if it’s just $5 a month or one hour a week – great!

Tip 18: I have a page on my PCS site for Charitable Giving: personalchildstories.com/charity.php *Add a Charity page to your site, too!

Tip 19: Check out this site to see how charity groups are rated: www.charitywatch.org/toprated.html

Tip 20: All in all, my best advice: Do something. Even if it’s not much, start small. Modeling charity for our kids is a FANTASTIC thing to do.

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