It’s inevitable, especially this time of the year, that you get bombarded with requests to donate to charities. And unfortunately, there are way too many good charities out there that it’s nearly impossible to contribute to or support every one that you’d like to.
So how do you decide what charity to support?
For me, it absolutely has to be a cause that I’m familiar with or is close to me. I currently support two charities, the Canadian Cancer Society and the United Way.
With the Canadian Cancer Society, the reason and rationale should be pretty obvious. My mom has been battling cancer for three years now and it’s been an extremely difficult time for the entire family. She started out with a brain tumor, but now has multiple tumors throughout her body. She’s currently taking a new form of chemo that isn’t supposed to kill the tumors she currently has, but will prevent new ones from growing. All we can do is take her life one day at a time and make the most of the time we have.
I know someone who was extremely adamant about how we shouldn’t be donating or supporting cancer cures, but rather putting all of our efforts towards cancer prevention. The things we do on a daily basis…the things we put into our bodies…there are so many things out there that cause the disease that our efforts are in the wrong place. I never did agree with her 100% all or nothing point of view (she thought the Relay for Life was a waste of time), but I’m sure more time and money should be put into prevention information.
The other charity I support is the United Way. This one came about because my current employer (who is a gigantic global company) is a HUGE supporter of the charity and it is the only one they support. In fact, I even spent a year on the company’s “United Way Committee” and helped raise funds for the cause.
The big thing about this particular charity that I love so much (and the biggest reason my employer supports it) is that they distribute the money they collect locally to more charities…charities who may not be on the radar in the public eye so much but are extremely important (for example, locally some of the money goes to charities that help shelter battered women, provide free financial counseling for low-income families, supply food kitchens, arrange programs for boys and girls clubs, and can even purchase vibrating alarm clocks for people with hearing difficulties).
Now as a blogger, I get sent requests all the time to blog about, tweet, Facebook post, or in other ways support new charities all the time. As an example, over the past week I’ve received a few personalized emails from the Fresh Air Fund recently asking me to do just that. I went to their website…I looked around…things look fine. From what I can see, it’s a charity that “gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities.” I’m sure it’s a nice charity that does good work for children, but where I’m not a supporter of them and I’m not familiar with them I simply can’t endorse them with tweets or a blog post about them or put their “holiday banners” on my blog (this paragraph is all I’m going to do).
So what about you? What charities do YOU support? Why do you support them?