‘Tis the season to be giving

I’ve noticed a lot of folks blogging lately about how to do or give things in the name of charity over the Christmas season. Although I have a totally separate blog for my thoughts and activities for giving back, I thought you might find it useful, entertaining, or mildly inspiring to see what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks. Below are summaries, and clicking on the subject sends you to a more detailed story:

ThaiForGood massage donations:  I’ve had no one take me up on this offer in the last 5 weeks, but I have two definites and two possibles lined up between now and Christmas. I’ll be mailing a check to Thai Freedom House for $100-120, one to The Baobab Home in Tanzania for $50, and the rest goes in the jar for charitable CVSing and bits-n-pieces (milk, fruit, eggs, socks, etc) for that homeless teen shelter I’ve been frequenting.

Thanksgiving Giving:  In abdominal agony, I had my taxi to the train station on Thanksgiving night swing by the teen shelter with my promised double-batch of string bean casserole…plus 5 lbs of bananas and 2 dozen eggs. It’s a good thing I prepared those beans 48 hours earlier or else I’d have thrown them out for fear of passing on whatever was wrong with me.

Another interesting delivery to HYS:  I’m trying to make it a weekly habit to walk over with my CVS bargains and some food from the list of things that the food pantries no longer supply due to lack of funds. It’s a 2.5-3 mile walk roundtrip, which I really need to be doing.

Could it be a Wrapportunity??:  I thought the dollar-store toys under the tree in my building lobby all these years were just for show, though I did think it odd that they were unwrapped. This year, they put up a notice in the elevator about the toy drive, yay! So this morning I dropped an email to the Children’s Aid Society to see if they would let me wrap (and sort/label for distribution) my building’s donations. It is otherwise proving difficult to find charity wrapping events – and I just bought a bunch of supplies yesterday too.

Playing Santa:  I have an odd preference for giving to the “working poor”, because I can imagine all too vividly (from my past, not my present – I’d never classify my stress over an erratic income and overpriced lease as near-destitution, not by a longshot), in a there-but-for-the-grace-of-god way (and I’m an atheist!), how frustrating it must be to work your ass off and just barely keep half a nostril above water. Today, while looking for a volunteer opportunity to wrap wrap wrap on craigslist, I came across just such a family.

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3 Responses

  1. I would just like to say thank you for all the good you are doing! It’s wonderful to hear from someone who cares so much. =) Keep up the good work!

    – Schev

  2. I love giving and hearing of others that give. I bookmarked your charity blog and can’t wait to find time to read back through all the old posts.

  3. Schevus – welcome! I see we have very similar charity blogs!

    Amber – some of my posts, especially in the beginning, were a bit contemplative and philosophical. It took a lot for me to start parting with my hard-earned cash for a “non-necessity”.

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