Give Some of Your Money Away

I have been balancing my checkbook (long overdue) and making some donations (some, even longer overdue) to a few organizations. Yes, I give some of my money away. Not a lot, because I certainly can’t afford to give a lot, but I’m a very strong believer that every little bit adds up. It’s the very principle on which my work is founded. I give to my alma mater, I give to my current employer, and I give to a few other nonprofit organizations that mean something to me. I wish everyone would.

If you went to college, and you’re not giving money to your college, you probably ought to be ashamed of yourself. If you say that your college degree has done nothing for you, I challenge you to compare your salary to the salary of a full-time employee your age with only a high school education. 90% of the time, you’re making more. And that’s just salary.

If you received even a tiny bit of financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships, you’ve benefited quite directly from the generosity of the alumni who came before you. If you were lucky enough not to need financial aid, believe it or not, you still benefited.

If you don’t want to give to your college, fine. Give to something else – anything that you care about. Give to an organization that does work you believe in. Give to an organization whose work saved the life of someone you love. Give to an organization whose work might someday save your life.

Find a website for one of these places and fork over just a little – ten dollars, if you want. You’ll spend more than that on your next night out anyway.

Do it because it feels good. Do it because I said so. Give something to somebody and come back and tell me about it, and then we’ll all feel good. Or, if you prefer, tell me who you already support.

I’ll get off the soap box now.

18 Replies to “Give Some of Your Money Away”

  1. Hi Lori. You don't know me, but I read your diary daily for the past couple of months. Not sure why I chose now to finally say something to you, when there were many times lately that I wanted to offer some words of comfort,
    encouragement or sympathy, but I really didn't know what I could possibly say to you, and why it would mean anything to you coming from a total stranger. At any rate, I picked today to write a little note to you. It never even occurred to me to donate money to my alma mater, and I thank you for bringing that to my attention. I may just do that. However, you did remind me that I have not given to my charity of choice (St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital….it's a great cause and I encourage anyone looking to give away some money to please consider this organization!!)and I will definitely be calling in with my donation today. It is overdue and I feel pretty bad about not giving any money lately. So….thanks!

  2. Gosh, I don't know how to make links in the comments, but these are easily found:

    Christian Peacemaker Teams

    Sierra Club

    Mennonite Central Committee

  3. I just wanted to let you know that I think you are right about everyone donating some of their money to a cause that means something to them. However I don't agree that everyone should give money to their alma mater. I paid for my education, I don't need to pay for everyone else's. I go to the football games and to some events at the school so they can use the money from that. After all most state schools get money from the lottery and such. That's just my opinion though and besides shouldn't giving to God and the church be of upmost importance considering the giving of tithes is in the Bible and God is the reason we have what we have. If people are going to give then they should give to the being that allows us to have what we have, who allows us to attend college and create the other organizations. Just a thought, anyways I hope your sister is progressing, I am glad to hear that she is home!!

  4. Science Museum,
    Planned Parenthood,
    Planned Pethood,
    Center in the Square,
    Sierra Club,
    Roanoke Catholic,
    The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and the YMCA. Not alot, but what i have.

  5. Jon – I disagree when you say “not alot”! That is wonderful that you give to so many charities. One thing I wanted to point out, or ask really: You listed Planned Parenthood as one of your charities……I heard (don't know for sure) that they give girls abortions. Maybe you didn't know this, or maybe it's not even true but I just had to say something about that. I personally am against abortion as I do not think it's right, however I am not one to force my ideas upon anyone else or look down on someone for choices they make. But I know that I could find better charities to donate to than one that actually makes it possible for women to have abortions. Please don't think I am putting you down, I just had to say that in case you weren't aware (or in case I am wrong!) Either way, I do think it is great that you donate to so many organizations.

  6. God is not the reason we have what we have – God is the creator and Jesus the salvation (following Christian thought) but there is no Santa Clause role God plays to decide whether you get coal or cake – go ahead and tithe – it's good practice but it's not “repayment” for things you've got. That's too much the wealthy way to look at it. Weak analogy but I like the comparison in “Gangs of New York” before the final riots between the poor's prayer for stregnth over enemies and the wealthy's prayer of thanks for “mercy” and “many blessings.”

  7. I do NOT donate to my college because my degree has never helped me one little bit, in fact I resent paying on my useless loans. I can guarantee that I didn't make a penny more than the high schoolers working part time at the only job I could find after I graduated, and the jobs I am looking at now pay even less. I donate to March of Dimes because they would have helped my sister had she lived. I donate to the Salvation Army because of my best friend's firefighter husband's constant tales of how they were always there at any tragedy, both for the victims and the firefighters. I do NOT donate to the United Way, because 80% of the money goes for overhead. Just my .02 worth on donations!

  8. Lorie, I like your soapbox. It's also an opportunity to get on mine — money is fungible, that's a big argument in the “material support” text of the Patriot Act and other ethical debates about organizations. However, I think that in the case of Planned Parenthood, it's important to consider how many girls DON'T get pregnant and have abortions because of the other services the organization provides – healthy sex education programs that empower women to choose whether or not to have sex, without succombing to social pressures to either do so or not, and providing contraceptives and contraceptive education to both genders in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place. I'd bet they prevent more abortions than they provide!

    I donate to Planned Parenthood, World Concern, and the Red Cross, and occasionally to a Christian women's organization called Aglow International.

  9. I'll give away money when I have more than 18 cents in my checking account (no exaggeration!) For now, I volunteer time. It's been my experience that organizations benefit more and are more thankful for an extra set of hands, than an extra check. No problem can be solved just by throwing money at it. Just sayin.

  10. you guys seriously ROCK. especially you, lorie. i wish more people understood the importance and benefits of giving to various causes. as a fundraiser myself, it' s so fucking awesome to see everyone get into it. ♥ to you all.

  11. Charity isn't just money! I volunteer weekly for an AIDS organization. I'm a student so I don't have much money, so this is my outlet. Although I don't have much money I do have a hard time saying “No” to anyone that asks for a sponsor. Speaking of, I will be participating in the AIDS Walk in Boston on 6/6/04. If anyone's interested in sponsoring me, send me an email!

  12. Planned Parenthood offers the following services: family planning counseling and birth control
    pregnancy testing and counseling
    gynecological care, Pap tests, breast exams
    emergency contraception
    HIV testing and counseling
    medically accurate sexuality education
    screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
    infertility screening and counseling
    voluntary sterilization for women and men
    reproductive medical exams for men
    safer sex counseling
    midlife services
    abortions or abortion referrals
    prenatal care
    adoption referrals
    primary care
    referrals for specialized care

    Yes, abortion is on the list. I think anyone who would donate money to this organization, or any organization is well aware of what services it provides. Planned Parenthood provides essential services to women and I applaud those who contribute. Because every child should be a wanted child.

  13. Just wanted to apologize for the lack of punctuation in my previous post. I thought it would post in a list format, not in a sentence format!

  14. If I could donate to someone it would be the Make A Wish Foundation. But right now I am in need of a donation. I am a single mother with two small children and I only receive $12,000 a year. If someone can help me let me know. For every dollar given to me I will give the same amount to the charity of that persons choice when I get back on my feet. I have never asked for a donation before but things are so bad right now, I just don’t know what to do anymore. Please help us.

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