Q&A I have limited funds, how can I give to charity?/I’m making money for the first time, how do I choose a charity?

From Elaina: Giving of our time and talents is an important part of becoming an adult. We are called to stand up for the causes we believe in. This can be done many ways. First, decide what causes are calling you. Is there something in the news that you feel strongly about? Is there a need that you see in your community? Maybe you drove past a place that moved your heart? Or maybe you met an individual that has a need. Really and truly, there are so many worthwhile causes big and small to give to.

Okay, now you’ve decided on a cause. What organization that supports that cause should you give to? In this day and age, we have to be careful of scams. In addition to scams, there are valid organizations, but a large chunk of their money goes to administrative costs and not to the actual cause. You can search charities online and get a rating. These ratings will help you narrow down the best use of your money. You should also research what the charity stands for. You might find that you agree with the cause, but disagree with how the organization is striving to accomplish it.

Once you have decided where you want to give, it’s time to decide what to give. If you are making money, you might decide on a monetary donation or buying items for your cause. You get to decide how much to give. When my kids were little, they had banks that had three storefronts, a store, a bank, and a church. The goal was for them to divide their allowance up into spending money, savings, and charity. There is no right or wrong answer on how much to donate. You may want to rotate charities or have your main charity that you give to every month, but some extra giving money for when a need calls to your heart. If you aren’t in a place to give money, there are other ways to support a charity. You can give of your time. Maybe you can spend time volunteering or reach out to other people who can give money. Maybe you can spread awareness. Again, there are no right or wrong answers.

The point is that we are all connected and need each other. I hope you can find a way to help out your fellow travelers.

Elaina’s Special Joy of the Week: Here in Texas, we had one day last week that the weather was significantly cooler. Coincidentally, it was a day that I didn’t have to work until the afternoon. I spent a glorious, lazy morning cuddled up with cinnamon coffee, a new Dia de los Muertos mug, and this cozy blanket.

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