The truth is if a letter arrives in the mail requesting donations, I find it very difficult to just throw it away. Unless the charity has affiliations with serial killers or pro-lifers, then out comes the credit card.
I once received a mini-novel worth of literature about people with various disabilities who found solace in their art. I can't remember what the charity was called but I am still haunted by the images of people without arms painting with their mouths. I'm not even trying to be funny here, it really freaked me out and I felt like I had to give money, if only so they could recoup the cost of printing and mailing the gigantic brochure. I remember wailing to Bren, "Why? Whhhyyy do they send this shit to me? Don't they understand I'm broke? But how can I say no? What kind of animal would I be if I denied these poor bastards access to quality paint brushes and easels? Jeeeeezus!"
But the reality is we can't donate to everything. But we can all do something – no matter how small, it's worthwhile and bound to make you feel great.
I decided a long time ago that I wanted to sponsor a child and I no longer wanted to put it off until I can afford it. I was 23 years old and I suspected that financially, I could always find a reason why $40 a month was too much to take from my tight budget. So I just did it anyway. I am so pleased I did and I'll be talking more about that tomorrow.
But there are smaller ways to make a big impact. It may be as simple as donating your preloved gear to goodwill (or St Kilda Mums).
Or what about volunteering your time? A friend of mine helps out for a few hours a week at her local goodwill store, sorting through donations and pricing items for sale. Now I know she is a keen thrifter and doesn't half mind getting first dibs on secondhand treasures but I also know that spending her precious child-free hours this way makes her feel like she is contributing in some small way. I love that.
In the last few years, I have bought only charity Christmas cards. Yes, they cost more. In fact, if you can pick up a pack of 10 for $0.99 at your local $2 shop then yeah, the charity cards cost a LOT more but the benefits, as I see it, are threefold; you are supporting a charity while buying something you need, the cards are significantly nicer, and you aren't feeding the demand for el-cheapo shit from Taiwan.
Little things, you know?
It is, definitely, all about the little things, the little ways, the little gestures. because then that becomes just who you are.
(And you are lovely. We all know this, yes?)
I tell you, I definitely like me through your eyes. You’re a gem.
Giving makes my own existence infinitely richer. Adds meaning. Little things and so very good for the soul.
As your comments are for mine. xx