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November 27, 2007

What about the other 9 months?

DonateI get annoyed every year at this time.  Why? Because there is such an emphasis on charitable giving it irks me. Not because I am against giving to charity. I believe in doing so, very strongly. I myself do indeed give and we teach our kids to give as well. 

What I don't buy into is the emphasis on giving as a seasonal holiday event.  Emphasis on the word "event."  Yes, this is a huge time of year for charities to receive donations and no, I am not suggesting that stop.   But the needs don't just exist 3 months a year, charitable organizations and non-profits need our support all year long.  Many organizations are utterly swamped by people wishing to donate their time, attention and money between Thanksgiving and New Year's, but the rest of the year? Feh.

While the United States is a developed nation we have a dismal record regarding how many of our children live in poverty. Oh hey. Yeah, that's right.  Poverty.  We've got families in our country who do not have indoor plumbing nor electricity.   We've got entire families living in cars.  Not good.  My irritation about annual giving campaigns has evolved, I didn't just wake up one morning and decide I didn't like it.  It has been years in the making. 

Over a decade ago The Huz was packing up relief supplies to drop into Somalia.  At the time we were both kidless and living in Louisiana.  I looked over the list of stuff that was being put on the plane and asked if I could have an extra box to bring 45 minutes up the road to the families I was serving at my school in Plain Dealing.  I knew plenty of families in need of relief there too. 

I'm not recommending we should become a nation of isolationists who only take care of "our own", as that would be unrealistic, short sighted and would go against our country's reputation for helping other less fortunate nations.  I do believe in a world community of caring.

What I encourage is we open our eyes to those who may need our help in our communities too.  There are more who need it than we may even realize.  And the need is daily. Not just when your local news station announces their annual holiday season coat drive.

Now that holiday decorations are up practically all year 'round, why not extend that trend with our charitable giving? Please join with me in supporting the idea that we donate time, talent and money to organizations and people who will need it long after the ball drops!


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What I like about your writing and what you have to say is that you say it all so much better than I could imagine doing so! I really dislike that giving to charity is only associated with the holiday season. People who recieve charity need it ALL year long. And whether people want to admit it or not, there are several/tons families in our own community, if not a block away from our houses that need help in so many ways.

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