Parents did not have enough money. The budget did not have the funds to offer assistance. Kids were being turned away. Then, someone spoke up, “I will donate $100 to the cause, and I challenge each and every one of you to do the same.” Suddenly, folks pulled out their checkbooks and wrote checks. Suddenly, folks pulled out their wallets and billfolds, pulling out whatever cash they found. The line was long, and the donations were steady.
The above is a true story. And, I was one of the folks who pulled a checkbook and wrote a check. Days before the impromptu donation, I had updated our budget spreadsheet for July. We are already in the red this month, with more bills to be paid. Still, I knew we could end the month in the black by ‘sacrificing’ frivolous spending. (Like not spending $4.00 for a pint (aka ‘one serving’) of ice cream.) As I wrote the check, there was a part of my cringing because we would have ‘go without’ some perks this month.
My belief? Give to the point that it hurts. I’m not saying put a 2nd mortgage on the house, so you can increase your charitable donations. Rather, I am suggesting you cut back on the Starbucks, Ben & Jerrys, McDonalds, cute shoes, etc. You don’t have to run a marathon, participate in a triathlon, run a relay or ride a bike. Instead, provide financial support to the runners, triathletes and bike riders. Financially support the fundraisers and charitable organizations. And, support these people and organizations to the point that you feel it, financially; because, until you feel it, you may not understand the impact it makes on those who need it the most.
You have so much. So many have so little. So many go without more than you can imagine. So many battle horrible illnesses on a daily basis. Is this too depressing? Do you really not want to dwell on the crap in the world? Well, those suffering don’t want to deal with it, either. And, many of those suffering are not depressed. In fact, many of those suffering in some way, shape or form, could teach us all a thing or two on how to live and appreciate life. Give them a chance to teach you this lesson. I challenge you to give. I challenge you to give until it hurts.
Life threatening illnesses surround us: Cancer/Leukemia, Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle-cell Anemia, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, etc.
In addition, life is a struggle for those battling Autism, Poverty, Starvation, Scleroderma, Turner’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, etc. The reality is that there are countless other illnesses affecting our population. And, let’s not forget the animal kingdom. Animals are in need of our help, in part – because of our own mistakes.
I am confident you know someone battling an illness or helping a furry friend. Support your loved one. Support your friend. Support the furry companions. If nothing else, consider your financial support an investment in your future. Who knows, you may find yourself battling a life threatening or life altering illness in the future.
Below are several charities to consider supporting financially. Accessing Charity Navigator is another way to access reputable charitable organizations. I beg you to make a donation today. I dare you to make a donation today. I double-dog dare you to make a donation. Thank you.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
CURE Childhood Cancer
Pick of the Litter
Team in Training
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Rockefeller University