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michelle

Charitable giving

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I'm not sure where to put this but since charity comes from the heart this was the best forum I could come up with... if it needs to be moved please feel free to do so. Thanks mods!

 

 

I enjoy doing charity work. I try to do something for charities when I get the chance. I've been looking for something to do for the holidays (I know its getting close now) but I'm upset and annoyed at some of the charities. I hate to say it and I'm sorry I feel this way but it bothers me the requests some of them make. I haven't looked yet this year (haven't seen the tree up yet) but last year the angel tree was full of nothing but angels asking for outrageous gifts like playstations, etc. Expensive items I can't afford to buy my own kids. I'm going to look again this year but I doubt it will have changed.

 

I saw the ad for Toys for Tots and wanted to do it til I saw it says the gifts 'must be new with a value of $10 or higher'... since when do you HAVE to spend that amount on a charity gift? I can get decent toys for cheaper than that and help more kids.

 

Looked at some of the soldier programs as I'd love to get into writing a soldier or send a care package to one but so far all I've found are ones saying that if you adopt a soldier you have to write once a week and send at least one care package a month. Thats wonderful but I'd like to help even if I can't make that kind of contribution.

 

I'm just aggravated right now. I want to contribute to a charity but I'm feeling outraged. They all appear to be self-righteous idiots! Demanding that if I can't afford to spend XXXX on a donation its not worth it. Even if all I can afford to do is buy a couple of small toys from the Dollar Tree or something I'd like to help. Where are the charities that truly need the help and appreciate anything you can do even if it is small? mecry

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I know how you feel. Sometimes the folks asking for help seem to be more greedy than needy. I have had a few (not all!) unpleasant personal experiences while helping folks out.

 

If you like to help soldiers, you could feed some soldiers for the holidays if you live near a base. It is very popular around here to get the guys who live in the barracks and are far from home to dine at your home. It seems to work really well. A real home cooked meal with a family in a home sure beats sitting in the barracks on a holiday.

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The last time I adopted a child from the Angel Tree, they had infants and children on there asking for things like blankets, pillows and clothing. THOSE are the ones we looked for. We bought the Littlest Angel on the tree, (9 months old boy) a winter outfit (on sale at Sears for about 9 dollars) THAT is what the parent had asked for and we added a little rocking stacking toy for 5 dollars from KB Toys.

 

I agree, kids nowadays want to "Keep up the the Jones" and when the charities ask the kids what they want... they answer truthfully, like my children, with what they really want.

 

It isn't always that the kids are being greedy. It is that they have NO CLUE how expensive things are and what it really takes for someone to earn something like that.

 

Because of that, I decided that I wouldn't let my kids be one of the children on the Angel Tree. I didn't want them blurting out what they really wanted to people. LOL AND I figure that we are blessed in what we DO have. They don't need the things they want to be happy!

 

I have tried explaining to my kids that what they want for Christmas (the Wii's, Nintendo DS lite's, PSP, Playstation, or IPOD's...whatever electronic monstrosity is popular with them and their peers) is more than we make in a MONTH if it is all added together (x3 kids) and there is no way that we can afford it. Those things are what they want, because their peers have them.

 

The local Salvation Army Angel Tree works like this (the one we participated in, there are several) You fill out a form. Name address, income etc... You are interviewed. You must have proof of identity, the birth certificates of the children with you, and the children to prove that they are your children...and that they exist. Then they ask the children "What do you want for Christmas" whatever the CHILD SAYS (Adult if the child isn't able to speak) THAT is what they put down. They don't really allow the parent a say in it. (Although I am sure there are parents who coach their children to say expensive things). I tried to tell them what my daughter wanted, but between the time my daughter had said what she wanted and the front of the line, she wanted something different (she was three) they took what she said down, even though I KNEW what she really wanted. She of course changed her mind but by that time it was too late.

 

My son said "A Basketball". I remember because that is ALL he wanted that year. He loves the color ORANGE and basketballs were Orange (he was 5) He got a BASKETBALL and that is all he got because I couldn't afford anything that year AT ALL. He was the happiest little guy with that HUGE Orange basketball.

 

Dollar store presents have their place. Honestly, my kids love them, and love getting them when we go there, they spend a half an hour drooling over what they might get for their dollar! Usually I get a dollar store present for them for their stocking. The problem is, those dollar store present break EASILY and quickly. There is NO WAY that would be the only thing I would give a child. That child would be heart broken by the end of the day with a broken toy.

 

I already know what my kids are getting for Christmas this year, and they will be very happy with it. Some wonderful Angel on Mrs Survival bought them some things from a GREAT Christian store. Including a Craft kit for each of them and a wonderful Children's style bible for each of them (A comic Bible for my son, and two fun Bibles for the girls that are perfect for preteens!)

 

My kids are like every other person in the world. They want things. Things are an entre' into being popular. They are status symbols with their peers. Like it or not, we are a commercial society.

 

I am trying my hardest to teach them the meaning of Christmas. The true meaning.

 

God gave His Son for us. Christ gave His life for us. We celebrate the giving of that life to us and the taking away of the sins that each of us carry, and the true meaning of Christmas is the love that God and Jesus has for us that they would do that for ME and YOU and my Children, each one of us individually and collectively. That someone without sin, would take on the sins of the world, so that we could go before God Sinless.

 

Wow.

 

Ain't God an awesome God?

I love the song "Our God is an AWESOME God" He is, and I am sitting here, knowing that despite not having a pot to piss in, I am truly blessed by what I do have, and whatever I have is more than others have in this world. I am greatful and awed by what God does in my life.

 

 

 

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Okay I'm going to try this again. I was a little upset earlier when I was trying to find a charity and coming up dry. I don't mean to sound like I'm being selfish or judgmental of the kids or people asking for help. I have had some bad experiences with some of the charities, knowing of people that have used them when they honestly had more than even we had, so I shy away from some of them like the angel tree here.

 

If I COULD spend a lot of money and buy the kids their 'wishlist' that would be wonderful but I can't. I realize comparing 'I wouldn't get that for my child' to getting it for a charity-child is not fair as my kids have a family and home and get things year round. But we don't have a lot of money. We get by just fine and still have some money left to prep (Thank God!) but thats only because of frugal spending on my part. I would like to be able to give to a charity and know that its going to someone that really NEEDS it. Its just looking at most of the charities now days it looks like your charity isn't worthy if you can't afford to spend a LOT of money. What kind of charities are there to participate in for those of us that only have a little and still want to give?

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Michelle, how about talking to a pastor or some neighbors and see if they know a family or person that needs something that you are able to provide? How about a food basket left on their front porch? At one of the small churches around here, someone wanted to help another in the congregation so they funneled it through the pastor.

 

I have heard of people that need things and I find a go-between to get it to them anonymously. I also find that that way I can verify the need. One year, I cleaned out my son's closet (the year he grew 4" in a few months) and gave almost new clothes to a family with 4 boys of various ages and very little income. I funneled it through a woman in my Sunday School class.

 

Conversely, if you have something to give, check around with people you know and see if they know someone that could use it. I donate to a church food pantry and a non-demonational ministry group that helps families hurt by unexpected problems (in many cases a burn-out).

 

If you want to do something for a soldier, do you know anyone with a husband, son, wife or daughter off somewhere else in the military? Ask them if someone on their unit doesn't get much as far as letters or whatever and just do for that one person as you can.

 

I gave up on many large charities years ago. For the same reasons that you list and some others.

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Michelle, I totally understand where you are coming from. When we could afford it we would call the Children's hospital and ask if we could bring colors, coloring books, puzzles and things like that. The kids were always grateful for small things that they could do while in bed or they could do for a few minutes and then go back to bed.

 

Another area that tends to be forgotten is the Nursing Homes. They love getting socks, lotion, a new toothbrush, combs brushes. Just call your local Nursing Home and ask if there are some residents there that do not have family and ask what can you bring them along the lines of personal items. Most will not let you bring in sweets but there maybe some that can have hard candy.

 

We always avoid, the "popular" charities at the holidays because they tend to get a lot of help. We went to the forgotten.

 

Another is a homeless shelter, they can always use socks, blankets, personal hygine packs (washcloth, hand towel, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, comb). If you can't find a homeless shelter but you know where some homeless people are go buy socks, a blanket, and few items and put in a brown paper bag and hand them out. You don't have to go through a agency to help. Go buy some beanie weenies, and crackers and you will make a homeless person very happy.

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Thanks those are some good ideas. I don't know of any homeless people here. I'm sure there are plenty but this isn't a large area so its hard to know for sure. I did find information on a women's shelter not too far away from here. My mom was comforting when I was upset over this yesterday and now we're rallying the troops lol . Mom is willing to help with something for a charity and we're going to see if some other friends and family want to help too. We're going to try to do something for the women's shelter for Christmas, just waiting to see what they need or don't have. Hoping to organize something nice for them for Christmas.

 

I hadn't really thought about the nursing homes. Thats a good idea. Mom worked for a nursing home here doing admin stuff until recently so she should know some way for us to help them or find out how. I just want to do something nice for the holidays for someone that doesn't have much. Its frustrating to me that I get the feeling from the larger charities that my help isn't welcome since I can't afford to give much. It just brings me to the point of tears.

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Another thing...

 

Check with you local law enforcement and see if they have a teddybear program. That is where they collect bears to give to children that they have to go in and remove from the home, or their family has a house fire, or involved in a car wreck and are seperated from a parent.

 

This is a good time of the year to stock them up on stuff bears.

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Oh thats a great idea! I've never heard of that. Think of all the stuffed animals... I know my kids will probably get some for Christmas too... ones they do NOT need and will get lost in stuffy heaven back there. Oh wow! I'm going to check that out!

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Originally Posted By: michelle
Oh thats a great idea! I've never heard of that. Think of all the stuffed animals... I know my kids will probably get some for Christmas too... ones they do NOT need and will get lost in stuffy heaven back there. Oh wow! I'm going to check that out!


If not it would be a great project to start

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I won't tell dh you said that... he'd sure be happy if I found yet ANOTHER project to get involved with. rofl

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Originally Posted By: michelle
I won't tell dh you said that... he'd sure be happy if I found yet ANOTHER project to get involved with. rofl


darlene

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Originally Posted By: michelle
I won't tell dh you said that... he'd sure be happy if I found yet ANOTHER project to get involved with. rofl
Proverbs 31:20 She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

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Hey maybe I should read that one to him laugh! He's always picking on me for my new 'thing'. I tend to get over-involved in projects sometimes. You know like when I started looking at using cloth diapers for ds and ended up sewing bunches, or when I was nursing him and ran across a website that wasn't finished and ended up helping them put info onto their site for a while. Or ...

 

I do this a lot! hide

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Michelle,

 

I second the idea of talking to a minister or adopting a family. Handing out crackers and beanie weanies is also great.

 

I too get annoyed at the 'demands' on angel trees - your reasons are one reason I don't do them anymore. When I worked in corprate America ten years ago, we were all expected to donate to United Way, do the angel tree, AND the office party AND donate to a few other things. If I had done all that, I wouldn't have a paycheck.

 

I politely took home all the information and used it as kindling in my fireplace. When my boss began pressuring me to give,give,give, I politely informed him I belonged to a Congregation and gave to that as well as donated my time in a variety of ways. As he kept pressing I even more firmly said that if the Company wanted their employees to donate SO MUCH, they needed to give them the equivalent raises with which to do it. Needless to say, that ended the conversation real fast.

 

Remember that Fire Departments and local Police stations do toy drives as well. You can take groceries and toys there and they are GRATEFUL.

 

Also, inquire through friends...someone may very well be in need close to you and you don't know about it. This season is also a great time to get to know the neighbors with some cookies, a card, etc.

 

 

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Michelle you might also look into donating toys or clothes to your local Social Service Agency for foster kids. Around here the SServices does not have a program per say but they are greatful for anything you bring. Most children removed from homes often only have a few if any possessions when placed with foster families. Never under estimate the impact of a toy for a child. When I was young my mother was out of work at Thanksgiving and Christmas and our church and The Joy Fund helped our family. I remember to this day their kindness and how fun it was to receive thos gifts!

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My husband and youngest DD will ride in the Christmas parade this next Saturday with the Patriot Guard, Faith Riders, and CMA and after that we are riding out to the Veterans Center to take gifts. The Veterans Center has asked for fishing gear, movies, books, headphones, tape and CD players, etc. They really enjoy the visits and so many people do things for children and forget the older people. They love the gifts, the company, and the motorcycles.

 

Blessings,

bb

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I save all of the samples I get in the mail, and the sample size shampoo's soaps, etc. from hotels. I used to send them to Jamaica each winter with Cavey's aunt, who distributed them to young women who have nothing. With the new luggage restrictions, she cannot take so much, so next year I will donate it all to the women's shelter.

 

Another thing I used to do was to crochet lap blankets and take them to nursing homes at Christmas.

 

I save old blankets, sheets, pillows etc. and take them to animal shelters. They are always in need, and the animals don't care if an item is used.

 

When I was a kid, my Dad was involved with the Elk's Lodge who adopted several families every year. They provided each family with a tree, gifts and Christmas dinner. I loved helping wrap all the presents at the hall, and going with my Dad to make the deliveries. Those are some of my best childhood Christmas memories.

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Originally Posted By: Mare
so next year I will donate it all to the women's shelter.



I went to a domestic violence office that had bags of these for their clients (me at that time). You don't know how much that helped us for several months when we had food stamps but didn't have money for personal hygience items. They even had some tampons and pads I was able to have. They were a God Send!

Never throw out those, collect them at the hotel when you go, hand them out to homeless or give them to the dv shelters.

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If you sew, many hospitals that take medicade patients for labor and delivery, need infant clothes and blankets to send home with moms who have nothing. I have seen a father take off his shirt to wrap a naked baby to carry it home. We weren't allowed to give the hospital blankets to them, though the baby could wear the paper shirt and disposable diaper home.

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Originally Posted By: CrabGrassAcres
If you sew, many hospitals that take medicade patients for labor and delivery, need infant clothes and blankets to send home with moms who have nothing. I have seen a father take off his shirt to wrap a naked baby to carry it home. We weren't allowed to give the hospital blankets to them, though the baby could wear the paper shirt and disposable diaper home.


If you don't sew you can shop dollar stores and get a lot of pratical baby stuff cheap. You can also check with your local crisis pregnancy center most have a program that if the mother attends parenting classes they will give her a stocked diaper bag at the end as a "graduation" present.

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Michelle--I know you like to crochet--but, I don't know how you would feel about this one-- There is a national group out there that crochets premie infant clothes for burial. They do blankets too. Many of these families have to bury premies in doll clothes and toy blankets. It seems to bring some dignity to the family to have real clothes. We have received some of the "kits" as my job and they are truely appreciated by the families. I don't know if this is something people want to think about at Christmas--it is very depressing, but I think you would be truely blessed.

 

http://www.bevscountrycottage.com/peds.html

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Really? At the hospital I had my kids they sent home stuff. With dd we brought home formula, a couple diaper bags of formula samples, diapers, pads for me, she had a couple blankets from there, the little slip on shirt, nasal aspirator, brush, binky, and a stuffed lamb attached to a little blankie.

 

With ds I brought home the same stuff without the lamb blankie and no binky but he had a fleece blanket they gave him with the hospital logo on it and I got some breastfeeding samples and a book and pamphlets on breastfeeding since I was nursing. Thats interesting! We had tons of stuff coming home from the hospital. Shocked me b/c I went there with a loaded diaper bag not realizing they were gonna do all that!

 

 

I do crochet and want to crochet some more stuff for the preemies in the NICUS, I want to do some more chemo caps too b/c I know not as many people make them. I do donate stuff to our local animal shelter at times. One of the grocery stores here gives you a stamp for buying so many groceries and you collect them for money later. They have a board for local charities though and I put my stamps up for the animal shelter or local methodist church that does a lot of charity here.

 

I was just trying to find something to help some children for Christmas and its aggravating that they all seem to 'demand' so much. It just makes me feel terrible because I want to help. I don't feel like I'm truly 'poor' because I have so many blessings in my life but they make me feel worthless and poor when they act like its not good enough if I can't give out more charity.

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Originally Posted By: michelle
Really?I was just trying to find something to help some children for Christmas and its aggravating that they all seem to 'demand' so much. It just makes me feel terrible because I want to help. I don't feel like I'm truly 'poor' because I have so many blessings in my life but they make me feel worthless and poor when they act like its not good enough if I can't give out more charity.


Ok something for children...

After Christmas they will start the 2nd semester of school and will need more school supplies. So buy a couple of back packs and fill them will colors, glue, pencils, paper, etc....

Go to your local school and talk to the school counselor and ask what is the most needed school supplies and buy some. Believe it or not but kids will get a kick out of getting new backpacks and school supplies. Especially if they didn't have one to begin with.

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I second the need for school supplies. I had a 14 year old yell at me last week because he didn't have a pencil. When I asked him why he screamed back because his parents were poor and the five of them were living in a 2-bedroom apartment with barely enough for food let alone worrying about a pencil.

 

I then vowed to take an extra box with me whenever I go to sub.

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