It’s almost Giving Tuesday, an event inaugurated in 2012 to promote charitable giving, particularly in contrast to the consumerism of the holiday season. Inthe years since the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (aka 92Y) launched it, Giving Tuesday has seen more than $600 million given to charity.
Which makes me wonder: who are we giving to?
For us, it’s a mix of places close to home and close to our hearts. This includes the schools our children attend, plus the school in the district with the highest number of kids who use free and reduced lunch vouchers. Some PTAs at wealthier schools are out of control, while poorer schools still struggle to get basic supplies into their classroom. We meet a local need by shipping school supplies directly to teachers in their classrooms via Amazon Pantry (I know the arguments against Amazon, and this isn’t as good as me taking a gross of glue sticks into the classroom, but it’s easy, which means it gets done.) and directing our passive giving (through, for example, the donations to schools that are generated when we shop at the local grocery store) to the highest needs school. It’s important that we don’t allow this kind of slactivist donation to replace more thoughtful ones, so we basically set it up and then forget about it, reviewing it each year to make sure that our money is still going to where it is most needed.
We also gave this year to Into Account, which supports survivors and fights for accountability for institutions that hide sexual assault, to various Go Fund Me accounts for women fighting breast cancer, to Utah Animal Advocacy Foundation, to our local Boy Scout troop and to Girl Scouts of America, to the ACLU (in honor of Esther Koontz), to The Mennonite, to continued hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and elsewhere. We don’t do a great job of following the 50/30/20 (50% of your donations to what is most important, 30% to local charities that connect you to your community, and 20% to things that pop up.), but that’s a 2019 goal.
You can’t store up your treasure in heaven, so where are you putting it here on earth?
Reader–share your favorite places to donate, whether it’s time, money, gifts, or services. Give a pitch for your favorite places in the comments and provide a link so that others can see what you are talking about and, if they like, make a donation.