Three Hundred Twenty Eight: Cold Hard Cash

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”  – Anne Frank

Tuesday, November 25th

One of my neurotic character flaws is that I have a fear of giving. Not my love, my effort, or my time…but definitely a fear of donating money.

My husband thinks it stems from my thrifty Dad and his own father (who in his 90s and living on his own split his teabags in half to save a few tea leaves). Maybe. I think its more likely that it was something that started in my childhood when I always heard gripes about groceries being too expensive and the house costing too much to heat. Now, in retrospect, I understand that feeding a teenage boy and a growing girl added up, and living in a big house that wasn’t designed to be efficient will certainly be costly to heat. I wasn’t raised in a church where giving of thine finances was a regular thing and somewhere along the way, I learned the value of volunteering…so I think in some way I feel that if I am giving my time then I shouldn’t be demanded to pony up funds as well.

I understand why organizations need the money. I do. I’ve worked at a Pioneer Museum, a Maritime Museum, an Alanon Bingo Club, an urban gardening organization, a campus newspaper, a national student journalism collective, a contemporary theatre company, a children’s theatre company, and an adult literacy center – most of my work experiences have been in the non-profit world. Good work is being done without the pursuit for profits, but the money for pens and toner and envelopes has to come from somewhere and from someone.

So what is the remedy? I feel that the only way through this is to start giving. I’m giving more through my daughter’s school. My Dad had two charities that he has regularly supported – a nature conservation group and the War Amps (an organization that helps support amputees.) This feels like a good idea. I will sit down and have the discussion with my family about who we would like to support.

This comes up because today I returned the fundraising books that I’d been selling since September. In total, I raised more than $500. After lugging them to meetings and events, it felt good to see the bottom line. This money can now go to purchase seeds or soil or fund a project in our school garden, and that feels great.

How do you feel about charitable giving?


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