Have you donated to a cause this year?
I know...Most of those who will read this blog will think, "I can barely pay my bills, let alone donate to others!"
But hear me out-In 2006 ABC released an article that stated that 75% of American Families donate roughly $1800/year. 2006 was also the year we broke the bank on the amount of donations we made...But since the recession, this has not been the case. Most charities fighting for hunger, homelessness, child abuse, etc have been hit hard by economic times. People have cut their spending, and one of the first things to go was donations.
I've blogged about donating blood-It's free and it saves lives. It's well worth the cause-and the free cookies are awesome as well! For the past three years I've managed my company's United Way Campaign and was able to see how easy it was for people to donate their money. I know that everyone can find some time or money to sacrifice in life.
Even in tight economic times, donating is possible!
Most people think that donating only includes giving money, people don't realize that there are thousands of organizations that need your physical help as well. It could be something as simple as volunteering in a food line, or something more difficult like erecting a house for Habitat for Humanity. Many of these programs are well planned, non-profit organizations that have proven their success over and over again.
The problem with this, is that people value their time just as much as their money. People don't think that giving up one Saturday of their life will make a difference, but IT DOES! The people that have suffered and sacrificed for either their bad mistakes or misfortunes in life appreciate all the help they can get! When you donate, judging people on their lifestyle is not a part of the equation.
There are also very interesting organizations, such as the Polar Bear Plunge. And this is part of the reason why I wrote this post. The Polar Bear Plunge is an event that takes place all across the frozen parts of the country during the winter. One in particular is the Plunge on Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, MN. People sign up to take the plunge, and then they ask their friends and family (and fellow bloggers) to donate for the cause in support of this person plunging into the freezing cold water of Lake Calhoun-or whichever lake it might take place on. This particular Plunge is donating to homelessness, or even child abuse. It's donating to the Special Olympics of Minnesota. I'll explain more on this program in a paragraph below. But first, I want to ask you to donate to this event-I have a friend who is going to take the Plunge, and he needs the support of his friends, and his online community. Here is where you can read about his decision to take the plunge and how you can help!
Now, about the Special Olympics; It's more than just getting a few mentally disabled kids together to run around and have fun. This is about getting kids active, helping the less fortunate be able to develop motor skills, socializing skills and give them a meaning to their lives! When a child knows they cannot work when they grow up, they can't learn as fast as other kids, or take part in so many of the activities 'normal' kids can take part in, it leaves them with a lack of confidence and inspiration. The Special Olympics provides a meaning, it provides support and happiness. Another aspect that most don't think about is that the Special Olympics allow families of these children network and build a support system to help raise their child the best they can. The Special Olympics provides hope to those that weren't born with the same possibilities as everyone else.
So please, donate to my friend's cause, donating does make a difference!