Today I’ll talk about very important aspect of being rich and wealthy, the giving part of it. we live in a country that knows the importance of giving, holiday giving. Holidays are not only for getting and celebrating, it’s also about giving happiness to others.
Giving happiness to your near and loved ones and also giving happiness to persons or families you don’t know off and will probably never know off. Holidays are for every one, god has been kind enough to grant you good amount of wisdom, health, you were born in to a first world. You were given right education by your parents and you, by your given wisdom, fared well to get a job and earn your living.
Being a well to do person with some amount of surplus money, we should look in to giving happiness to others who don’t get it as easily as we do. Giving is a pleasure, even if you are in debt, a mortgage to pay off or a student loan to repay, a small amount of donation does not hurt, does it?
Holidays are the season when you may (or should) look after the other strata in this world, the less privileged ones. The ones who were born in to poor parents, the ones who were born in a poor country. The ones that are less fortunate to get good education, good opportunity and good living.
It’s not necessary to give cash or materials, you can even donate your manual labor. You may search for local volunteer work that takes care of people less fortunate. Pick the weekend to help. Even giving care to an elderly for a day can be a great giving.
There are people who had everything once but, some act-of-god snatched away their possession. I am talking about Haitians, after the earthquake, the Philippinos after super typhoon or thousands that go homeless each year during hurricane season also the ones who lose their home to forest fire every year.
There are plenty of avenues to give happiness to them. Choose what you can get maximum satisfaction from.
In 2001, while in India, I went to earthquake relief camp after the great Gujrat earthquake, that killed 20,000 people. We were tasked with demand-supply analysis for relief materials. One of our tasks was to predict the need for water, food and clothes in various villages, for the coming weeks.
Then, when I saw truck loads of relief materials being distributed in the villages surveyed by me, I used to get the feeling of being the real giver. This gave more satisfaction than giving away thousands of dollars to them.
Now when I got a list containing local orphans aged 2 – 5 for holiday gift sponsoring at my work this year, I jumped on instantly. We adopted a little kid and donated gifts that will last many more Christmases for her. We also arranged for her school supplies for next several years. Above all, when the kids adopted by various departments in our organization, arrived at our office, seeing the happy faces, our faces lit up! We played with them, we spent time knowing them.
It was a feeling I can’t really describe in words. That was the time I really enjoyed being part of the organization. That was the time I realized how important it is for a corporation to have such philanthropic program. It does not only help the needy it also improves employee satisfaction.
There are chances that your employer runs a corporate giving program. Many big organization have philanthropic program that allows company match of the charitable donation, when you give to an approved charity. For example, when you give $10 to a charity like “Red Cross”, your employer gives another $10 to the same charity, making the value of your giving as $20.
If your employer offers gift matching, it’s always better to channel your giving through the program. You can also request your favorite charity to be included in the gift matching program, if it’s not there already, in most of the organizations I am aware of.
This year has been particularly satisfying for me in terms of giving. While I donated through my employer’s gift matching program, in addition to sponsoring holiday and school expenses for a kid, my name did also appear for a draw where I (and other winners) got to choose one charity for our employer to donate bonus amount to.
Another way to donate is by giving up items that you no longer use. Boat donations are a good option because when you donate the item, the charity will sell it and then donate the money to a children’s charity. It also looks good on your taxes, since you can use either the amount for which the boat sold or its market value as a deduction on your taxes. Overall, donating an old boat allows you to help those in need, while providing yourself with some financial benefits at the same time.
Also, in the month of April we visited Tomorrows Rainbow, a special place for children that have experienced the death of a loved one, and helped them complete some chores and long pending plumbing and painting work. We created a mini play area, a do-as-you-like painting board and cleaned a self-grow garden. When we later saw little children using the board, playing in the play area we created, it was very pleasant feeling.
Readers, what have you done for charitable work this year? If you haven’t contributed yet, there’s always a tomorrow, go give!