Friday, December 30, 2011

Giving to Charity: A Gift to Yourself

In this last couple of days of 2011, take a few minutes to reflect back on the year and ask yourself: Did I receive a gift from a charity this year? And...did I give back to that charity?

Sometimes people don't realize that they have benefitted from the work of a nonprofit organization. When we give to charity, we often think of it as giving to others. But you have most likely received a gift from charity some time this year. You have benefitted from charity if:

  • Your parents, grandparents or other family members have received services from a hospice when they were at the end of their life.

  • An environmental hazard was threatening your community and it was stopped or cleaned up.

  • Your child was in the hospital.

  • You used data from a research study to write a paper or proposal.

  • Anyone in your family has a disability or mental health issues.

  • You learned about an important social or community problem.

  • You, your neighbor, or someone in your family received foreclosure prevention counseling.

  • You visted a museum, gallery or went to a music, dance or theatre performance.

  • You enjoyed a day at a wildlife refuge or even a national park.

  • You adopted a new family pet.

  • You gave or received blood.

  • Anyone you know has been a victim of crime or domestic violence.

  • You bought anything at a thrift store.

  • The legislature received testimony about an issue that impacts your life.

  • You love to watch NOVA, Nature or Colorado State of Mind or Sesame Street on TV

  • A senior citizen in your family received a meal at home, goes to a day program or many other things.

  • A struggling child you know received tutoring.

  • Someone you know received food from a food bank, or utility assistance.

Obviously, this isn't everything. There are thousands of causes. What is most important is that you understand that we are all impacted by the work of charities every single day. When we give to charity, we are giving back what we have used, in addition to helping others.

Remember the charities that helped you this year and give what you can. Charities are grateful for every single dollar they receive, so don't worry if you can't give a lot.

Happy New Year!

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