Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tis the season of giving + Giveaway winners

You know it's getting close to the holidays because all of a sudden, every charity you've ever donated to, and a ton of the ones you've never even heard of, let alone donate to, sends you mailings. Yes, mailings. Not one, but maybe about 3 a week. Can you imagine how many trees died in vain to solicit a few dollars?

We set a certain amount of our budget to go toward charitable gifting to our favorite groups, although there's a bit of room for adding one or two more donations when we come across another organization whose cause capture our hearts. It gets very hard when you get bombarded by requests to donate to this, that, and the other thing. You just have to say 'no' at some point, and I do feel bad about saying 'no' but we're not the Rockefellers; our funds are finite.

Now, if you think I'm a mean-hearted woman, I'm not (well, my kids think I am, but don't listen to them, OK?). We donate to a ton of charities. In fact, a few years ago, in one homeschool co-op we belonged to, we were doing some project for Earth Day and my kids and I counted up how many charities we donated to, and we discovered it was a lot. I'm talking about 15 or so. Our top three favorite groups to donate to are: Southern Poverty Law Center (helps fight hate crimes), Co-op American (fights social and environmental injustices), and The Land Institute (researches sustainable crops, such as perennial wheats).

The kids get Christmas money every year from dh's parents, and sometimes from my parents (they are more forgetful than dh's parents). We stipulate that they donate 10% of that money - they can spend 10% and the rest must go into their savings account.

So, every year, we talk about the types of charities out there, and they get to choose one or two of them that catch their fancy to donate to. There are humanitarian ones, like Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corp, and Heifer International; environmental ones, like Environmental Defense, Sierra Club; animal causes, like World Wildlife Fund, and National Audubon Society; and local charities such as Mother Hubbard's Cupboard (local food bank), and the Monroe County Humane Association. It's fun to watch the kids decide whom to donate to.

For anyone interested, there's a good article on donation at Giving Green.

So, in the spirit of giving, today is the day to choose my "green giveaway" recipients. chose #5, which is Stace!

Feeling generous, I decided to ask ds#1 to pick a number between 1 and 9 at breakfast, and he chose "7", which is Marr!

So, ladies, I'll be hopping over to notify you about your free one year Co-op American (soon to be called Green America, apparently) subscription. :)

Hope the weekend is a good one for all!

"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet." ~ James Oppenheim