Donating Money To Charity: My Story

I created this at 7 in the morning. It is self explanitory.
I created this at 7 in the morning. It is self explanitory.

Donating To Charity

 I started this hub with the idea that I was going to write an informative article on my personal experience with donating to charity, and, how hard I am trying to keep myself from being the next person on the street. However, the more I wrote, the more it seemed like I was blowing off steam, and not really creating anything helpful.

I worked for 15 years in a business that has a very close relationship with charity. I have seen the generous side of those who want to give, and, the greedy side of those who want to take advantage of those who give. I heard sob stories of the unfortunate, reported by people wearing $500.00 suits, and driving their Lexus back to their multimillion dollar homes all on donated money, while the people they claim to help live in a cubby hole under the expressway year after year.

In my years of working for this company, I have seen the true face of their generosity, which is basically playing off people's sympathy. They create programs that appear to help the less fortunate, while in reality their main goal is to drive sales to their business. What you see as a food drive, is actually an attempt by these businesses to get people to come through the doors of the establishment to shop. They usually do these drives around the holidays, when they know that people are in a giving mood.

I once sat in on a corporate meeting where they discussed how their food drive brought their sales up by 10 percent to the tune of 5 million dollars. Is this 5 million dollars going to charity? No it isn't, it is all going right into the companies pocket. The food that is purchased with this money might go to a food pantry, but the profits from the drive just go into the companies pocket. When they say they will match dollar for dollar, don't buy it. They usually only give back a fraction of a cent, it's all in the fine print if you have a microscope to read it.

Donating money to major charities is no different. They used to come to our company on their annual donations drives. They talk about their success stories, and, the millions of dollars that they bring in every year, but, say little about where the money is going.

I recall one meeting where they claimed they had paid out 2.5 million dollars to the needy which was 15 percent of their annual budget. I raised my hand and asked what happens to the 85 percent that is left over? Do you think they would answer that question? The answer was that they have their costs. I'm guessing a lot of $500.00 suits, $100.00 shoes, and the brand new cars that they pulled up in. After hearing that, I put a stop to my weekly donations immediately.  Get back to me when you give 85 percent and keep 15.

You may think 2.5 million dollars is a nice amount going to help people. Well, you would be duped. This money just goes to trickle down organizations in their corporate umbrella, each one of them take their 85 percent, and what is left over might be less than $1,000.00. which might be used to buy food and supplies for a small handful of people. So, when you hear that a corporate charity is non-profit don't believe it. The money is all used, but, a majority of it is used for their own interests, such as advertising promotions, and shiny new office buildings all done with your donated money.

 

 

 

 

 

Just Me trying to hold onto my apartment.

Here I am in the living room of my 2 bedroom apartment. It is only 800 square feet, but it's   home.
Here I am in the living room of my 2 bedroom apartment. It is only 800 square feet, but it's home.

Some Suggestions

 If you want to donate to a specific charity, contact them before you donate. Don't be afraid to ask them exactly where your money is going. If they won't give you an answer, go to the next charity on your list, I'm sure there are also other resources that you can check to see if the charity gives, or is just a big money sponge.

I don't want to suggest any particular charity to donate to. However the ones I feel the most compfortable with are the Red Cross and the Salvation army. Mainly because I have seen the work they do in my community, while other who claim they are helping do nothing to help when there is an emergency. And, some are just really good liars.

Another thing that kind of bugs me is local food drives. If you are donating to your local church, that is one thing, but, the ones that are sponcered by supermarket chains are nothing more than an attempt to get you to come through their doors and spend your money. They make huge profits from this, and give little or nothing back.

You should be smart enough to know that people are hungry all the time, not just around the holidays when supermarket chains say they are ready to give to charity. They will have a smiling spokesperson saying how happy they are to give, while their profits soar. And, they usually use the local media to spread their word, knowing that their advertisement will be seen by hundreds of thousands of potential customers. A lot od them even offer "special" gift cards to help the needy. It's a gift card, and money spent in their store.

So, don't fall into the fill up this semi at thanksgiving trap. Save a little money each week, buy some groceries and take it directly to your local food pantry or church that accepts these kind of donations. Don't wait until it is conveniant for the supermarkets to get your money. Just try going into a supermarket when they are not have a drive and ask them to donate any food that they might be throwing away. They will think you are crazy.

I have seen the grocery chain back rooms, throwing away hundreds of pounds of perfectly good food every day. Either it is about to reach it's sell by date, or it doesn't look presentable, or it was something they no longer want to sell. They could donate it, as it is all written off as a business loss anyways. but, no, it all goes into the trash. very sad, 

 

Donating To Individuals

There are a lot of internet sites that people can join, where they can ask for donations. These websites have been mentioned on various news programs, claiming to offer hope to individuals who can not get help anywhere else. one of them claimed that people were getting thousands of dollars a month in donations. So, since I am in the process of being homeless, I thought I would give these websites a try. Thinking, even if I just get enough to keep me going until summer, that would be great.

I'll tell you what I have received so far, a whopping ZERO dollars in donation. People will email you offering donations, but, you can tell they are only scammers trying to get your money. They usually want your full contact information, so that they can send you a large check. However, when you get this check, you are instructed to send a portion of the money to someone else. So, right away, you know the check is going to bounce.

The best ways to send money to anyone is by using a Pay Pal account, or by sending cash. However, if you are going to send cash, send it anonymously. Address it to the person you are donating to, but, but don't put your return address, name, or anything that they can use to get your personal information, and, if you send a letter with your donation don't sign it.

If you want to receive cash donations, use a p.o. box. I'm not sure how smart criminals are these days, but, I would guess that giving out your address is not the best idea. I did that, and, I am waiting for the aftershock. But, all I have to say about that is, if they are trying to use my name to get a loan, good luck getting that gumball. My credit is total crap!

As of June 10th, 2011, I received an eviction notice from the apartment complex where I live. They want $744.00 for an apartment where the rent is normally only $550.00. I did not know that I was in the process of being evicted, because I was out of town taking my brother to the Veteran's Hospital in Ann Arbor MI, where he is being treated for brain cancer. I'm guessing that the notice has been in my mailbox for several days. So, I don't know what is going to happen. I haven't ever had this problem before. I used to earn $23,000.00 a year when I was working, but now I have zero income. It really hurts to see how fast you don't matter.

If you would like to help me in any way. Please email me at Bri_man2007@yahoo.com. Who knows, maybe I'll find someone who has one the lotto, who can spare a few dollars. Or, an oil executive who is sitting on billions. Of course I was just joking about that. I'm trying to have a sense of humor when I need it most.

Thanks very much for reading. I hope you enjoyed my hub, and found the information useful.

I hope you are enjoying my hubs. Writing this one was tough.

My living room

Just me again. Sorry I don't have any horrible earthquake images to show you. That is someone elses story. Not mine.
Just me again. Sorry I don't have any horrible earthquake images to show you. That is someone elses story. Not mine.

2016 NEWS

For those of you who have been reading my hubs, I want to take this time to say thank you. The last 6 months have not been the best for me. I was evicted from my apartment back in August of 2011, and had to move in with my mother. I may have told you about my brother Dennis, and his battle with brain cancer. Dennis passed away on April 13,2012. Which is part of the reason why I have been absent from Hubpages for so long.

The new information that I wanted to pass on, was that my mother died in April of 2014. She was shortly followed by my sister Linda in October of 2014. My mom was 76. My sister Linda was 53. She died of a heart attack, leaving behind her husband Robert. She had no children of her own. There are only 3 of our immediate family left. Myself, my older brother Charlie, and his wife Karen. My oldest sister Debbie lives in Florida with her husband Hue.

I am still living in Brohman, Michigan. I am living in my mom's house until I can get enough money to move back to the city. I do not wish to stay in Brohman, as the bills for living in my mom's house are way more than I can afford alone. My winter electric bill has run up to over $1,7000.00. And, other bills associated with the house are killing me financially.

I was also diagnosed with my own medical problems in 2014. I have fibromyalgia, and constantly need to have medical procedures done to solve other heath issues that rise from having fibromyalgia. On the 25th of April 2016 I have to have an ultrasound on my back to see if I am having kidney or liver problems. I also have to have something called an EMG on my legs to check for nerve damage.

I am assuming that putting my address on this hub is probably why it has not been published. However, you can find me on Youtube by doing a search for brimancandy. My donation video is on my video list. I also have other videos on there that you can watch. One includes some of my artwork, and other's include places I have been.

I hope you liked my hub.

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Comments 20 comments

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Hi brimancandy, good one,, nice to hear your story, thats why I wrote an artcile about avoding schemers also--I hope you get things going for you, life is beautiful and when you look at it, youre very blessed still, I came from a country where one house has only one room mostly in the cities, and you apartment is big enough for you, sorry ok, dont want to say anything bad against you, just keep on hoping and do something about, I am sure with your writings and talent you will surpass obstacles, As long as were still breathing we shall have hope,

Thanks for this article and you posted your pics too, great,

Good day, Maita


The Rope profile image

The Rope 6 years ago from SE US

Brim - I am sorry you are going through so much trouble right now. It makes it difficult to see any of the good around you. I wish you the best fellow hubber and pray that life is good to you this year.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

I hope you didn't get the wrong idea. I have had a great life, and see good around me all the time. However, when it comes to not having money in the United States, you begin to see how quickly you don't matter.

The people whom you assume are there to help everyone, and a government that supports them, and even funds them, will

find many ways not to help you when you need it. Then they will turn around and give a 600 billion dollars to the banks

so they can make it even harder for you to get ahead. Those companies then turn around and use their gift to further screw the American public.

So, it is very hard for someone in my situation to see much

good in corporations. This was my main point in my hub. If you want to give, give to orginazations and people you can

trust. Learn everything you can about it, and give to the

best. There also some people that do great things locally.

Look for them, and help them if you can.

Another point of my hub deals with food. Grocery chains throw away huge amounts of perfectly good food every day.

I hink there should be a way for people in need to get their hands on that food. Nobody should have to starve when all this food is being wasted.

So, some of this was about my situation, but, 90 percent of it was about people who have it a lot worse. And, as a good person, I believe there is a lot more that can be done. But,

nobody is doing it.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

I used to donate to charities, but they kept sending me things. Address labels, note pads, pendants, coffee mugs, you name it. And I did request for a few them to stop. "I don't want this stuff," I told them, "that's NOT why I'm donating. The money is supposed to be going to the cause."

The stuff kept coming in the mail. I however, stopped donating.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

Hi Springboard.

If you don't want the stuff take it to your local thrift store and drop it off. I'm sure they would love to have it.


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I understand what youre saying Briman, specially with the food, Thank you, Maita


LDC2010 profile image

LDC2010 6 years ago from Canada

I like to help others, but this is true..sometimes we dont know where the money goes exactly. Thats why i prefer to help others by giving it by myself in person when visiting poor countries


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

An excellent resource for learning about how a specific charity spends its money is Charity Navigator which you can find here:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

This organization analyzes charities across a range of criteria and then assigns ratings to help you decide which organizations may be of interest to you.

I absolutely understand your concern about how charitable donations are used as well as your excellent points about keeping giving "close to home".


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

Hello Sally's Trove.

Not only does giving close to home make sense, it is also easier to keep tabs on someone local, and check to see if they are legit, rather than these charities that are based over-seas. As those charities are not subject to U.S. Laws, and if they are doing something illegal with your money, or for something other than what it is intended for, you have no way of stopping them from doing it.


mrpyramids1 profile image

mrpyramids1 6 years ago

good subject, but if you contact the one you donate for to ask where your money is going How can you be sure they will be honest ?!


kkmmmmmm 6 years ago

not a dime more ever!!


fyen 6 years ago

Good subject to talk about...

we all dont know whether that organisation is good or not...or do they really donate it to the less fortune one. But what I learn is that they need to pay it back sooner or later(karma). Just hope that this won't stop people to do donation to people who need it.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 6 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

I still think the safest things you can donate to the less fortunate are food and clothing. When it comes to donating money, just make sure you know where it is going. Investigate that charity, and find out what they are really all about. Some people who work for crooked charities might not even know it, as a lot of what is decided is dripped down by someone at the top.

The sad thing is, Shelter is still the only thing that can not be had without money. And, I have not found one orginization that offers help with getting people into an actual home, where as, they will send people to a nasty shelter which is run on donations. Which is another cozy investment and write-off for smart rich businessmen, who certainly would never live there.

I don't want to rant, but, from my experience, if a shelter isn't getting well funded. It won't be a shelter for long. Some even get assistance from the government to keep their doors open, and some get huge amounts of money for it. Yet that same government won't give that same money to an individual to get them into a real home.

Claiming that it's communism. WHO GIVES A #$@@!

Do you think that someone living in the gutter gives a crap where their might be home comes from? What is the big frickin deal? Get over this political bullcrap, and start helping people in this country, and stop sending our money overseas to help rich oil nations.

Sorry, I just think our government is looking in all of the wrong places to prove to the world that we are so great, when we can't even stop corruption, hatred, and hunger in our own back yard. I'm sick of it.


amanda 5 years ago

I don't know what I'm going to do I have.3 kids and my mom killed herself and left me 2 more kids that I love so much I just.need some Christmas help they won't understand not having a Christmas please email me at tiah24@yahoo.com I don't won't pity just help I've worked all my life


freelanceauthor profile image

freelanceauthor 4 years ago

Thanks for the share, this should caution people planning to donate online. It is best to give them to reliable organizations that truly channel the funds to the intended beneficiaries. Great hub


Willbe Outtolunch 4 years ago

On donating. If you want to donate to a poor country in Africa or somewhere, just send them a water pump or shovels or anything else that is useful. Don't buy a plane ticket and go to gawk at "those poor, poor people". Most of those countries have been living the same way for thousands of years. They didn't think they were poor before, it was business as usual.


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 4 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

My hub was mainly about giving to charity for those in need in the United States. I do not suggest to send anything to Africa. Mainly because there are more middle men involved in that situation, then you can shake a stick at. Some church groups do go on missions to places such as Africa, and they also send care packages abroad. I would find out who those groups are, find out how legit they are, and proceed to give with caution. I would not suggest to send them money, and I agree Willbe Outtolunch, getting on a plane and going there by yourself is NOT a good idea. Foolish, and possibly very dangerous, as there are those just waiting to take avantage of foreigners.


A L 4 years ago

Don't kid yourself or anyone else…. Churches are the biggest rip off artist of all!!!! I'm a christian but I also know that the con artist know how easy it is to be a 'pretend christian' and con you out of many $$$$$


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

hmm...nice article. I don't doubt it. I would just donate food gift cards, or gas cards, or take food in yourself. That is the best way to do it, or ask a church if their is a family in need and you can go donate to the family personally. :)


brimancandy profile image

brimancandy 3 years ago from Northern Michigan Author

Just a comment. The way to NOT be taken by a con artist, is not to give money. A gift card is ok, because that limits the receiver to using that gift card for an intended purpose, and not just pocket it. A gift card is also good, because it can't be trickled down through an organization.

If you are going to give a gift card, I suggest a store like Walmart. I don't particularly like Walmart, but they are pretty much everywhere, so if you were to give a card, the receiver could easily find a place to use it. They also sell groceries at most of their stores, and gift cards can be used to buy food there, and things like personal care products, and if the person in need has infant children, Diapers and baby formula which is not in any way cheap!

I was a cashier at a major retailer for 15 years, so I know about how much personal supplies can cost. Giving a gift like that, can help a person save the money they are not spending on that stuff to pay their rent, and utility bills.

It is quite a shame in this country how much our government is allowing Utility companies, Banks, renters, and oil companies, and supermarkets to continue to gouge our pockets. This is a very greedy country we live in, and the people who have the least suffer the most. It's very sad.

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