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Donating to Charity - it is not all about the Money

Updated on May 3, 2011

In light of the earthquakes in Haiti, millions of people are reaching for their wallets to provide all the help they can. While I think this is wonderful, donating to charities does not have to be about the money. In fact, I rarely just give money to charities to do with what they please (although I did donate to the Haiti relief effort). I guess you could say I am leery of how much of that money will go to overhead for the charity (and yes, I know some has to). There are just so many other ways to give.

For us personally, we prefer to give to local organizations in a more personal way than just giving money. Having kids probably has something to do with that as they don't quite grasp it as well when I write a check, as they do when I give a bag of groceries. They need that tangible evidence and frankly, I know that when I donate a can of peas, the family that gets those peas is not going to get 80% of the can - they will get the entire can.

We prefer to donate items to charities or people in need. We donate underwear and socks through our church, we donate mittens and hats through the schools and it seems there is always a food drive going on somewhere. When I am shopping I deliberately seek out items that can be donated locally to people that need them. In essence I spend money getting items people will use, rather than giving the money directly to the charity.

Another huge and very impacting way to help charities is to donate your time. This is also easier to do for local charities than in other countries. If you are involved in a church, I am sure they have plenty of missions projects available for you to help with. We volunteer our time within our church as well as within the community. My kids seeing me volunteer my time or working right alongside me is much more impacting than if I were to write a check. If you don't have the money to donate I bet you could most likely find some time to give.

When it comes to huge disasters like the earthquakes in Haiti, there really isn't much the average person can do from their home. Very few people can physically get to far away countries to help. In this instance money is typically the best way to give. Please pick and choose carefully the organizations you donate to though. Also consider donating money to an organization that specifically helps with a certain aspect of the disaster. For instance the organization we donated to will go in after all the rescue and recovery operations are finished and help the people of Haiti rebuild their lives.

Donating to charities is a wonderful thing to do and I highly recommend it. But giving money is not always the best choice for a person or a situation. Consider carefully how best you can help people in need - and then do it!


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    • treasuresyw profile image

      treasuresyw 7 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Great Hub! I love it when I find people that feel how I feel about things. I always give things like food and clothes but I also give money. I just know that I am glad for the day when I get my car and me and the kids can get to those places to help. Thanks for sharing this. Peace

    • profile image

      Bill 7 years ago

      While disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti certainly requires extraordinary measures and we must help all we can, there are many, many children here in our country who are in desperate need. Each of us who are blessed with so much should make an effort to help in a quite way at least one child in need - be it monetary or mentoring. No fan fair, no tel-a-thon. We could make such a difference.

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 7 years ago

      A thoughtful and well-worded hub.

    • Springboard profile image

      Springboard 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I actually used to donate to charities more in the past than I do now mainly because they kept on sending me things. Address labels, tote bags, pendants, coffee cups, greeting cards, you name it. I called a few of them and told them look, I did't donate the money to have it go to gifts for myself. I want the money (as much of it as can be) to be directed to the cause I'm donating to.

      The things never stopped coming. On their end, however, the money did stop.

    • salt profile image

      salt 7 years ago from australia

      Haiti is important. I wish them well in getting through this first week or two. People do such amazing things. ((()))

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Jennifer you are nice person who still care with other people especially for people who suffering right now. I agree with you , it is no all about the money. We can give anything when people need it. Like you said above. Volunteers also give their mind, time and muscle to help others

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 7 years ago from US

      Thank you so much,I have been trying to get this across for so long, when you do this instead of writing checks you know you are helping and we should all care enough to know what we are doing is making a difference, Very good Hub!

    • profile image

      kims3003 7 years ago

      well done A++ article. great writing style

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines


      Nice thoughts about giving money as donation. I agree. When money changes hands- it almost always changes, too - it dissipates to smaller change.

    • Chris EastMan profile image

      Chris EastMan 7 years ago

      Helo, You have good hub, It i grea to help the other specilly at their difficult times.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

      Jennifer, Thoughtful hub! You are right there are many ways to give! Giving is so rewarding; for the one receiving as well as the one giving... Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

    • divij profile image

      divij 7 years ago from Bangalore

      nice hub


    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      My son went last year to Galvaston and you could still the devastation. I am the last person not wanting to give but again in todays paper are pictures of people begging for food. Now with all the million pledged from governments and given from people the roads should be paved from gold. Either the money pledged from governments were never given or somebody making a good business.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Excellent hub. You give very wise advice, because not all the charities out there are reputable. I gave money to the Red Cross for Katrina victims only to find out that only some of the money went to the victims. The Red Cross used a lot of the money elsewhere in other parts of the world.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Giving is a direct path to receiving blessings. In other words, "You can't out give God."

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 7 years ago from Guwahati, India

      To help people in need is the best service to almighty. Thanks.