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Supporting Charities and Saving Lives ~ Donations to Charities

Updated on March 4, 2016

Brotherly love

At a certain stage of human development, most children are very self-centered. This is normal. Fortunately, and with the gentile guidance of loving adults in their lives, most children get beyond this stage and readily start sharing their things with others. It starts with simple things...perhaps the sharing of food at the breakfast or dinner table with their siblings. As one gets older, perhaps they take it upon themselves to rake some leaves for an elderly neighbor lady.

Charity is akin to love and brotherly love towards others, whether it be in one's own family, the neighbors or a cause held near and dear, it is all important.

Supporting charities and saving lives is a worthy undertaking and many people do it as a matter of course.

Those early lessons of sharing and caring are absorbed first at home and then gradually taught by others as children are exposed to more of the world.

Let's brighten one another's lives!

Cheery looking Amaryllis flower
Cheery looking Amaryllis flower | Source

CHARITY - Why Do You Give Charity?

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule would have us treating others as we, ourselves, would like to be treated.

Practically all of the world's major religions teach the importance of giving to charity and following the Golden Rule. While the wording may be a bit different in each case, it pretty much boils down to the same meaning of sharing and caring about our fellow man and all of God's creatures and giving of ourselves towards that effort.

Bowl of apples

Hungry people would be so happy to have a bowl of apples available to eat.  If you have apple trees, why not donate some of the harvest to a local food pantry?
Hungry people would be so happy to have a bowl of apples available to eat. If you have apple trees, why not donate some of the harvest to a local food pantry? | Source

Lending a helping hand

Whether one has a large bank account and can easily write out checks to the numerous wonderful charities that serve good causes, it is nice to know that there are numerous other ways in which one can help.

Most charities can exist solely because of the many volunteers that work with them giving of their time and effort. Without volunteers, most would have to close their doors because there would be no way to pay for all of that manpower.

For over a decade I worked as a volunteer counselor at an assistance ministry here in Houston. My mother and niece both volunteered and worked in the food pantry. Upon proof of a documented crisis we could assist people in many different ways. Some of them included the following:

  • Help towards paying rents
  • Help in paying utilities
  • Furnishing clothing and other supplies out of our thrift shop
  • Help with furnishing food
  • Help in paying other bills such as the cost of prescriptions

We had other programs where volunteers worked on house repairs of indigent people. Some delivered bags of food once a month to elderly people who could not drive and get to the ministry. Holiday meals as well as school supplies were furnished to those needing help. This is not an inclusive listing as we helped in these and other ways, but little of it and in some cases none of it would have been accomplished without the hundreds of volunteer hours accomplishing those things.

Food pantry items

Food pantry items
Food pantry items | Source

Giving is winning

Do you give your clothing and other items to charities?

See results

Charitable contributions

Many people think only of money when it comes to charitable contributions. But most charities count on other items as well...such as donations of clothing, household items and goods and services in order to keep their doors open and operating to best effect.

Were it not for people donating their outgrown or no longer worn clothing, we could not have given out clothing to those who needed it at the assistance ministry.

Items like pots and pans and even basic furniture items could be given to people who had fled abusive situations with nothing but the clothes on their backs, or who had survived a tragedy such as a fire which consumed their belongings, if others had not donated theirs.

Sadly, many people discard belongings at the curb on garbage pick-up days that could be donated to the many charities happy to receive them. In addition to re-directing them towards people who need such items, other things are sold in the thrift shops which help to raise money in order that rents and prescriptions can be paid (as an example). So before tossing out that perfectly good basket or article of clothing or glass vase that you got with your last bouquet of flowers and that you no longer want...please consider giving it to a charity!

Citizens for Animal Protection charity in Houston, Texas

Citizens for Animal Protection charity in Houston, Texas
Citizens for Animal Protection charity in Houston, Texas | Source

Types of charities

There are many notable charities. International charities include such well known ones such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, both of which reach across all borders helping people through disasters and all types of need.

There are animal charities (near and dear to my heart!) as well as people charities, children's charities, environmental protection charities, medical research charities, charities that support the arts and others too numerous to mention.

Painted on a wall inside of the Citizens for Animal Protection charity in Houston, Texas.
Painted on a wall inside of the Citizens for Animal Protection charity in Houston, Texas. | Source

Charity Navigator

Because most people have good hearts and truly wish to help others, some dishonest people create charities where most of the hard earned donated dollars go to pad their bank accounts and little of it actually benefits the named cause. So one must be smart about which charities one chooses to support.

It is pretty easy to tell if the charity is local and you are spending volunteer hours there. One can see results first-hand like I did when carrying groceries to a car one day and the small child holding his mother's hand was so excited to see the top of a box of cereal in the bag. He was truly grateful to see that food! At least he would not go to bed hungry that night!

But when sending checks to most charities, if you wish to find out that the majority of your money is truly serving the cause instead of overhead expenses of the charity, you might be happy to learn of which rates the different charities as to how the money is allocated.

I would hardily recommend that you do this simple online search before writing checks.

Be careful when donating to charities

The value of supporting charities is tremendous for not only the recipient, but also the donor. For in the giving of ourselves to others we are enriched by the process and often get back much more from the experience than we even bargained.

Maya Angelou once stated the following: "I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver."

Is that not reason enough to start giving and sharing with others? Donations to charities will be saving lives...and one of them just might be that of the giver!

Why We Should Give to Charity

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suzanne,

      It is very true what you said. One never knows when one could be on the receiving end of needing charity so it is good to share what we have when we are able.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      It's important to learn sharing and giving, helps build a more compassionate society! Plus it's also comforting to know that charity services are out there for everyone. Voted useful and up!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

      You are so correct in that not only there is great need, but it is important to know that one's generosity is spent in the best way possible with the greatest effect.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning Peggy I think I read this before but my senior moments sometimes kick in :D

      Charities and giving are such an important way for us to give back be it in kind or with funds. And knowing to whom we can give and be assured that those who are really in need receive the benefit from them is soooo important and knowing that there are so many ways

      to give is a heads up for each of us. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

      Angels are on the way to you this morning ps

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks Au fait. :)

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