It never fails. Every year some person who means well asks me several questions in regards to gift giving and boundaries. Therefore, for the next five weeks I will address the question and provide my clinical answer. I spent several hours this week putting together Thanksgiving baskets, and the question I was asked several times was “How do I give to charity?”
My first clinical and professional thought is “Seriously? Why do you want to give now? Why not in April- give your time working with kids who want to garden? Why not July, to an agency that fills backpacks with school supplies for kids in need? Why not at your birthday or a birthday of a love one?”
I know a great agency that gives birthday cakes and throw parties for homeless youth. It seems that most people only give at the holidays. This is great, as many people need the cheering up, and who doesn’t like a pretty package? However, I challenge you as you move forth in the New Year that you continue to give all year long. The easiest way is when you clean out your closet. Instead of Goodwill, take your items to a local shelter. Many family shelters will also take linen (I love Charlene’s idea), and dishes. It’s a win/win, as you know your things aren’t being sold for profit. I do have a good friend who was genuinely asking me how she can give to a shelter. To other individuals wondering, it is as simple as walking in and saying “I want to make a donation”. The nice person at the desk will often smile, hand you a brochure, and ask if you want a tax write off. If you want to give something to fill a specific need, many shelters have a wish list that you can fulfill 365 days a year.
To decide more on how one should give, read this short great article