Have you changed how you give to charity?

Fillies Fan

International Man of Mystery!
Trader Group
I have. I always gave to St. Jude's and still do, but at a much-reduced amount. I also donated to various good causes I saw on HCW. I had decided to stop that but, being a sucker for children, I made an exception for @XUfan's drive to help combat juvenile diabetes.

But, with my ex's death from cancer last August I stopped sending most money to the States and instead contribute it to the Israeli Cancer Association. Even with that, however, I am giving much less to organized charities.

Instead, I have decided to cut out the middle man and instead help three Israeli families that I know personally and who are in severe financial trouble. I don't call it "charity" (at least not to them) but in reality it comes down to the same thing. For the one with the most severe problem, I buy all of their groceries and their children's clothing. For a second one, I take them to a supermarket once or twice a month and let them fill up their cart (generally costing me about $300). For the last one, the amount is much less. I give her roughly $125 each month to spend in a supermarket.

In all three cases, the amounts are determined by what I know to be their needs. In none of these cases, are the families able to help themselves, at least not more than they are currently doing. Of course, it also helps that I like all three of them.

Admittedly, all together it is not a heck of a lot of money. None of the three families could manage even if I gave that family everything that I give all three. Still, it makes a big difference for the three of them and I feel that I am actually accomplishing something -- as opposed to being a drop in a bucket for a major charity.


Trader Group
@Fillies Fan, you are a true testament to the adage "Charity begins at home". By helping people in your community, you know the money is going to where it is needed. It offers you a chance to do good and you benefit from the social aspect of getting together and going out with the families. I cannot think of a better way to help those who need it.
Where I live, there are people who are well-off and there are people who barely get by each month. Expenses are high in my county and some people are too proud to ask for help. However, many members of the community will quietly help a child in need. I have seen teachers and coaches buy new sneakers for a child who went through a growth spurt. At Christmas time, many residents will give money to our school nurse who uses it to buy gift cards to local eateries or the IGA food store. They do this for the kids who get free breakfast or lunch at school,but these kids do not get those meals on winter breaks.
There was also a diabetic child who had high and low sugar numbers that were very concerning. Our nurse was able to get someone to purchase a special pump / monitor for this child and it is a huge help for keeping his sugar number under control. Our Lions club pays for the breakfast of one kid who has behavioral problems. It is healthier for this kid to get an egg sandwich rather than have a sugary breakfast that will cause him to have outbursts.
Living in Long Island, I have learned that personally helping a cause is more valuable than contributing money to a charity. Volunteers are so needed in many ways. My school left this imprint on my girls. D1 just came back from Guatemala and was able to help teach people to knit and work on English with the kids and adults while she improved her Spanish. D1 saw how poor some villages were and bought souvenirs from these people to help support them. D1's National Honor society moderator is so proud of her efforts to do good for others. At her school, D1 started Bras 4 a Cause to give gently used or new bras to women in shelters. They gave some of these bras to the women in Guatemala. Another drive on our island collected school supplies for immigrant children in a town near her school and the leftover supplies were given to school children in Guatemala.
I am most humbled by the generosity of my Church, our American legion post and an Island resident who adopted a girl from Guatemala who contributed $500 in total to help fund D1's trip. They responded to a letter sent by D1 detailing her trip and the mom of the girl from Guatemala donated after talking to d1's former teacher. I am very proud of D1 and all she has accomplished.