Saturday, May 24, 2008

How to be Generous When You Have Not Much to Give

Maybe it should be titled, "How to be charitable when you have not much to give."

When I was getting a regular paycheck, I sometimes liked to donate money here and there to various charitable organizations: the Ocean Conservancy, Salvation Army, local public radio stations, etc. Now, however, I am no longer in a financial position to donate money.

I was embarrassed the other day when my alma mater called asking for a $200 donation. Sneakily, they asked me first of all, what had I done with my mathematics degree? I told them I had become a survey statistician. Of course I didn't tell them that I was now unemployed. So, thinking that I had this impressive job, they asked for the donation. I stuttered a bit, and said I couldn't afford it. Then he said, "Well, how about $100?" Again, I replied, "I'm sorry, but I can't afford to give right now." Then, to make matters worse, he said, "Well, what about a small donation of only $35?" I went on to say, "If gas and grocery prices were more affordable, perhaps I could. But, for now I am unable." Finally he let me off the hook and we said goodbye to each other. After I hung up, I was somewhat infuriated that my university would ask me for money when I had paid thousands for my education. Wasn't that enough?? They should give ME money to help pay off the credit card bills I have, since I used credit cards to help pay for school. And yes, seven years later I'm still paying on the credit I used for school.

But anyway, that is neither here nor there. The purpose of this post is to make you aware of several charities I have been participating in for the last few months on a daily basis. It only takes a few minutes a day and is completely free. Before I get into it, though, I must first say that these methods should not replace monetary donations, if you've been thinking about or making monetary donations. However, if you're poor like me, there are some things you can do, and all it takes is a few clicks of the mouse.

The first is known as The Hunger Site. All you need to do is click the big button that says, "Click here to give - it's free!" Upon doing so, a small amount of food will be donated to someone in need. Then, if you can spare just a few more moments, click on the tabs at the top of the screen and click the button for each tab. The tabs are: Breast Cancer, Child Health, Literacy, Rainforest, Animal Rescue.

The other is called FreeRice. This little bit is rather fun. It educates you and tests you at the same time. All you need to do is correctly answer a vocabulary question to donate a small amount of rice. Today, for instance, I found myself at level 38 and had donated 1,360 grains of rice.

Who pays for all this, you might ask? Well, sponsors do! And yes, these are legitimate click-to-give sites. Do some research to find out for yourself, but if you must find out for sure, the reputable snopes.com has an article you can read: http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/charity/hungersite.asp

These two are the ones I've been using regularly to satisfy my need to be charitable, however, there are others. For instance, there is a small list HERE and HERE. I have not researched these last two links, though.

If there is a way you have been giving, please leave a comment and let us know.

8 comments:

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Appears you're back in your saddle, my dear.
Pray you don't buck yourself out of it...

~ Alex

Siegfried said...

I just receive my vacation money and I'm planning to go to Venice with my girlfriend this year.
Anyway, I'm still giving donation to the Church.
Some people stopped me by the supermarket early this year and asked me for 5-euros/month donation. I realized too late it's really a 60 euros/year donation.
Nice hearing from you again.
I really missed you!

Sophia said...

Hi Alex,

You're right. I am, at least for now. It's funny how when depressed, I turn inward and talk about myself and my depression, and when I'm feeling a bit better, I turn outward.

Sophia said...

Siegfried,

I've missed you, too! How's my ole pal?

Hey, going to Venice? Maybe you can dance at a masquerade ball at the Carnival of Venice. Maybe before you go, you can read a book I recommend called _Cry to Heaven_, by Anne Rice. It'll get you in the Venetian mood.

I don't know what I'd donate to now if I had money, but it would probably be an environment- or wildlife-oriented charity.

Hope to see you again soon.

Siegfried said...

I like Anne Rice. The Mummy. Interview with the Vampire. I'll see if I can get hold of the book.
I am learning how not to be depressed. It can creep in slowly if one is not careful.
Venice used to be the center of the world.

Christi said...

Here are a couple website that can give you new places to help.

http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Philanthropy/Free_Donations/

http://www.savetheworldwithmusic.com/

http://www.freepoverty.com/

http://www.freeflour.com/

:o}
~ Christi

Sophia said...

Hi Siegfried,

If you learn how not to be depressed, let me know the secrets. So far, everything I've used to combat it has failed. Lately I've found a good temporary fix, though. I just hope my body doesn't become tolerant of it, or else it will lose its effect. See my most recent post (June 5, 2008) for more details. I don't know if you can find this in the Netherlands but maybe you can find a good substitute?

A few weeks ago I was strolling down the grocery aisle when an employee offered me a sample of Monster Energy Drink. Just a small sample forced me into an elevated mood. I probably won't try drinking an entire can. :)

Sophia said...

Hi Christi,

Thanks for the new links! I've tried the music link and discovered that my music trivia knowledge is pretty bad.

And "Free Poverty" proves how bad my knowledge of geography is.

Free Flour, however, seems to be up my alley. :)