Charitable giving is down.  Predictions have been that donations would be up this year, but the reality appears to be otherwise.

I have an admittedly low sample size;  I don’t talk to many charities and the 2012 donation amounts aren’t out, yet.  The  one I do have access to says that donations this year are among the lowest in memory.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a bit busy cleaning out a hoader’s house.   Last weekend, we tackled one of the stashes of toiletries.    We came out with several cases of soap, shampoo, blankets, towels, and sleeping pads.

For the right charity, an unopened case of bar soap is better than gold.

When our new-found treasures were delivered to Mary’s Place, I’m told the nuns wept.   Mary’s Place is a transitional housing complex attached to a homeless shelter.   They were totally and completely out of hygiene products for the residents.

Something that means nothing to me meant the world to someone else.   I was just looking for a useful place to dump the stuff we can’t use or don’t want to store, and I made a nun cry.*

People need so much, and so much of what they need is trivial to my family.  A blanket? A bar of soap?  That’s nothing…to me.

As we go through the rest of the stuff, our focus will be different.   Instead of, “Can we sell this at a garage sale, or should we donate it?”, it’s going to be “Can someone get more value out of this than we’ll get by selling it?”  We can sell a comforter for $5, or give it to someone who needs to stay warm in the winter.

I’ll forgo $5 for that warm fuzzy feeling.

*Check one off the bucket list.

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    1. Do you think the sphere of higher income taxes and a reduction in charitable donations to income has caused those who donate the most to charity donate less?

      • I’m absolutely sure of it. Charitable donations have always been an ethical tax dodge. When someone with a huge tax bill finds out that donating $50,000 can drop them a tax bracket and reduce their tax bill by $60,000, they do it.

    2. Awww, you made a nun cry in a good way…that was unexpected. 😉 I am so happy your MIL’s hoarding may end up helping quite a few people!

      As for charity, I give my time instead of money, but that’s the norm for me no matter what the year. This year, I visit hospice patients weekly. Last year, it was Meals on Wheels. Although now I am seriously thinking of taking a case of soap somewhere…

    3. Check that off the bucket list! You’re funny. Just remember you can still be charitable even when you don’t have your own stuff to give away.

    4. I’m a big fan of yours and read your post daily. This was one of the best.
      Warm fuzzy feeling definately beats $5

    5. I admittedly dont give as much as I would like to to charities. I do give lots of clothes and books I dont wear or read.

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