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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