Posted by Catherine Bertram
A wonderful quote from Charles Dickens. With the holidays right around the corner, in addition to giving thanks and spending time with family and friends, we think about what we can do to help those who are less fortunate. We have a family tradition that involves our children. On Christmas Eve, we each bring a suggestion of a charity to the dinner table and the family decides together which ones we will give to for Christmas. As the children have grown, they have even started to do some research on the Internet about various options. After the holidays, then we watch what the charity does, as well as how it relates to current events, and talk about it at the dinner table. I think it has made our children feel more involved and empowered in an age where watching the news can be rather overwhelming even for adults.
Charitable giving is even more critical now given the challenges in our economy. According to Charity Navigator, an excellent source of information on non-profit organizations, 86% of the non-profits surveyed in 2009 reported that the economy was having a "negative" or "very negative" effect on the services they were able to provide.
Charity Navigator is an excellent tool to use to find charities that spark passion in your heart. Below are a couple of the charities, listed in no particular order for you to consider:
Helping our Nation’s Vets and their families – Fisher House Foundation
Feeding the Hungry – Second Harvest and Salvation Army
Educating Our Children – Mr. Holland’s Opus
Literacy – First Book
Of course, these are just a few of choices out there. There are also countless faith-based organizations. You can also consider your local humane society, public libraries, arts organizations and homeless shelters.
I will conclude with this thought:
"There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else."
Peyton Conway March