I love giving to charity but I hate those mailings that most organizations use to ask for it. You have the very long 4-page letter that no one reads, along with a reply card and envelope. It always makes me wonder "how much did this mailing cost? how much of my donation will actually go towards helping someone vs. paying some ad agency for this mailing?" Maybe I'm too much of an Internet person because it all seems like a huge waste of paper. If I see something on TV or hear about it in a magazine, I'll Google it and see what it's all about. Also, I think at my age most people already have certain charities picked out that they regularly donate to. Yes? Am I wrong? I have 3 charities I donate to. And I invite you to consider one of them: Heifer.org
Their mission is to give people the means to produce food for themselves. Instead of giving people money or food, they give people live animals and training in how to care for them and pass on the gift. For very little money, about $30, you could give a family the means to eat meat all year! Plus, I think it's so funny to tell people, "I bought a flock of chicks in your name" when I get virtual gifts for friends. It inevitably cracks people up, which is helpful when all you gave them was a card. I took it one step further for my cousin Jeff's Christmas present. He didn't want things for the holidays so he said "make a donation in my name." I thought that was so sweet of him and decided to do it.
I bought him a flock of chicks from Heifer.org and then I sent him several letters throughout the year from his "Cuttack Chicks" who were presumably sent to India. Each letter had pictures of them getting bigger. After almost a year, Bruce & I made a box with fake postage from india, and inside were 6 baby chicks - I had to coordinate early with my Mom to get chenille chicks around Easter. He opened the "package from India" to find the baby chicks, the offspring from his Cuttack Chicks, representing that his gift had been passed on to another family.
It was so much fun to learn about India while I searched for photos to include with the letters from the chicks. It really made me appreciate everything I have, and it's hard to see people who live in such poverty. Heifer provides a great yearly magazine that tells the success stories of families who have prospered because of their animals and how they're helping to change their local community by passing on animals or working together to pool resources to bring to market. It's amazing to see what so little money can do for people.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are almost here. If you've been following this blog and thought about buying my book, let me toss out a little incentive. If you buy my book through Lulu or even my Etsy store, I'll donate the cost of the book ($10) to Heifer.org. Just 3 books would allow Heifer to give a bee hive to a family, or a flock of chicks or ducklings. Just 6 books would equal a trio of rabbits, and 12 books would equal a goat! I hope you'll consider it, and please consider buying through my Etsy store so that I can send you a personal thank you and some extra goodies.
Tell me about your favorite charity in the comments!
Gift of chicks gives eggs,
then much needed protein meat.
And most of all: hope.