Donating Triggers Good Vibes

Donating Triggers Good Vibes

By Brett Kondratiew

Giving vs Receiving

Remember back all those years when as a child, you couldn’t wait for Christmas. What marvelous presents am I going to get this time?  It was all about you, but as you mature, you realize that it’s the giving that makes you feel good. That giving makes you feel better than receiving.

Scientific fact that donating makes you feel good

Donating to your charity of choice is pretty much the same; and the reason behind it is has some scientific evidence. The reason we feel good about it, is because it activates the pleasure centers in the brain. Donating is a real “mood booster” much like the feeling that many feel when they exercise.

Helping Others in Need

Fortunately, most of us in the western world were born into favorable circumstances.  Therefore, I believe it should be an obligation of those with abundance to help those in need. Donating is not just for human beings. Animals suffer all forms of cruelty and because they are helpless and without a voice, the question of donating should be a “no brainer”. Whether it be to stop poaching of elephants or to end the clearing of the Orangutan habitat for palm oil production animals face daily victimization by humans. Only the really insensitive would not feel a need to help.

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Seasonal Cheer

Seasonal Cheer

By Ross Turner

 

Gather ‘Round The Fire

It seems to happen every year; the crisp air rolls in, the coats come out, the trees put on their show, and lo, the holidays are upon us. The holiday season is a time of celebration, togetherness, and generosity.  Starting with Thanksgiving, peaking with the December biggies of Hanukkah and Christmas, and capping off with the ever-rowdy New Year’s we give thanks, reunite with family and friends, and spread as much seasonal cheer as possible.

Fruits of our Labor

As it has for thousands of years, the cold of fall and winter tended to draw people indoors and into close proximity with one another. Huddled inside and harvest gathered, there was little to do but tell stories, play games, cook and eat together, and generally enjoy the fruits of the year’s labor. The Danish have a word for this: hygge, or “a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.” Though many of us don’t farm for a living anymore, we carry on this tradition symbolically in our yearly coming-together for the winter. Yet for those without a warm den to retreat to, or people to fill it, these times can feel anything but cheerful.

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Donations Accepted

Donations Accepted

by James Moore

The nation has survived the one two punch of ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ and is set to tackle the next big event…..after-Christmas sales.  However, somewhere between, we now have to manage ‘Giving Tuesday’. Excuse me for not caring, about a day designed for companies to profit from; blindly donating my hard-earned cash.

We already have Thanksgiving, a day where we all say thank you without having to take out our wallets and give. Why do we need another giving day? I mean, I get it. If we buy more crap, the people we do business with will give some paltry amount to charities. Amazon, are you listening? Why should they get the credit for donating my money to others?  What a load of capitalistic garbage.

Speaking of garbage, we give away plenty this time of year to our local landfills. Donations are up because we have to clear out our house of all the old stuff we no longer want.  When I was a kid, our TV, like our car, lasted for decades. Now, if your flat screen is two years old, it’s time to part ways with it and buy a bigger, flatter, and more expensive one.

I feel bad for all the people in this country who are in need of the basics.  I would love nothing more than to donate to their cause, but frankly, I’m tapped out. I got kids of my own who need more new crap because they don’t want to face the shame of taking my two-year old TV off my hands.  They want a new one just like me, and dammit, they’re entitled to one.

Sure, I could always donate it, along with some old video games, an unused, unopened X-box from a few years back, and my CD collection to a church or organization who is collecting them. I just don’t have that kind of time. I’d have to call them up and make arrangements for them to pick the stuff up. Worse, they might expect me to take it down to them.  If I had that kind of time, I would just hold a yard sale. The trash bin is more convenient.

I also don’t get why I am asked if I want to give money to some cause a store promotes every time I go through a check-out line. Every store has its own charity it promotes and when I tell the clerk I don’t want to donate to theirs, I end up getting stink-eye from some gal with magic marker eyebrows.

To make my life more miserable, when I step out of the store, there’s some dude in a funny looking hat ringing a bell with one hand while his other is palm up seeking my money.  When I refuse to acknowledge his request, I get more stink-eye. When did it become legal to hold up someone in the name of donating to a cause?

I’d love nothing more than to burn rubber as I pull out of the parking lot, but I can’t since it looks more like the 405 freeway during rush hour.  Great.  Now I am stuck in a line of cars looking to make a left turn out of the lot while some guy covered in filth sits at the exit with a bucket in one hand and a sign in the other. His sign reads, “Woondid, humless, vet who has no fude to eet.” In the seven minutes it takes me to get out of the mall parking lot, he pulls in eighty bucks from people who just want him to stop looking their way. I’m thinking, “Your donations are making him rich and you poor, you fools.” Guilt costs money I realize.

And the pain continues. When I stop by the PO box I am overwhelmed with a box stuffed to capacity with, you guessed it, requests for money. OMG, didn’t they get my note; the one where I begged them to stop sending me requests for money, because I have a lifetime supply of address labels, note pads, all occasion cards and calendars. What I am missing is enough money to make it to the end of the month.

I figure I do plenty of donating all year round. It’s called paying taxes. It’s suppose to feel good when you give money. All I know is the entity I donate to is pretty slick because no matter how much I give them, they want more while I get nothing.  The IRS doesn’t even send me those return address labels  as a thank you for the donation they are asking me to mail to them.

Do you know why the average American is so much better than me at giving their money to causes? It’s because it is easier than donating their time.  Some people have more money than time. Other people would rather look away with a fiver in their extended hand than volunteer their time. The last thing they want is to feel uncomfortable seeing first hand a bad situation.  So my explanation is that most Americans would rather toss a few bucks at a cause, any cause, so they can feel they have done their part.  Hell, the average American won’t donate blood unless they are promised snacks and a gift bag.

I know what you are thinking. Go ahead and call me whatever negative name comes to mind. Tell me you feel sorry for me for having such a horrible outlook on the world. Convince me how wrong I am. Convince me that the average person truly cares and feels the pain of others which is why they donate to causes.

You know what?  Put up or shut up.  If you feel that sorry for me, then donate to me.  I’ll open a GoFundMe page. Save me while you still can. I promise you, the money you send me will be put to excellent use. I can get the mental health treatment I sorely need. I can get my teeth fixed. I will be able to turn my life around and with it gain a fresh and more positive perspective.  I will no longer feel like all I am is another guy to take money from. Instead, I will be that guy who receives it in large sums.

Who knows, if enough money rolls in, I can quit one of my three jobs and travel the world. This will allow me to see just how much I have to be thankful for and to feel bad for others who are less fortunate. Maybe then I will feel like giving to worthy causes. However, until that time, I will accept your donations in the form of cash, gift cards, money orders, and direct deposit. Just don’t donate an old flat screen. I will accept nothing less than a new 72 inch sucker with surround sound and wi-fi connect.

Happy Holidays,

Jim