When it comes to the topic giving the first thing that comes to mind is often money. While money is a major sacrifice for most of us, the topic of giving really covers all of our resources. Each one can be as viable and valuable to others as the next.
A few alternatives to giving money include time, talents and physical resources. These general categories can be broken down into numerous activities based on the person or group of people in need.
A Few Examples
- Mentoring programs for youth
- Hospice company for Elderly and Sick
- Volunteering for any non-skilled job at Church, Schools, Hospitals, etc
(UnitedWay can help you find more)
- Professional skills such as a roofer for Habitat for Humanity or a Doctor for Doctors without Borders
- Education to teach or tutor
- Life skills such as cooking for the hungry
- Providing shelter by opening up your home
- Offering tools, equipment or transportation
- Providing a venue for an event or organization
The list above is just a small sample of the possibilities but the point is that ANYONE who has the desire can give to others and make a meaningful impact. Just give what you can, regardless of what resource it is.
The answer for many is a combination of resources. I absolutely love giving my time, but that is not always feasible while raising a house full of kiddos. As I grow older I am sure there will be shift but for right now I tend to give money more than any other resource. I struggle at times to decide where to give as I tend to obsess over making the biggest impact for the donation.
Truth is, the impact is not something I have any control over. I really do not have the capacity to make these decisions on my own, and luckily I don’t have to. Taking a step back, saying a prayer and asking for direction is the answer every time.
Where to Give Money
For me giving money starts at the source, with God. Tithing comes first and everything else falls into place. I personally have always felt a calling to help people in my community, especially young families that do not have basic resources and victims of abuse.
When it comes to giving on a national and international level the options are many. Many find peace in choosing a cause and doing what they can to help. This is something I highly recommend for those sitting on the fence.
Causes can range from basic needs such as water and food, widespread medical assistance, specific diseases and cancers, disaster relief, age/gender specific causes and preserving natural resources to just about anything else you can think of.
Here is a list of my personal preferences
- Local schools, food pantries and shelters
- Local – direct
- International – Various Christian service organizations
- Red Cross – National and International Relief
I personally trust the Red Cross to make the most of my giving and appreciate their low overhead given the size of the organization (approx .89 of every dollar goes to the cause).
If you are looking for a cause and appreciate numbers and analysis I highly recommend you check out CharityNavigator.org.
I hope this piece has been helpful you!