Column this week’s about a local charity drive:

Several years ago I wrote a story about families in Southland homeless shelters. Entire families, mom and dad and kids, who maybe had a place but got sick or lost their jobs or their landlord kicked them out, so they slept on mattresses shoved close together and ate a meal of pasta together knowing they’d have to go back out into the cold the next day.

I’ll never forget the phone call I got from a reader the day that story ran. It was a woman, young from the sound of her voice, and she sounded frantic.

“I want to help,” she said. “I want to help but it just seems like such a big problem, and I don’t know what I can do.

“I’m just one person, what can I do to help all these people?”

Who did you donate to this year?


9 thoughts on “Charity

  1. well, i have been real nice to ebay bidders when i felt they deserved it. bid on items for gifts. i threw in 2 extra antique darning eggs(rather than list seperately) to the canadian who was giving them to her friends so they could darn their favorite socks. gave one insurance cause it was a gift and i made way way too much on something i paid 18¢ for. i donated more stuff i didn’t need.
    i try to leave the planet a better place-compost, feed critters instead of garbage. shit, all the kleenex i have been using since my love died, i can’t put in trash. put inbag to bury where it can become dirt. pick up as much trash.
    wish i had $ so i COULD be more generous.
    but i am stull waiting for some fucking kharma.

  2. I volunteered for my local river monitoring group and other environmental events

  3. OT: OMGWTFOMG!!! Eschaton is not functioning! I’m going into withdrawal! That wanker Atrios has done it again!

  4. * Many local, national, and global relief projects of our church (also volunteered a couple of Saturdays).
    * Payroll deduction for nursing scholarships and for local charities.
    * Christmas gifts for two families (part of group efforts).
    * Christmas gifts for three kids whose parents are incarcerated.
    * Contribution to whichever charity is featured each week at the grocery store (they use bar-coded tear-off slips at the register to encourage easy donations).
    * Local food bank (also volunteered one Saturday).
    * Pro bono assistance to a Hurricane Katrina survivor.
    * Contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Doctors without Borders, Oxfam.
    * A buck here and there to the street-corner sign wavers.
    * Raising three kids who give generously of their time and money.
    And, although not directly affecting these problems, we also hope for long-term benefits for all Americans from the investment of our time and money in efforts to get the Republicans out of office.

  5. For my sisters gift this year i gave her a partial sheep from heifer international. Our dollar limit didnt allow me to give her an entire sheep. but its a great program.

  6. My local grocery store, a chain operation, has a program where you can buy a $10 bag of groceries, and they will stuff it with $20 worth of groceries, for donating to those in need. I bought two of them yesterday. I was inspired to do so by their big sign showing the progress towards their multimillion dollar goal – that’s a lot of groceries!

  7. donated to several animal rescue groups (goods for thrift shop & money), donated to thrift shop for elderly domestic violence victims and will be donating lampwork beads and jewelry in january for sale in the same thrift store), donated 200 dollars worth of toiletries to a school/program for homeless kids, worked vigorously for the 2006 election…
    …but i’m aware that this wasn’t enough. goals for next year are more donations to selected thrift stores, more financial donations to local charities – and we just found a great liberal episcopalian church with whom we hope to volunteer with their immigrant assistance projects and habitat for humanity.

  8. I held 3 one-woman bake sales for Common Ground Collective in New Orleans and raised about $400; I give $10 a month to Habitat; my sibs and I donated a cow, a goat and a box of chicks as a gift in honor of our mom’s 65th birthday this year through the Heifer Project; I’ve probably given $100 this year to off-ramp panhandlers; and, I got my 3-gallon pin for giving blood this year. And, we’re doing our best to raise a kid who sees building a more peaceful and healthy world as one of his personal commitments.
    (I don’t count political donations as charity as that’s purely mental health self-medication.)

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