I decided today I was going to do something in an effort to help the homeless. I didn’t want to just go out and find someone to hand money to though. So I searched online for a way to help a shelter in my area.
And I found the Beacon Light Mission. It’s been around since 1902 and started as a place for soldiers to rest. After WWII, demand was great and they grew in size and became a fully functioning shelter for men. It moved locations again in the 1970s and has gone through changes over the years but still remains a shelter for homeless men. And in 2011, a twenty-bed Women’s shelter was added on.
After researching both shelters, I learned each has a wish-list on Amazon for things they need so I hopped on over to the site, using Amazon Smile (my choice of charity is UNICEF), and I ordered a bunch of underwear for the shelters to give to those who stay there. The address was in the system, allowing the packages to be sent directly to the shelters. And they’ll get there just in time for Christmas!
It’s amazing how one can find a vast array of ways to help others if they just simply look. It isn’t enough to post a meme on your Facebook page or say out loud that you’re against something. It takes action.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Today was all about the kids. Each week, I make time to see my young nephews. I’ve been a part of their weekly life since each was born and they are two little dudes who can ALWAYS put a smile on my face no matter what life is throwing at me. They can also bring me straight down to earth when life decides to throw me some good attention as well.
As we were playing Pokemon and hide ‘n seek today and talking about Christmas, I started thinking about all the children out there who will not have presents under a tree for them on Christmas morning and my heart began to hurt.
So for today, I decided to look up ways to help children in an effort to make their Christmas a little more merrier. I learned that Toys for Tots spends less than 3% on fundraising and overhead, meaning 97% of donations go to the kids. That made me very happy as most charity organizations are run like a business and those they say they serve end up getting a small little portion of what the company takes it. That’s not charity in my mind. I understand it does take people, time and resources to run one, but I want to see numbers like those above for Toys For Tots before I take out my wallet.
That said, after looking at Make a Wish Foundation, I decided Toys for Tots would be the charity I give to this year. It’s run by the marine corp, who take donated wrapped gifts and bring them to children in need. A local hotel is a drop off center and it’s close to me. I just found three gifts I’ve gotten along the way that I planned to give to my nephews but have now decided to give to Toys for Tots so perhaps they can brighten a child’s day on Christmas.
Also, I’d like to share something I’ve been doing in hopes others may want to participate as well. I’m an avid Amazon shopper, and after learning I could help a charity while I shop, I quickly signed up. No brainer, right? Check Amazon Smile to sign up too! I chose UNICEF, a UN program to help children, but there are other charities you can pick as well.
12 Days till Christmas – spreading love through donating.
As I was thinking about how to spread the love today, I remembered reading an article about charity donations and how much one gives to them actually makes it to those in need. I remember reading how some charity organizations paid their CEOS salaries in the high six figures and was outraged at the thought.
Today, I researched it more. It turns out the article that was circulating years ago about this was highly inaccurate and places like The Goodwill got a bum rap. So I did my own due diligence and researched nearby charity organizations that accepted donations of used things.
Using the website charitynavigator.org, I was able to research various charities in my area to find out their effectiveness. Turns out Goodwill of Southern California has a 91.2% rating with solid financial information and transparency so I decided to give a donation to them.
My husband and I went through our apartment and gathered things to donate. We ended up with two filled bags, mostly of clothes and household items.
I’m thinking, rather than simply throw something away, why not assess if there’s still value left in it and if so, pass it on?
One’s man trash is another man’s treasure. (Not to mention recycling used items is helpful to the environment!)