Is Charity Going Out of Style?
One thing I've learned from being online, whether I'm cruising social media, reading blogs, or browsing art galleries; is that people love giving back.
Maybe they tithe, or donate to charities, volunteer their time, or find unique ways to make a difference in their community.
And there is no end to the clever, heart-warming, or unique ways they use to make a difference.
That's not to say you don't have some people out there that don't do it. I came across a few articles this week that discussed whether or not charitable actions were on the decline or not.
It seems a lot of people are choosing not to donate for a variety of reasons, including:
- Economic fears (this wild year of politics has a few folks antsy about the possibility of some very lean times ahead.)
- No budget (some people are barely making ends meet for themselves)
- New worldview (more people are embracing the "every man for himself" sentiment).
- No feel good factor (our brains actually release a magic juice that makes us feel good when we do kind things for others. But some people just aren't feeling it anymore).
- No visible impact (some would-be givers feel a little bummed that their contributions produce immediate, long-lasting results).
But the good news is that there are still tons of people in the world who give back and enjoy it. Which leads me to this exceptionally awesome project I just learned about, hosted by the people on Rockstar Finance.
Not only are the people running this project amazing, the readers are incredible too. Here's what they are doing, and why it's a big thing:
The $20 Difference
If you head over to the Rockstar Finance page, you can read the full story and all the reader contributions, but here are the basics.
The people running the site started pooling money and used it to buy a bunch of $20 gift cards. Then instead of giving them out themselves to people in need, they sent them out to readers to give away.
Why is that so cool? First of all, it shows an amazing amount of trust in people. As much as we all want to believe that humans are wonderful, we've all met some real crumbs.
But still, they sent these cards out without any rules other than pretty much "use them where you feel they are most needed".
Secondly, this gave people who might not otherwise be in a good financial place the means to do something charitable for others.
I've known a lot of people over the years who truly wanted to donate or help someone during the holidays, but were so poor that a donation would have meant not being able to pay their own bills. I've been that low before, and it feels bad!
But even better than both those reasons are the stories that readers submitted telling about how they used their cards.
I know that can be hard too. Donating is tricky. You want to inspire other people, but you don't want to feel like you are bragging on your goodiness.
The stories on the discussion page though are perfect. Just real people who were excited to find the right person or right opportunity to use their cards.
Generosity Is Still Alive. And Worth It
I really hope you head over to the project page and read the great stories. It's very inspiring to see what $20 can do for a person when it's given at the right time to the right person.
If nothing else, it proves that while charitable actions might be on the decline in statistics, real people are still generous and showing us all that giving back is really worth it. Even if there is no viral story attached, or epic, life-changing outcome from a small gesture.
And hey, if philanthropy is your thing, please don't forget that I donate 25% of all art sales from my shops to help low income families and other charitable causes. (links to shops are in the sidebar.)
Here are some articles discussing charity trends for 2016/2017:
Hopefully, this inspired you to ask yourself what you can do in the coming year to help others in need, or just brighten someone's day. I would love to hear about your favorite causes too.
What charities and projects are dear to your heart?