What do you do for charity... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 03-02-2009, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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...either monetarily or in other ways? I'm just curious. My family does its part, but feel we could do more. Inspire me with your stories!

Traditional Catholic, aspiring to everyday sanctity. Mama to two amazing girls. Wife to my best friend.
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#2 of 20 Old 03-02-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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We don't do as much as we should, I'm sure. I give to the food pantry and I volunteer at a pregnancy crisis center. I also make and donate pouch slings to low income families in the area. That's about it right now.

Trying to balance a preschooler and peace....
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#3 of 20 Old 03-02-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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I've done different things, but currently I am a substitute driver for Meals on Wheels. I like that I can take my children with me and it is very hands-on helping. I drive once or twice a month.

Tanya
Mom to John (age 11), James (age 9) & Katherine (age 5)
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#4 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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*Organize a school supplies drive at my church (in July-early Aug) to benefit our township's school supplies giveaway for needy kids.

*Organize toy drive for kids in foster care - I organize it at the "local" level at my church, and sit on the board of the regional denominational organization that organizes the whole thing.

*A local Lutheran church is a Saturday night site for homeless folks. My church comes in about once a month in the cold months to do dinner. We don't have the facilities for overnights, so we team up with the Lutheran church.

*Regular contributions to the township's food pantry, through the donations barrel in the entranceway at my church. It's always overflowing now and items have to be taken to food pantry once a week.

*Head of my women's group at church and we regularly donate formula and other items as needed to a local crisis pregnancy center.

This is on top of tithing to my church, which in turn helps individuals/families in need and other charitable organizations.

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#5 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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We give to four charities, two of them monthly. I also give weekly donations to my parish. I drive for Meals on Wheels one morning per week. And maybe this doesn't count, but I am sort of the go-to child-care provider in my neighborhood for parents who work and need bus help in the a.m. and p.m. - it is a small thing I can do in my immediate community. I would like to get more involved in hands on help, like donating time at a community garden or volunteering at a nursing home to go sit with an elderly person who has no local family, etc. It is hard with little ones, though.

"Hey, I've got nothin' to do today but smile." - S & G
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#6 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 07:56 AM
 
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It depends what you mean by "charity."

I give our biggest chunk to Oxfam monthly. I also give a small amount monthly to the local Ecology Action Centre. I donate to the United Way by payroll deduction.

I have also taken on KAIROS, which is a peace and social justice interfaith coalition of groups. We're working on petitions and videos about international conflict. We also do a carbon tithe for lent and I am helping coordinate education events around that.

We are active in a food co-op we helped found over 10 years ago. It still has its storefront.

I feel like we could do more, too. I know I am very committed to keeping up our financial committments to the groups we support, even though dh sometimes questions me about this. I would give up a lot before I would stop those contributions.

The more efficiently I run my own affairs, the more I can free up time and resources for the things I care about. It's a never-ending goal and it's a priority.
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#7 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 08:06 AM
 
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I check my stockpile weekly and if something is within 2 weeks of expiry, I donate it to our food pantry a few blocks away. This happens about once or twice a month.

When I go to Aldi (about every 2 weeks) I buy a couple of cases of canned food and a few toiletries for the same pantry.

We donate $$ monthly to the mission shelter for the homeless.

(Not really a donation, but we support our public radio/tv.)

I give an annual donation to LLL.

I give an annual donation to the Sierra Club.

Dh gives and annual donation to his alma mater.

Donate our stuff to Goodwill or our local women's shelter (depending on what it is.)


**Disclaimer... I am a Development Coordinator, which means my job is grant writing and fundraising for a non-profit (actually a public library), so I REALLY understand the importance of public support and we try to do all we can.
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#8 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 10:07 AM
 
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- Donate $ to church welfare fund (provides food, shelter, etc. to the needy)
- Donate unneeded clothing and household goods to local charity thrift stores (St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Goodwill)
- Give a tenth of my garden production to our church to be distributed
- Donate food to my local food pantry
- Donate unneeded household items to the community via Freecycle
- Donate cloth menstrual pads via the Goods for Girls program (I provide free labor, shipping, and a portion of the materials cost - buyers provide a portion of the materials cost)
- Donate cloth menstrual pads via the MDC Holiday Helpers Program
- Tithe given to our church
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#9 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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We donate money to charity through our accountant, and I do different service things with the kids when the opportunity presents itself.
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#10 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 01:26 PM
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I've EFT'd monthly to Southern Poverty Law Center for the last ten years or so. I also give to the Blue Card Fund, which supports Holocaust survivors living in poverty, most of them under $12K/yr, most with no family. Among other things the Fund helps pay for dental care, holiday celebration, and crisis counseling and other psych support, which becomes more important as these people age, short term memory fades, and older memories resurface. I've just found out that there is a sister fund supporting impoverished Christians who risked their lives, and their families' lives, to save Jews during the Holocaust, and of course we must give to them too.

I do what I can to spread the word about the existence of these people and the charities -- I was shocked, and then ashamed, to find that these people who'd been through so much and been so brave & selfless should be forgotten and left to suffer in old age.

There's also an organization called The Parents' Circle -- it's made up of parents of Israelis and Palestinians killed in the various attacks and battles, and it strives for "peace, reconciliation, and tolerance". I give to them sometimes. We put money in a donation box every Friday evening and the recipients vary each time the box gets full.

I used to give to a bunch of other organizations -- ACLU, Amnesty Intl, the local PBS and NPR stations -- but have had to cull the list.

Goodwill, yes. I did used to look for places to leave baby/toddler items in good condition but it turns out the community is awash in these things and doesn't need any more.

Working on setting up a local Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. Not sure that counts, since it'd also benefit my family directly.

And of course I do what I can to help out other single mothers in the community, esp as they're going through divorce. At various times have given time & services to the local women's center, too.
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#11 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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we tithe to our church, which in turn supports the missions that we've sent out (currently we support missions in Mexico (servant partners), Morocco (wells for life, India (no link, but it's an orphanage and a school for the children of temple prostitutes), Nicaragua (Vida Joven) and in our own backyard in Chester, PA (Delaware County Housing Coalition)

Beyond that, we give yearly to Doctors Without Borders, The Heifer Project, and the Red Cross. We've given often to Bethany also, as adoption is close to my heart since I'm adopted.

Non-monetarily, we work in Chester 3-4 times a year on neighborhood projects, my older boys and I have helped with local Christmas projects for group homes in our county, and have delivered toys/supplies to a few domestic shelters. We're planning to go on our church's mission trip to Mars Hill (appalachia) this summer (church goes every year, but we've always had tiny ones so not able to work) and I'm prayerfully considering going on a mission trip to Mexico next year.
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#12 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oooh! These are wonderful ideas. Thanks for being so generous-- both in terms of charity, and in sharing your stories with me. :

Traditional Catholic, aspiring to everyday sanctity. Mama to two amazing girls. Wife to my best friend.
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#13 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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We can't do *much* but we try to contribute.,.

I donate used clothing to the Deseret Industries (like the Salvation Army)

I volunteer my time and plus pay yearly contributions to LLL (very close to becoming a LLL Leader)

We give about $50 around Xmas to the Charity of our choice. We've done Amnesty International, PETA, & local environmental Orgs.

Food to the food bank.

I used to be much more active with local charity, but haven't had the resources to do much lately.

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#14 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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We tithe to our church

We give $30 per month to Holt International - we sponsor a child in Vietnam.

We donate used items to homeless shelters and abused women shelters and the local womens resource center for women who have an unexpected pregnancy and cannot afford to buy things their baby needs.

We go to CVS and buy all the "free stuff" - the stuff where you spend $3.99, get $3.99 back in extra care bucks... we are basically getting free stuff we wouldn't use anyways LOL - we donate that to our church. They keep things like over the counter medicines, unperishable food products, razors, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deoderant, etc.. for people in need.

Beyond that, we aren't financially capable of doing much. As my children get older I will be able to do more volunteer work. But right now we have a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, 2 yr old, 1 yr old, and I'm due in August LOL.
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#15 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 10:17 PM
 
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We give about $500 to charity each year (a lot for us -- it comes out of savings) and I just started volunteering at a local music venue with DS2 once a week (or DS1 when he has the day off). I tried a few things with DS1 when he was younger and it was all very difficult. Even meals on wheels was hard because of the traffic in the city. The Caffe is very child friendly and I can help for as long or as short as DS2 can handle it that day.
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#16 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 10:22 PM
 
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We don't have a lot of extra money to give away. Instead, I volunteer at our local food bank..
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#17 of 20 Old 03-03-2009, 11:17 PM
 
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We're sponsoring a child in Chile through Children's International.

We tithe to our church.

We give money to our local library.

I participate in Serve New England.

I work with the Girl Scouts.

 

 

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#18 of 20 Old 03-04-2009, 12:05 AM
 
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We don't do a whole lot. We give money to a few charities, and list charitable giving under our "gift ideas" for family. DH does one or two shopping trips a year for the food pantry at his mom's church.

This year, we are going to see if the small soup kitchen/food pantry will accept some of our fresh vegetables. If it were just me, I'd probably just try to preserve as much as possible, but the truth of the matter is we probably have enough to share.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#19 of 20 Old 03-04-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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InchByInch -

A couple things we do that have turned into family traditions:

- St. Nick's day is a reminder to us to be generous and giving - we each get X amount of money to donate to our own favorite charity. (One year we all did Heifer Int'l and each got to pick which animals we'd like to give which was fun.)

- We bell ring for the Salvation Army. A mom from playgroup signs up for a slot and it's split up into half hour shifts that different families ring for - perfect amount of time for small children.

- Each summer some neighborhood girls hold a bake sale for charity.

Samm
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#20 of 20 Old 03-04-2009, 12:44 AM
 
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I just want to add that my mother and my husband's parents are always pleased to receive "gifts" of donations to a charity. Save the Children does a lot of nice gift packages in honor of major holidays (Mother and Father's Day, Easter, Christmas, etc.) and will usually send a token gift as part of the statement of the gift given in the honoree's name. Children's Christian Fund also has

For grandparents who have just about everything material thing that they want, this has been a really nice way to introduce our children to charitable giving and pleases the recipients as well.

"Hey, I've got nothin' to do today but smile." - S & G
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