I guess it’s time to look back on all we didn’t screw up and everything that somehow came through for us, right?
We’re not just wrapping up a year, but a decade and that’s something that gets a bit more exciting as I grow into the aging process haha
Instead of bragging about all the books and articles I’ve written and published I think this post should be about something better. First I want to thank everyone who shares their awesomeness through encouragement, love, and energy. But I also want to stop and ask everyone, what is your most charitable contribution of the year, and the decade? So many artists are out there hoping to get somewhere someday, but how many of us are giving back along the way?
Based on the stats (which are just #s but hold some bearing), the most charitable people are the poorest: donating 12% of their income to others. The second most charitable are the wealthiest which restores some faith in them, but the difference is quite obnoxious being that they rolled in at around 5.5%. This leaves a lot of wondering about what’s going on in the middle (the majority of people).
Money is not the most important aspect of charity; volunteering time is a great way for those who don’t have much to give to offer monetarily.
But volunteers seem to donate their time based on age verses income level. Younger people are less likely to volunteer their time to a good cause than middle aged individuals. (Which is weird because the younger you are the less obligations you should have to use as an excuse…)
And say what you want about racial divides, but there is one ethnicity that volunteers more than anyone else and it’s those annoying white people I’m related to.
These studies are a few years outdated so I’m hoping things have broadened more, but the point of THIS post is to
1. See if I can’t nudge a few other do-gooders in the right direction and 2. Remind myself that no matter how much I give, there is always more I can do.
My rules for myself are simple:
If I can afford to eat out, I can afford to donate money (and give a good tip).
If I have time to watch a movie, I have time to volunteer.
It sounds simple, but living up to my own ideals is tricky at times. It takes care and thought.
As an author I donate a portion of all my royalties to charity. Right now it’s been about 5% annually, and the hope is that I can get that up to 10% or 20%.
20% is ideal.
Imagine making a million dollars and donating $200,000 to various causes. The impact that would make would change numerous lives and situations.
Time is trickier.
I like to joke: Take my money but not my time. (And I am NOT by any means living too comfortably-I just know how valuable time truly is).
Squeaking in a few hours of volunteer work a month was easier before baby #3 came, now I’m lucky if I can squeak in 1, but I try. It’s all any of us can do. The effort alone changes a person for the better. Instead of making excuses of pointing fingers at billionaires for not sharing enough, it’s more important to be part of something bigger. Shifting blame or complaining about the state of things breeds cynicism and frustration, charity on the other hand instills love, kindness, and all the other happy gooey feelings a person needs to not hate themselves and the world.
It also connects people to restore their faith in humanity and the future.
I’m not going to list off the money I’ve given or the hours I put in (I don’t keep good enough track and I don’t want to flaunt my “goodness” like some prissy buttface. I’m no saint myself) but here are the charities I volunteered for and/or donated to this year:
- The Missouri Wildlife Rescue Center
- St. Louis Crisis Nursery
- Loaves and Fishes
- Mark Twain State Park
- St. Louis Ballet
- Green Bay Children’s Museum
- The Ojai Adventure Club
- La Leche League International
- Soulard Art Gallery
- A few go fund mes
And over the past decade (with the above included):
- Stray Rescue of St. Louis
- The Humane Society
- Open Door Animal Rescue
- Lone Elk Park
- St. Louis Pagan Picnic
- The World Wildlife Fund
- The Witches’ Voice
- The Missouri Wolf Sanctuary
- The St. Louis Zoo
- The Salvation Army
- St. Louis County Parks
- Missouri Conservation Department
- Yellow Stone National Park
- St. Louis Art Museum
- St. Louis History Museum
- Circle Sanctuary
So many of these charities are great causes to back.
If you have some time or even just a couple of bucks to offer, it means a lot.
Going into 2020 I hope to have more time and money to donate.
My husband says I will never be rich because I give even when we’re struggling, but I say we’re already rich. As long as you have food, clothes, a roof over your head, and some love, you’ve got it all!