I had helped organize a Bowl-a-thon with the local branch of the Boys & Girls Club. Several of us volunteers went door to door one Saturday to raise money, and we bypassed our middle class town and headed to the more affluent neighborhoods. Mostly they didn't answer their doors, and when one guy did, he told us: "I leave donations up to my wife and accountant."
We didn't collect a dime. We were disheartened, but we didn't give up. On our way back to our town, we tried the smaller houses bordering dangerous thoroughfares. The first house told us they didn't have a lot to give, then they gave us a buck. That was back in the early 90's when one dollar would buy you more than a gallon of gas or half a gallon of milk.
Driving around today burning gas that cost 3X as much, I was listening to the radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge. The topic was austerity, and if it's actually necessary now when social safety nets are more essential than ever. Hmm...corporate welfare, yea. Feed the poor kids, nay. It doesn't take an investigative journalist to follow this money trail, folks.
But anyway, back to trying to stay positive. (Which is often harder than it looks.) In Give a Little, Smith writes:
"Research shows the majority of total giving by individuals comes from households with incomes under $100,000."She also reports that after the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, one quarter of Americans donated money to the relief efforts with a "median donation of $50." And while the federal government sent over a nice sized aid check for $841 million, all those ordinary Americans with their $50 donations ended up giving 3.7 times more.
[Maybe that whole trickle down economy idea is right after all? Poor people will just give their money away to poorer people.]
I'm tired of thinking I can't do enough, or anything, because I don't have much to give financially. Sure I can give my talents and time, but there are some cases where money is what's most needed.
I love Give A Little because it's all about giving your handful of bucks wisely, and it teaches how important it is to give what you can.