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Giving Is Hard, Until You Do It

When times are tough, or you’re raising a family, or you’re living off a fixed retirement income, it is hard to rationalize “giving” money to a charity, no matter how noble the cause. And yet, if we reflect on what we spend every day on non-essential items, there might be room for a little bit of charitable giving.

Some people don’t give because they feel that their contributions would be so small as to be meaningless. And in the singular case, this might be true. But if 1,000, or 5,000, or 100,000 people give that small amount every month, even $1-$2, it adds up to a lot of dough!

And then there’s cynicism. We’ve all heard stories about, and maybe even been victimized by, scam charities through endless mailings, emails, and phone calls. Or we’ve heard that charities that we thought were legitimate spend 50% or less on actual charitable programs, and the rest goes to “overhead” that might include huge salaries. It’s not unreasonable to be wary about giving because of this. But, with some research, you can find worthy charities that do right by donors, using most of the money they receive for the actual programs. One example is the American Cancer Society, which uses over 75% of its donations for services and research.

I like to give something to charity on holidays in the name of my grandkids, daughters, and friends. I also give a small donation as part of my grandkids birthday presents, so they can learn the importance of giving. And many of these legitimate charities have automatic monthly donation programs for as little as $20/month, like The Wounded Warriors Project. We also sponsor children in Uganda through Children Of Grace, a mission organization that supports orphans and provides financial support for education, clothing, and nutrition. The letters from these children are beautiful memoirs that my family will always treasure.

And giving doesn’t always have to be with money. Volunteering to help with food banks, fundraisers, events, and even at nursing homes or hospitals, all count as giving, and no price can really be put on that!

However you decide to give, and whatever amount you share, the result will be life-changing for someone in need, and will also come back to you in ways unexpected. We all remember the Muscular Dystrophy telethons hosted by Jerry Lewis. I certainly remember staying up all night to watch the “tote” board and listening to the stories of medical miracles thanks to every dollar that was donated. He was thrilled when little kids brought buckets of change they raised from lemonade stands or car washes and always said, “It all counts!”

Manopause.com and Manocause have done research to find charitable organizations that we believe use their funds responsibly. We have listed them on the Manopause.com Manocause page with links to the charities. Please check them out!

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ―Winston S. Churchill

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About The Author
Larry Pollack
Larry Pollack
Larry Pollack is a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in Del Mar, California. In addition to co-founding and writing articles for Manopause.com, he has written a television presentation pilot called "Manopause" and a horror film called "Spore."
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