Wednesday, 7 November 2012

KindnessChallenge Day 7: Make a Donation

Make a donation!Rubs hands together! This is what I spent all of 2011 doing!

I have £70 to last until pay day, so it was with some relief that I read that it needn't be a cash donation. It was with more relief that just minutes later I noticed a post on facebook from a lovely mums and babies group, asking for donations!

Hello lovely Daybreak-ers!

We are looking for donations for our bric-a-brac stall at our Christmas Fayre on 5th December. If you have any unwanted books, toys, children's clothes, etc, laying around we would be very grateful to take them off your hands:-) Anita Hatton is happy to store the items until we need them, so please feel free to bring them in during the coming weeks.

Thanks so much and see you tomorrow xxx

That meant we could pick up some goodies from around the house; a few books, that Winnie the Pooh picture that never went up on the wall, those felt toys that were too old for the McBaby and head straight out!

Do you make donations toward worthy causes?

I’ve never been big on donations, to be honest. A big reason is because I never know what the organizations will do with the money. Recent exposés of charitable organizations (from National Kidney Foundation, to Ren Ci (a charity hospital), to City Harvest, to others) that misuse funds haven’t exactly helped with that perception.

I always feel that if I want to help others (which I do), I might as well just do it directly through my actions and where I devote my time to, rather than through donations, because the money can well be lost in administrative fees, bureaucracy, maintenance of systems and processes, and unoptimized ways of doing things, rather directly to the people whom I’m really trying to help. I’ve long heard about non-profits and their ineffective methods of running their organizations.

However, earlier this week, I interviewed a cancer survivor who has directly benefited from the outputs of cancer research (and the cancer research has been made possible precisely because of donations from public). It made me realize that there is indeed a place for donation and charitable causes in our world, and these donation drives do directly impact the people we are trying to help (and perhaps ourselves too someday if we are ever caught in the same predicament).

(I’m doing a write-up on National Cancer Center Singapore and inspiring cancer survivors (whom I interviewed earlier this week), which you can read about later today when I publish it.)

Today’s kindness task is to make a donation—any donation of any kind, of any amount. Let’s get started!

Your Task: Make a Donation

When people see the word “donation”, money comes to mind immediately.

While you can donate in the form of money, today’s task ISN’T limited to just monetary donation. Here are just some examples of donation:
•Donation to the homeless or beggars on the street
•Donation to a charitable cause
•Donation to an entity or organization (e.g., school)
•Donation to a disaster fund (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy)
•Blood donation
•In-kind donation (such as supplies, clothes, textbooks, products, services, etc.)

I know some people will probably skip this task because they don’t want to part with their money. That’s fine. Just do what you feel is comfortable. Ultimately I can’t force participants to follow the tasks; I can only assign the tasks, do the write-ups, publish them on a timely basis, and live true to the tasks myself in my life as I try to spread kindness to others.

If you’re not comfortable with parting with your money, perhaps consider the other forms of donation I’ve listed above. Blood donation (which I went for last week; will share results in tomorrow’s, Day 8′s, post). In-kind donation such as old clothes and old books. Donation of something you don’t want anymore which you know your friend wants (don’t just shove your unwanted goods to others; that’s just recklessly discarding something from one place to another).

Even when it comes to monetary donation, you don’t have to go crazy and donate like thousands (though if you have the capacity to do that, go ahead and do so!). A dollar is a donation. Two dollars is a donation as well. Same for five dollars, or ten dollars. I’m sure most of you spend more than this on your lifestyle, be it places you wine and dine, your monthly cellular bill, your apartment rental, things you buy, electronic equipment, etc. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to request that you donate an amount that’s merely a split fraction of the amount you usually spend on entertainment and life.

Myself, I plan to donate to National Cancer Center Singapore after interviewing a cancer survivor on Monday and realizing that the donating to cancer research does make a difference. I’ll be sharing more about NCCS and the interviews I did in a post later today. Stay tuned.

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