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21 Day Blog: Day Three. Giving It Away


Today the emphasis from Michelle Singletary is giving. The challenge is that if you are given much of anything, some of that should be stewarded back to your community. This is an idea I am familiar with personally, religiously, and as a matter of justice. I said yesterday that one of my weaknesses is giving unnecessary gifts to friends. Planned giving is different. If I took the money I would have wantonly spent on friends' birthdays and other celebrations and channeled it in one direction it could make more of a difference.

So today I will talk about charitable giving. I give both planned and unplanned charitable gifts. I give less than 10% of my income but would like to work up to that level. My two continuing giving efforts (sustaining, monthly withdrawl, what-have-you) are  to (you guessed it!) WUWF and Compassion International. I have sponsored a child through Compassion for many years now. I have mixed feelings about the organization, and sponsorship style organizations in general, but I have financially supported this girl for many years now and I don't think it is fair to her to stop until she has finished schooling as far as she is able. WUWF is a no-brainer! I don't just say that because I work there. I supported WHYY when I lived in Philadelphia and when I moved back to Pensacola I immediately signed on to give to WUWF. Just like we say during the pledge drive- it is a service I use, it costs money, and I should contribute. One of the points Singletary makes is that we use our expenses as a reason not to give and that many people justify high cell phone and cable bills but also justify not giving charitably. I do not have cable, I listen to public radio ALL the time. I really just need to talk to Trish about making my monthly donation greater!

I think this fast is a good time to reflect on giving and receiving. The wonderful restaurant IRON, at Marcus Pointe, recently became a WUWF underwriter and a colleague invited me to go out there for lunch. I told her about  fast and she offered to buy me lunch. I accepted this generous gift and we had a wonderful time. On the other side of the coin, as mentioned yesterday, I went on a cooking spree and was able to share with my new-parent neighbors. Today I joined colleagues in driving out to Watercolor, FL for the 30A Songwriters Festival. I was able to share my culinary skills with them. And throughout the day INCREDIBLY blessed with fantastic music and lovely people.

One part of the fast I have NOT adhered to is paying with cash.  My next goal (when I get back to my local bank!) is to take out cash and rely on that, which I think will make some purchasing decisions more... decisive.