The Season of Giving

Bryan, Brianna, and I were discussing which charity we should contribute to in the coming year. It wasn’t hard to get the concept across to our four-year-old, who seemed to naturally understand that we have a lot and should give some of it to help people who don’t. We finally decided, with Brianna’s input, that Médedcins Sans Frontiéres (Doctors Without Borders) is our charity of choice. This is in addition to the giving to Hermitage Heart that supports Myotai Sensei, my Zen teacher.

This got me to thinking. How much should we be giving? I’d like to be able to give a lot more that we can currently, but I firmly believe that retiring our debt is a very high priority for our family. Interestingly enough, I ran across this article in the New York Times magazine that gives a very interesting perspective on the issue. I heartily recommend reading it.

I would like our total giving to be on the order of 10% of our income, but we’re going to have to work up to that. But I’m happy to say that we have begun. Here’s to making a difference in 2007!

Enough chatting—the movers are coming tomorrow and we still have a frightening amount of stuff to pack. I don’t know what the internet connectivity situation will be after today, so I will wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year now. All the best to you and yours!
Cheers!

2 thoughts on “The Season of Giving

  1. We also gave a couple of donation gifts for Xmas this year from the World Vision Canada gift catalog (http://www2.worldvision.ca/gifts/app). Seemed like a good idea for people who don’t really need more stuff.

    Philip Greenspun posted on Boxing Day (http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2006/12/26/water-buffalo-worst-possible-christmas-present/) complaining on behalf of a friend who received a similar gift, though it’s hard to tell if he’s annoyed by the general concept or the specifics of that gift/charity.

  2. Unlike the charity that Philip Greenspun refers to, World Vision actually gives real live families real live animals. From their FAQ:

    Q: Where does my money go when I purchase a gift?

    A: While the majority of the purchase price goes toward buying and delivering the actual gift item, fundraising and administration costs are also built into the price of each gift in the catalogue.

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