People are tightening their belts in a lot of areas. So it's no surprise that charitable giving is down 6% this year, the biggest plunge in decades. There are people out of work, and many others are cutting back to the bare minimum.
During my Buy Nothing New year, I've cut out almost all discretionary spending for clothes, books, gifts, etc. I'm only buying necessities. I've also cut our food budget by approximately 25%, which I attribute to using what we have and wasting less food. Thanks Frugal Girl and Wasted Food! But what I haven't cut back on is our charitable giving. We still don't give anywhere near as much as I'd like, but I'm doing everything I can to keep our donations at the level we'd been giving in previous years. That means it may be a bit more as a percentage of our income, but it's the same dollar value to the charities.
Nonprofits and charities are really hurting. A lot of people rely on these services to get their basic needs met. And endangered species, the environment, human rights, and education - all these causes aren't just going away because there's a recession or because we've got a Democratic president.
I usually allow a certain dollar amount per year to give to charity and causes I believe in. It comes out to a monthly amount that's spread around. I also allow a few hundred dollars for things that come up that year: a friend does the AIDS ride, or I find out about a great charity I've never heard of.
I've never done this on my blog, but I'd like to ask you to consider helping out a friend of mine. Because of the problems with our healthcare in this country, which can drive hardworking people to bankruptcy, this person has to pay for her own cancer treatment. And her kind sister, my friend Jill, is taking it upon herself to raise the money on her blog and through word of mouth.
Please click here to read my friend Jill's post about her sister Lisa, a woman in the prime of life who has to deal not just with this devastating illness, but with the stress of paying for her treatment. In my opinion, it's untenable that anyone should have to deal with raising money on top of fighting cancer.
I know my readers are non-consumers, frugalistas, an all-around thrifty sort. But I also know we're a generous bunch who wants to spend our money on things that really make a difference. And I promise you that whatever amount you can afford to give to this kind family will be truly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity.