In a conversation with some friends, we started talking about where our money goes. Why do I find myself out of money at the beginning of a new year? Could it be that I have failed to plan? My friends shared how they save or plan towards Christmas spending. On good friend of mine “Bux” shared about how he gives some of his money to charity. That struck a chord with me. Lisa shared about how she starts saving at the beginning of the year by calculating how much she will need for the year ending spending and deciding it by 11 and saving from January for December.
The two thoughts made me aware that I have been giving for the past five years or so and I was not even aware or rather I have forgotten of that arrangement. I have chosen to help a local charity and set an annual debit order that goes off every month. The contribution is small but it makes a difference at the end of the year, and surely makes a difference to the recipient.
My Charity is ActionAid – A charity that aims at eradicating poverty and injustices.
The gift of Education.
I was walking at a mall, one of the officers approached me and offered me a flyer. She told me that the fees I would be donating will be going towards a young girl’s education. I signed on immediately. The is nothing like being part of an initiative that provides education to those who can not afford it. I was involved with the other three education charities at that time. In one, I was a volunteer at the Kgosi Neighborhood Foundation – Wings of Hope provides basic education to children who would not be able to afford basic education in preparation to start schooling. One of my kids was a recipient of the SSP (School Sponsorship Program) and I was a charity on my own Drumshelter Projects (Dru-Pro). I offered movement lessons to the Schools and Preschools around Johannesburg.
All these programs were proving needed resources during a time when I needed help and many of the parents of the children receiving the assistance really needed the help as well. It was very said when one of the schools I was working with had to close due to dwindling resources. I realize then that it is not as easy to maintain these charities. It takes more than just the donations that we dedicate to the charities, but there is time that is given by volunteers, and the people employed by these charities sometimes earn way less than they need to survive.
I also had to stop giving lessons, as I found employment and I could not make time to still give free lessons.
Who gives to charities?
Many of us think the only people who can afford to give to charities are those earning lots of money. Anyone can contribute whether it is funds or time. There are many charities around us in our local areas but we fail to interact and be part of the change because it is out of reach.
There are many people in need of help daily. One of our greatest challenges is hunger. It is very disturbing that in this day and age there still people who suffer malnutrition. The was a time when the homeless were hidden and out of sight now they are out and at traffic lights and on our roads. We can now pack lunches, leftovers, and give a gift of food as we drive past the intersection’s robots.
In a nutshell.
If you are thinking of giving, let it be not just the money you give you can get involved there may charities closing because they can not manage the funds they receive and they are compelled to be registered and become registered entities. These NGOs, that start because of the desire to help where there is a need end up not attending to their constituents, now they focus on the bureaucracy that comes with being registered. Because of the struggles and the NPO’s will close down for lost interest and failure to conform.
If we contribute our skills we can assist the people who start with the desire to help do their work while we provide any necessary support where we can, so that the charities can continue to exist.
I wish I could have continued working as a charity, but I ended up being a charity to a bank paying over $20 a month just to keep my charity bank account active. After a year of paying the bank, I stopped and focused on finding a job. I spoke to young people who are unemployed, while they try to start SME’s, there are no funds and support. I am not sure if Philanthropy is dying or has been taken over by the banks that are only focused on their bottom line.
To all charities, your work is acknowledged and you are appreciated. To all volunteers, keep up your great work and to those employed by charities, we thank you for your giving. To the rest of us, we can surely make a difference, with whatever little we can contribute, whether time or money or skills, it is needed and it will be worthwhile to the hand that receives.