Part of being responsible to the earth also means being responsible to the people who inhabit it. While this isn’t a green post, per-say, I think it can still fit in quite nicely to remind us how to give to others.
Do you ever feel like the investments you make are akin to watching a magic show? The magician places an object on the table, covers it with a black satin cloth, and—voila!—the sudden appearance of a solid gold statue has you enthralled. Many of us make monetary investments; some large, like buying shares in a company and some small, like a new set of knives. We don’t see the inner workings of the Fortune 500 company which has rising stocks, and we don’t remember when the wood handles of our ste
ak knives developed their patina; we just know we invested in them and we’re now enjoying the rewards of our investment.
But what about charities? Charities are an investment, and they make tax time a more pleasant affair too. For many, charities are one of those enigmatic magic show investments—you don’t know how the children get immunized, you just know you made an investment in them, and you’re both feeling the rewards.
Charitable investments don’t have to be enigmatic though. There are hundreds of individuals working behind the scenes for thousands of charities, taking your donations of money or items and literally shipping them out to those who need them. Curious about how your online donation becomes a family’s dinner? These three charities shed some light:
This national organization helps children in need with the aid of unused cars. How? When a car is donated, Kars for Kids tows it away from the donator’s home then sells it. The proceeds collected from donated vehicles are used to fund educational and mentoring programs for needy children and provide food and clothing, which is distributed to impoverished children via local branches.
Once the sleeves are rolled down, the blood you give will literally save lives. How? The blood is labeled then taken to a lab. Here the blood is separated into three components: red cells, platelets, and plasma. The blood is then identified by type and tested for safety. Upon passing these tests, the blood is placed in cold storage. The blood will then be distributed to hospitals and given to accident victims, premature babies, heart transplant patients, cancer patients, burn victims and many others. The Red Cross allows you to donate blood often.
Via Heifer International’s website, your cash becomes a family’s cow. How? The Heifer organization has identified impoverished individuals and families in communities throughout the world who match Heifer’s Cornerstones and will most benefit from such a gift. Before the cow you selected reaches the family who needs it, the family is educated on animal care. Once the cow is delivered its byproducts, like milk, will provide nourishment as well as a source of income for the family who cares for it; offspring can be donated to other needy families, and the Heifer International circle continues.
While the above organizations are just a tiny sample of the charities you may choose to invest in, none of the thousands of these groups use magic to make magical things happen—the trick to providing relief to those who need starts with you, becomes refined by individuals, and transforms into a life saved. Surely that is an investment worth making?