Charity of Choice

One year my New Year’s resolution was to pick a charity of choice – an organization that I could contribute to whenever I felt the urge to donate to a worthy cause.

There were a couple of reasons why I wanted to do this:

  • I was on so many lists that I was getting a new request every week, and around Christmas it felt like every day. I was having trouble saying no to all the requests.
  • I like to work smarter, not harder (efficiency is key!) so I only wanted to do the research once.

The first one is self-evident: responding to many requests gets expensive and it’s a self-perpetuating problem as, if you give, they send you more requests. I couldn’t live with that kind of guilt. The second reason is that I wanted to make sure that whoever got my money was going to use it to really help fix the problem. As many people know, sometimes the administrative costs are so high it feels like the charity itself is the recipient, not the problem needing help.

My criteria for choosing my charity of choice was:

  • I had to care enough about it to be willing to talk about it.
  • They had to make it easy to donate when I felt like it.
  • Their mission had to be easy to understand.
  • I had to have the ability to see the money in action.

I looked at several charities in fields like literacy (because I love to read!), prison reform, and children’s services. In the end I chose the Ottawa Food Bank. I did this because my greatest asset is my ability to think, and when I’m hungry my focus becomes food which makes it hard to actually do good work. So I cannot imagine how one is supposed to get ahead in life when constantly distracted by hunger.

As 2017 comes to an end, it is a great time to think about plans and goals for the upcoming year. It’s also a good time to assess how those plans affect the world outside our own heads.

Donating to a charity doesn’t always have to be financial. Lots of organizations are looking for volunteers to donate their time, and energy. When we don’t always have a lot of money to give, our time can be just as important, and incredibly rewarding!

To learn more about the Ottawa Food Bank, or to donate, visit http://www.ottawafoodbank.ca/donate.

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