“The purpose of life is not to be happy – but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all”. – Leo Rosten
I’m going to preface this by stating that I work at a grocery store and that despite the first paragraph or so this is in fact NOT a huge rant.Whenever we have some sort of donation program going I am always astonished at the sheer selfishness of some people. People will come to checkout with a $300 order and pay me in $100 bills and won’t be able to spare literally a DOLLAR to someone in need. The first argument someone normally gives me is “oh I’ve already donated”. So, thousands of people are starving and homeless in the world but you can only stand to spare one dollar ONE time? The holiday seasons seem to be worse because people are more pressed for cash, but at the same time this is the season that we are taught as a society that we should be giving the most. Be it the American Red Cross, a food bank, or another charity I am always ready and willing to donate. Maybe it was how I was raised or maybe it’s just the fact I have a bit of compassion in my body. I go to school full-time and work a part-time job that I don’t work a lot. But I can spare a dollar for some charity anytime I’m ever asked to do so. I mean really guys, I know you were all saving that dollar to buy the new Justin Bieber single but really, Japan needs it more.
Living Social is an application on the iPhone that is quite similar to Groupon. They offer daily deals in different cities throughout the country. The other day they had a deal that said they would donate an extra $5 on top of your $5 donation. Meaning my $10 donation turned into a $20 donation just through using Living Social. I thought that was a really cool thing for Living Social to do. A number of other options to donate to the Red Cross are available via a simple Google search. The company I work for has an option to take out a certain amount of money from each paycheck to automatically donate to a charity. Mine happens to be the United Way so every paycheck they take out $3 or so. I have never really even noticed a difference and it’s a lot more doable than one larger donation. If your company offers an option such as this you should totally opt-in! Be wise and stay alert for scammers posing as legitimate charities. For example: after a large natural disaster a number of faux charities often form. How these people sleep at night is a good question. There are text-to-donate opportunities such as the popular Red Cross one. ( Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund) and they are literally as easy as sending a text message. Donating blood, clothing, and food to charities is also a nice way to help people in your community and beyond. Basically what I’m saying is: Do good.
We waste money on such frivolous things instead of helping people. As Americans we have it pretty darn easy. We don’t have to worry about tanks outside of our doors on a regular basis. We have a cushy lifestyle compared to a lot of the world’s population. We can just turn on a tap and know that we have safe drinking water. We don’t have to worry about radiation affecting our food and water supplies! We take so much for granted as Americans, it’s sickening. For instance, the other day I heard someone talking about how angry they were about the sleet that we were supposed to get the other day. Sleet? really? I’m sorry your SUV can’t handle the sleet but there are bigger problems in the world. I got my first job at age 14 working for a party rental company my mother’s friend owned. I worked that job until I was 15 or so then got a job doing graphic design for a small computer company senior year of high school. After high school before I started going back to school again I got a job at the store I work at now. I never get things handed to me. I work and I guess since I have been working and realizing the value of a dollar from age 17 or so I’m not very petty about frivolous issues such as not getting money from my mom to buy things. If I want to buy things I use the money I make. If I want to donate money, I donate the money I make. It’s pretty simple, and called being an adult.
I care more about the situation in Libya than Jersey Shore. I’d rather read the newspaper than tabloid magazines. Why should we care so much about what Lindsay Lohan is doing? Does it affect us? NO. Justin Bieber’s new haircut doesn’t affect my daily life in the slightest way.
Giving money isn’t the only way to help people! Be creative! However, if you do feel like donating I suggest using the site http://www.charitynavigator.org/ to find a plethora of awesome charities to donate to with an overview of each. There’s even a special section for charities that specifically help the victims of the tragedy in Japan.
Next time you’re asked just say yes.