Sunday, December 14, 2008

Charitable Giving This Holiday

Despite what some people may think given this blog, I do donate to charity every so often.  I believe charity is a very personal choice and not at all an obligation.  I do not find fault with anyone who does not decide to give to charity because I do not pretend to understand everyone's personal situation.  Some people have the ability to give, some people do not.  But despite anyone's ability to pay or not to pay, charity should never be an obligation.

I have a perfect giving record to Princeton.  I do this because they gave so much to me when I attended and I want to see that opportunity extended to others.  This year, I also participated in my Company's plans to sponsor several local families.  I signed up to buy clothes for two children.  Funny thing is that not many people signed up to buy clothes.  Most people were signing up for things like microwaves, blenders, or backpacks.  Not sure why that is.  In fact, every person asked for clothes, and I was the only person as of Friday to sign up to buy any.  Strange.  Before I go on, I have to comment on one thing.  Lots of families asked for blenders.  Why on earth are families asking for blenders?  The only time I ever use my blender is to make margaritas or smoothies.  I highly doubt, or at least I hope, that this is not why they are asking for this, but I cannot understand what else these blenders will be used for.

This year, I was a little bit more cautious in my giving.  Despite being OK financially, I am a little bit worried about the economy and my job.  While I am not in any emminent danger, my company will do poorly in a protracted downturn and we did recently hear some news that will fundamentally change our industry going forward.  So, just to be safe, I decided to take it easy this year.  So if someone like me is pulling back a little bit, I wonder how much other people are pulling back?  If this is as widespread as I think it probably is, then what does that say for charities in the next few months?  Now more than ever, charitable giving is needed, but what happens when there is nobody left to give?

What are you doing this holiday season?  Are you giving as much as you normally do?

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