Charity 360 #Charity365

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t officially donate to charities. I often do one-time, anonymous donations. My primary donations are my offerings to my church. I, also, regularly put spare change in the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation boxes, and I’ll always do the annual Remembrance Day poppy thing, but I don’t really officially donate outside of the church and outside of those small things. It’s something I’ve wanted to change and now I think I have I know how.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t officially donate to charities. I often do one-time, anonymous donations. My primary donations are my offerings to my church. I, also, regularly put spare change in the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation boxes, and I’ll always do the annual Remembrance Day poppy thing, but I don’t really officially donate outside of the church and outside of those small things. It’s something I’ve wanted to change and now I think I know how.

My own problem with donating has been (1) which charities should I support that I’ll feel personally satisfied donating to, and (2) how do I donate in a satisfying and sustainable way.

The first issue, of which charities to support, has been answered this year by my own choices in what I’ve been reading and listening to. I’ve gotten seriously into creation and so have been reading things from Creation Ministries International. I’ve always been interested in very cerebral topics and so I’ve been listening quite a bit to Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Intelligent, listenable, bible-believing preachers are hard to come by and so I’ve been listening a lot to James MacDonald’s Walk in the Word. It became clear to me what I should be supporting.

The second issue, how to donate in a satisfying and sustainable way, has always bugged me. I always felt that if I won a million dollars I’d donate a large amount of it and it would have a significant impact – something I couldn’t achieve on an average salary. I’m not going to sit around waiting to win the lottery, though, so all that did was eat away at me. This year, once I realized I had three organizations I actually wanted to support, I began to understand that, since I can’t make a huge impact, I will, instead, plan to donate in a sustainable way that most could also do and, if we all did that together, we’d make a bigger difference,  at scale, than if I donated a million dollars at once. I decided I would consider my donation as a relatively small, monthly amount, namely $10 per month per organization.

I picked the organizations that meant the most to me and I picked an amount that suited me and that would also add up over time and would mean much more if everybody did the same.

When all was said and done, I donated $360 to three organizations. Actually, I couldn’t easily donate to Ravi Zacharias International Ministries so I donated $120 to Blue Letter Bible, instead. I now have an annual Google Calendar reminder about these December donations and I hope I can keep it up.

The only thing I think I might do differently is to mix up my organizations. I really do believe in the value of organizations like the Salvation Army, youth shelters, international aid organizations, and others. What I am confident in, however, is that when everyone gives to the organizations that mean the most to them, just due to the number of people involved, we’ll be able to cover all of the organizations sufficiently.

I hope somebody finds this plan of value and I hope that ever more and more we’ll find more people donating sustainable amounts to the ever growing benefit of those around us who need our help.

#Charity365

An Easy to Remember, Professional Looking Letter Written in Notepad

Sometimes you need to write a letter, print it out and mail it. Not often, but sometimes you do. I was using Letterly.com but it stopped working for me and I needed to write a letter. So, I popped open Notepad and put the same components (to, from, opening, body, closing) vertically on the page. What results is a clear, concise, professional looking letter that can be written in Notepad, printed on whatever plain or letterhead paper you want, and looks as good as Word templates or other fancy online letter writers.

Sometimes you need to write a letter, print it out and mail it. Not often, but sometimes you do. I was using Letterly.com but it stopped working for me and I needed to write a letter. So, I popped open Notepad and put the same components (to, from, opening, body, closing) vertically on the page. What results is a clear, concise, professional looking letter that can be written in Notepad, printed on whatever plain or letterhead paper you want, and looks as good as Word templates or other fancy online letter writers.

I had to contact my political representative some weeks ago. It should be obvious but anyone respects a physical, written letter more than an email any day of the week. It means the person put some time and effort into their communication. So that’s what I sent. Or, a few weeks ago, FedEx was wasting my time so I decided to waste their time writing a letter that would take a few days to arrive, and use up real time for a real employee to read and process and respond to. I needed a letter.

So, here’s the template (don’t be surprised, I said it was easy):

John Doe
123 Any Street
City, Province Postal Code
Country
Jane Q. Public
456 Any Street
City, Province, Postal Code
Country

Summary of Letter Contents

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Sincerely,

John Doe

It’s that simple. Remember to write your signature in pen in the space following “Sincerely,” after printing.

There you have it. An easy to remember, professional looking letter written in notepad.