Celebrities love to donate to their favorite charities. They have benefits, donate precious items for auction, and make guest appearances. Us, non-celebrities, do not have the benefit of being able to get money for a charity just by showing up at an event, but we can make a difference. Giving helps others and is good for the soul, but it doesn’t have to be a donation to a big charitable organization. Donating comes from the heart in small amounts to help as many people as we can help.
The Three T’s of Donating
Donations can be of time, treasure, or talent. A donation of treasure can be money or items. A donation of time is simply using your time to help. A donation of talent is using your abilities to help. Donations of time and talent do not have to cost you anything but they are just as valuable as a donation of treasure.
Recent Celebrity Donations
Everyone from Elmo to Miley Cyrus to Gordon Ramsay donates to charities. Linda St.Cyr, the Celebrity Charity Examiner has kept me updated with all the recent celebrity donations, events, and benefits.
Elmo recently joined forces with Al Roker and Deborah Roberts to donate their time and talent to educate children about the economy in the PBS special “Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times”.
Miley Cyrus joined the Jonas Brothers for a benefit concert to raise money for the City of Hope in Los Angeles, CA. the City of Hope is a cancer treatment center but it also does research on finding treatments and cures for other chronic diseases.
Gordon Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen host, has a new line of sauces called “Seriously Good Sauce” where 10% of the sales go to the charitable organization Comic Relief. Comic Relief’s goal is to see “a just world free from poverty”.
So How Do I Donate?
We can’t all donate like celebrities but we can help out in our own ways.
Go back to the three T’s. You can donate your time by doing volunteer work for any organization that you can think of or you can just donate a little time to help that stressed out mom down the street by watching her child for an hour. I volunteer my time once a week by helping out in the school’s lunchroom. This won’t save the world but it helps five and six year olds get a hot lunch during the school day.
Donation of treasure is the easiest if you have the money. Giving to your church, buying popcorn for a local fundraiser, or donating unwanted clothes to Goodwill are all considered gifts of treasure.
Donating your talent may come easy to you if you have a talent. Singing in church or crocheting baby blankets to distribute to new parents are excellent donations of talent.
Why Should I Donate and Who Should I Donate to?
Donations do not have to be big or be to a big charitable organization. Donations can be to family, neighbors, communities, churches, or the little old lady crossing the street.
There are health benefits to donating especially when it comes to donations of time and talent. Allan Luks, author of “The Healing Power of Doing Good,” describes many scientifically documented accounts of people gaining physical, mental, and emotional benefits from donating their time and talents.
Some volunteering statistics:
• 12 percent of volunteers said their volunteer activities had helped them find employment.
• 73 percent of employers would hire someone with volunteer experience over someone with none.
• 66 percent of volunteers said they developed better communication skills in areas like public speaking, writing and public relations.
Donate by Giving Back to the People Who Have Helped You
I believe in giving back to those who have helped you if you can. I was helped by a writer’s forum. The group critiqued writings, encouraged each other, and posted job listings. I made up my mind when I joined that if I got paid for anything from that board that my first payment would go back to the forum. I kept my promise to myself and clicked the “Donate” button. It wasn’t a large amount at all, but they helped me so I hope I helped them in a small way.
Donate by Paying It Forward
Paying it forward is a concept that started with the Pay It Forward movie in 2000 but paying it forward has been around much longer than that. Paying it forward simply means that if you get help, in any small way, then you should help someone else.
I forgot to give my son his lunch and didn’t realize it until I saw it sitting in the refrigerator long after lunchtime was over. The woman in charge of lunches gave my son a hot lunch that day. The next day, I went in to pay for it, thanked her profusely, and then went to do lunch duty myself. There was a little boy who didn’t have anything to drink. I gave him the fifty cents to buy milk.
Anonymous donations are the easiest and can go hand in hand with the paying it forward donations. If you donate anonymously then no one has to feel like they owe you something and you will not have to experience the awkwardness of a thank you.
Every Christmas we anonymously donate gift cards to family members that we know need them. These families have never asked where these cards come from but we still know that they are appreciated.
It is not the size of the donation or the charity where it’s given that matters. The most important aspect of donating is that we all do it. Every little bit helps.
Celebrity Charity Examiner
Elmo ‘s “Family Stands Together”
The Personal Health & Economic Benefits of Donating Your Time to a Cause