When I'm really thinking about something, it seems like God sends me the answer if I pay attention. First, my Twitter feed featured an article about the fundraising efforts of Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts candidate for the U.S. Senate. The article stated that she raised over $3 million for her campaign against incumbent Scott Brown, with 96% of donations less than $100. The story was an inspiring reminder of the power of lots of people doing a little.
A few days later, I found a new blog called Giving2.0 that encourages readers to give more meaningfully, rather than just giving more money. My only disclaimer about this site is that if you tend to get a little overwhelmed by choices, to the point that you do nothing rather than make a decision (like I occasionally do), be careful not to get too bogged down in research and "strategic giving." It is much better to do something than to do nothing.
Our sermon series in church this fall is "Love God, Love Others, Change the World." Today, part of the message was this: if you make more than $30,000 per year, you are richer than 95% of the people in the world.
I started thinking some more about this post on Giving2.0. The suggestions to identify causes that you feel passionate about, and to create networks of collaborative giving- recruiting your friends and family to support the same causes- really spoke to me.
So that's where you come in! Every week I am going to identify a Charity of the Week (COW), to which I will make a small donation. The organization may be local, national, or international, secular or religious. I will tell you a little about the organization and give you a link to its website. If the cause is something that you feel inspired to support, send a few dollars. If you feel that your donation money could be better spent somewhere else, wait for the next COW (or, even better, send me a suggestion).
I already have this week's COW all picked out. But you have to wait a few days to find out what it is!
By the way, this idea was partly inspired by the book Do One Nice Thing by Debbie Tenzer. This lady decided that she needed a pick-me-up to help her through Mondays. Instead of scheduling a weekly pedicure or a girls' night out, she planned to do something nice for someone else every Monday. She started a website to help spread ideas about nice things that can be done. Eventually she wrote a book of suggestions for her fellow "niceaholics." It was such a great idea that I don't feel bad at all about stealing it and modifying it for my own purposes.
While you're waiting for the reveal of the first COW, I would love it if you leave a comment about ways in which you have been inspired to help others. The more I read about the giving and helping efforts of my friends, the more geared up I get.
So long for now, KISS (keep it simple stupid), and stay tuned for this week's COW!