We’re coming up to the time of year when the ring of the phone or a knock at the door means one of two things: the duct-cleaning people are in the area and rumour has it your ducts are filthy or someone is collecting for something to help someone else.
Who hasn’t ducked down below window level, slithered past sight lines to avoid detection while suffering scraped knees and splinters because the wood floor still hasn’t been sanded, only to peek around a corner and find it’s your mom coming by with a food delivery? Plenty of you, right? The word “donation” is frightening. We imagine an all or nothing scenario and many of us are already maxed out in our bank accounts and with our time.
In an ideal world our floors would be sanded and telemarketers would lose our numbers and everyone would do her part to help where help was needed. One of these three things is a fantasy coughductscough, but the other two stand a chance of coming true.
Let’s Dispel Some Myths About Making Donations
Opening ourselves to giving back doesn’t have to be a drain.
Like anything else we have to budget where we donate time, resources, and money, and we should consider not only where we can offer value, but what moves us too.
A donation can be any number of things not remotely connected to money.
Did you grow up playing a sport? Consider helping out at a local club.
Have you outgrown your pants thanks to the new bakery down the street? First – consider walking there instead of driving, but second – pass on the clothes that have been sitting in the back of the closet for months, or years, or decades to someone who can use them now.
School outings, pizza school lunches (although Godspeed with that one), walking a neighbour’s dog, visiting a retirement home, fostering rescue dogs (the trick is not adopting them all); all of these add up to making someone else’s life a little bit better.
There is nothing wrong with feeling satisfaction about doing a good deed.
The politically correct thing to say is, “Do the good deed for the deed alone.” Most politically correct statements are too black and white and wrong. We live in a world coloured with shades of grey along with every other colour and shouldn’t be ashamed to take pride in a job well done, or time well spent. There’s no need to shout from the rooftops about the hour we spent at a local food bank, but take quiet joy in knowing the time you spent there serving and connecting with people matters. Because it does matter to so many recipients, giving back is what reinforces our sense of community and belonging.
I’ve cleaned out my closets and organized kids’ sporting events and served on school councils and paid my dues on Science Centre trips with screaming 8 year-olds, as have many people. While donating money hasn’t always been an option, my time is something viable I can give, and any expertise or passion I have can be channelled to causes I love.
Some of my most memorable times have been spent working with kids to teach them about setting goals and then seeing their pride and joy when they accomplish those goals. That took hours out of my monthly schedule. That’s it! And in return I passed on the value of goals and working towards them. Value Village encourages the idea of giving back to our communities in whatever capacity we’re comfortable with. And I’m here to tell you; you don’t have to hide from charities knocking at the door. Keep hiding from the duct people, though; they’re relentless.
Thank you to Value Village for sponsoring this post and allowing Life In Pleasantville to share tips on how and where to donate.