January 29th, 2007

planet

giving!

Every year I want to give to charities, and every year I sort of screw it up. It gets away from me, or I don't budget right, or I have doubts about where to give, you name it, it's a wide assortment of excuses. So that's why in 2007 I not only set a goal, but a bi-weekly goal... part of the reason the funds were hard to budget is that I looked at it like this big monthly thing, like rent. If I got to the end of the month and didn't have money in my checking account, I'd just assumed I'd catch up next month, and of course that would make me want to give more to make up for the previous one and I couldn't and the vicious cycle continues. So this year I'm doing two things: first, I have a plan to make 20 donations, one every two weeks. If I must miss a week, I have time at the end of the year to catch up. The checks will correspond to payday, so it'll be easier to see the money as "being there". I've gotten pretty good with my credit cards... I pay the balance off most months, and if I don't, I quit using them, hang out at home more and avoid the mall, and I'm okay... I want the money to always be there for charities, not always for the other stuff I want, and I think that'll work out well.

Second thing I'm doing is that I'm going to divide up my donations to kind of stay enthused. There are a lot of charities that I've always wanted to support, but I haven't gotten around to it. I mean, I go to church every week so that's where most of my donations go, and then I feel like I'm leaving other organizations out. So this time since I'm making 20 donations, 10 will go to church, 10 to a different organization every month. I sort of got this idea from my sister, who donates to someplace different every month also, I've been meaning to get her list.

So THIS month I chose Doctors Without Borders, from the category I like to call, "WTF?" As in... "We still have to keep people from dying of YELLOW FEVER? WTF?" I've always wanted to support them and never have, so I think this is awesome. Incidently one of my favorite charities ever, Amnesty International, kind of falls into that category too... as in, "There are governments who think it's perfectly okay to detain & torture someone without trial for YEARS? There are countries where women are stoned to death for adultry, regardless of whether they were raped? WTF?" They'll have their month later in the year. They might get two.

Anyway, I'm sort of vaguely taking suggestions for other non-profits. Researching them has been fun. So far I'm thinking of doing theme months... in March, I'll donate to the YWCA or some other anti-domestic violence group. In July, to celebrate the fun I had two years ago at defcon, I'll make it computer month and pick the EFF or the gnome foundation. September is the anniversary of me moving to Wichita so I'll pick a local charity.

Part of me feels wrong writing in here about charities because, you know, you're supposed to be humble and give without anyone knowing and all that, but seriously I'm not here saying I'm a fabulously generous person, I'm here saying I'm a screwed up person who's trying a new system and I'm excited about the new system and I'll need encouragement.