November 16, 2009

The Hypocrisy of Charitable Giving During the Holiday Season

I have never understood why some people push the idea that one time of year is better than another for donating time or money to a particular cause. It seems to me that if the cause merits your support than it shouldn't matter whether it is April, May or December.

If they do good work and they help people than you should support them year round. Now maybe you can't donate your money or time year round, but that is not really the point. It is all about giving back when you can and not limiting it solely to a season.

It is part of why I dislike the holiday season. It feels a bit like they are trying to cover up the crass commercialization with a two dollar donation to the United Way. Just doesn't feel right to me.

I talk to my kids about giving back. It is good to remind them that they lead a very nice life. They don't really understand just how privileged they are. They don't know what it means to go hungry or to not have a home. I am very grateful that they don't know these things.

And I don't think that they have to experience it to understand it either.

But I do think that they need to learn what it means to give back. They need to learn that it is not always about giving a check, that sometimes giving your time is more valuable than money.

It is an ongoing discussion here.


shavuatov said...

Well said. A few years ago, me and my BH gave some of our time to help out at a homeless shelter, during the holiday season here in the UK. It was probably the best thing we have ever done - how easy is it to walk past these people in the streets and dump them all into one category of 'the homeless', when they are all unique individuals, not so different from you and me?

And yes, charity and/or time should be donated year round, it just seems that it's supposedly easier to push the buttons at festive times of year.


V-Grrrl said...

It is better to give year round but some people like the one shot gift. It's a bit like driving north through NJ/NY and wishing you could pay one big freakin toll at the start and not be nickel and dimed for hours and hours.

We've brought our kids along on service projects at homeless shelters, homes for battered women, and other such places. It's an eye opener, but they learned the biggest lessons when we pulled them out of private schools and sent them to public schools in an area where half the kids qualify for the federal free lunch program. Now they *really* know how privileged they are, and they have a much more diverse set of friends, racially and economically.

Kelly @ The Miller Mix said...

I involve the kids in at least one community service project or charitable giving opportunity each month -- all the year round. I hope they keep it up the rest of their lives.

Jack said...

it just seems that it's supposedly easier to push the buttons at festive times of year.

It is definitely easier to do, but it bothers me. It just seems to be a way for us to ignore what happens during the rest of the year.


My kids are finally old enough that they are beginning to really notice what happens around them. That is why we have taken them along to some of the community projects. Get them out of the house and let them see for themselves what is going on.


You're starting off the right way. All we can do is try and build the foundation. Hope they add to it.