Every November, with the increase in appeal letters and emails from non-profits we care about, our family steps up our donations and charitable contributions. However, we are doing things a little differently this year.
Each day during the month of November this year, we are going to give away $100 to a charity. Most importantly, we are making it a family event. With a six-year-old and a nine-year-old, this is going to be interesting.
The plan is this: we are rotating family members and each day a different family member gets to choose which organization receives our donation. While we have always tried to teach our kids the importance of giving, we hope that this consistency will really cement how important it is to contribute to causes.
For my nine-year-old, he can do some of his own research about non-profits. And for my six-year-old, we will have to help her a bit more.
I invite you to join us. Give away something, each day, for the entire month. It doesn’t have to be a lot. As you give, remember that now, more than ever, non-profit organizations are needed to provide food, shelter, and health care to those who need it most.
Even if you give just a few dollars each day, you can have an enormous impact. If you aren’t able to give financially right now, you can give your time or your stuff.
Volunteers are still needed, even and especially during COVID. And more families than ever are relying on donations of clothing and food as government funding runs out.
Think about Christmas this year. Can you give away a new or gently used toy to make another family’s holiday that much more joyous? Think of that mom or dad that lost their job this year and the stress they are facing as we head into the holiday season.
A small donation makes an enormous difference to those in need. Don’t ever think that your contribution is not enough.
My family has been fortunate. We have been mostly unaffected by COVID-19. Not totally unaffected, but we are doing much better than most. And it has always been one of our top priorities and values to give back.
That is why we have created Giving November.
Our Family’s “Giving November” Rules
We have set up the following rules for Giving November:
- Each person/child explains the cause to the rest of the family
- He/she explains why that organization/cause is important and how it makes a difference in the world
- Encourage each other to think locally, nationally, and globally. The goal is to be aware of where you are making an impact.
- Think about issues/people/locations/animals you care about
- Think about who is most in need of support right now
- Think about those people/places/things that are most similar to you (“but for the grace of God go I” type organizations)
- Think about people/places/things who are not like you at all to encourage diversity and recognizing differences. (Note: this doesn’t require you to give to a cause whose mission you don’t support.)
My Giving November Example
One organization that I have long been a supporter of is the Center for Victims of Torture. Their headquarters are located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They also have offices in Africa and the Middle East.
I had a pro bono legal client who was an asylee who received benefits from this organization. This led me to learn more and understand how incredible this organization is.
It is difficult to explain to my children that there are people in this world who are subject to torture. My son wanted to know more and specifically asked, “what kind of torture?” He is familiar with historical torture from books and an interesting sightseeing tour at the Clink Torture Museum in London.
But how do you explain to children that torture still occurs in 2020? Or that even our own U.S. government still tortures people?
This is a lot to think about. It’s a lot to take in and a lot to do. It will certainly stretch me. However, I am confident that this stretching beyond my comfort zone will help me as much as it helps others.
Will you join me in making November your giving month?