Investing in Hope
To be mindful of one's money does not mean to hoard or obsess over it. While many of this year's changes were made to pay down debt and allow us to make future life choices with greater freedom, this month brought us the opportunity to do something incredibly rewarding with our hard earned dollars: We sent money to carefully chosen charities. In short, we invested in hope.
We have always done some charitable giving, but it was not done thoughtfully. We would give small amounts here and there to friends raising money for good causes, and then I'd end the year feeling guilty that we hadn't supported the National Public Radio (NPR) that we were listening to each day or other causes that were more important to us. To be clear, our contributions this year were quite modest. We are not contributing 50% of our income like some frugal folks have done.
This year, the mister and I sat down to discuss what mattered to us and make intentional choices about how to best use our year-end charitable donations. Earlier in the year, we had already given to the Leukemia & Lymphoma society and Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, as well as local organizations like the Washington Trails Association and Palmer Scholars. After a divisive election season, we chose to use our year-end contributions to support four national organizations doing good work across the country on issues that mattered to us, as well as a campaign to support a friend put out of work by an unexpected surgery.
Our modest year-end donations left us with a feeling of hope. Good work is happening all the time, and we can choose to support it with our hard-earned dollars. In some ways, these dollars are just as powerful as our votes. This might be especially true in an age of "slacktivism." And yes... we absolutely made sure that we gave some dollars to NPR, so there will be guilt-free radio listening in the new year.