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I’m looking for different ways to help people. Like kids that aren’t getting anything Or next to nothing for Christmas. I work so much that my time is almost impossible to come by right now. In my case I’m looking more for helping with money at the moment. I’ve heard the idea of calling the school and paying off as many kids lunches as possible. Right now I don’t really do much more than leave no less than 20% tip even for not so great service. You have to give me the vibe that you don’t care about me and my food to get a bad tip. And I usually leave a few dollars on anything that comes up at a register to donate towards a cause.

Still in general. How do you guys help out. I know a lot of you plow snow for your neighbors, and stuff like that. So this isn’t just for kids and Christmas. As I’d like to help more when I can afford it or get time.

I didn’t grow up rich. Nor am I rich now. I make what I consider pretty good money and so does my wife, but we both work our tails off. 5-7 days a week since we have know each other(1999 then married in 2000) My parents where the same way. We never had flashy things but we also was never without. I think it makes for a better person in my opinion.
 

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I plow snow for some , work for Habitat on occasion and give Mrs. P. financial support so she writes checks to many charities. DAV, wounded warriors, salvation army, local hospice, red cross, local museum, botanical garden, fire relief fund, arbor day foundation, ACLU...............etc. We are not rich by any means but enjoy sharing what little wealth and disposal income we have!
 

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Your empathy and compassion is commendable. The problem with giving imho is based on two things...a charity I want to know the % of money actually goes to the needy vs the % that goes to the administration. Some well known charities very little of your donation goes where it should.
The second dilemma is who should receive? Over the years I've offered to buy or give food to people on the street to no avail...they typically want booze or drugs.
People at intersections with a cardboard "will work for food" signs...has anyone actually asked them "yes...come home with me, I have lots of chores for you and I'll feed you lunch and dinner".
Bottom line is you and wife are to be commended for working hard to have what you have. Giving is tough. My suggestion would be your best bet is ask at your or any reputable church how you can help out. You don't have time to give but any donation would be appreciated and I would trust the church to see it goes to a needy child, a family who lost their home, etc.
Good luck and Happy Holidays! You're good people.

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While we worked we helped a lot of people in many ways. When my wife became disabled that slowed way down but we still did help, mostly local. Now that I'm retired the money needs to be held close to the chest for ourselves. But even with that in mind Lucy still made a check out and sent it to my cousin and his wife that is in a bad way. If you look around there is always someone worse off then we are so we help when we can and make sure it's for people that actually get the funds or whatever the help is we're giving.
 

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Call your local charity of choice and ask what they are in need of at this time. Purchase items on amazon and have shipped to the location. It really is that easy.

Have food and toys dropped at your local animal rescue.

Send tooth brushes, tooth paste and other hygiene products to the homeless shelter.
 

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We have done all sorts of things over the years from buying presents for all the kids at a Catholic Orphanage that had over 50 children (didn't even know such places still existed, to be honest.) to supporting different organizations to selecting someone to help and helping them directly. For 2001 to 2009, we would send 100 holiday packages to soldiers overseas. That worked well once we got the logistics and customs forms and requirements all sorted out. It was much more of a project than we thought. After doing it ourselves for 2 or 3 years, we switched to a group you could pay to handle the entire process.

I will say that was the gift program where we received the greatest response in terms of appreciation and gratitude from those who received the packages. We got so many nice notes, pictures, cards, it was actually heart warming. That's not why you give, but it is nice to know your efforts are appreciated.

A few years ago, we worked with a local charity and put together 50 food baskets with a variety of things and each had a $50 cash card. Many families, who we were directed towards by a local Social Services Agency, were very gracious and thankful. However, a few totally ruined it for us ever doing such a thing again. They were indignant that they "just wanted the cash and not the stupid food" and it went downhill from there to where some tried to "trade" the food baskets back to the store that put them together for us so they could get cash for liquor or whatever.....:banghead:....

One guy tried to intimidate me with threats into giving him all of the cash cards in the remaining packages in the truck, yet to be delivered. He was not successful and in fact, in the end, didn't get the package earmarked for him either......

Problem is, some and I stress SOME people in need are there because of drug and or alcohol, gambling or other issues. For some, its a matter of priorities and they continually make bad choices. My point in mentioning this is your desire to help often can make the situation worse if you give them money as its an enabling tool for more destructive behavior. Many of these people are quite skilled at deception.

Also, we feel that there are thousands of well organized human agencies from the United Way, Salvation Army to you name it, where they provide for people in a variety of ways. To be honest, someone needing assistance simply has to look and they will find a number of organizations to help them.

We decided to help those who truly can not provide for themselves. After trying various approaches, we find helping animals the most rewarding for us. For us, it's the only way we will give going forward. So we support animal welfare agencies which are local in our area and about whom I know their budgets and how the money is spent. Companion animals (Dogs and cats) are entirely dependent upon humans for their care and support and I have yet to have the experiences we endured when trying to help people.

My best advice I can give you is the moment you provide your form of support, help, assistance or whatever, consider the process completed and move along. Because often, there won't be any gratitude from the recipients and the outright hostility which we have experienced when trying to help some was pretty shocking to us. It was not at all what we expected.

So don't expect any appreciation from what you are doing and you won't be disappointed when any acknowledgement of your efforts to help others goes without notice. It's sad to say but true........Again, that's not the reason why most people give but it is nice to know your attempt to help others made a difference and was appreciated.
 

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This time of year is easy to find things. Most any church will have some sort of "thing" to help out those in need. Many "rest homes" where the elderly live out their final years have a "giving tree" type of arrangement where you can pick a name or two (or 10!) and buy them a couple pairs of socks, slippers, etc... Here in MA, the State Division of Child Services does the same thing with all the kids in foster care. You can call them and they'll give you a gender and age for a child and anything they that know that the child needs. You pick the stuff up, drop it at a DCF office and it gets delivered to the child in time for Christmas.

I have "an arrangement" with the principal and nurse at the school my grandson attends. I have a garage full of tools and enough skills to handle most things around a house or a car. If someone comes to them in need, they call me and I go "fix" whatever I can. Sometimes it's a simple as relighting a pilot light on a water heater. Sometimes it means I scramble around to find them a new set of tires or a washing machine. Sometimes they just need a ride someplace. I never know what it's going to be until I get the call. It's not much. I only get 2 or 3 calls each school year but every time I've gotten one, it's been to help someone local that's usually flat out broke and at the end of their rope.
 

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This time of year is easy to find things. Most any church will have some sort of "thing" to help out those in need. Many "rest homes" where the elderly live out their final years have a "giving tree" type of arrangement where you can pick a name or two (or 10!) and buy them a couple pairs of socks, slippers, etc... Here in MA, the State Division of Child Services does the same thing with all the kids in foster care. You can call them and they'll give you a gender and age for a child and anything they that know that the child needs. You pick the stuff up, drop it at a DCF office and it gets delivered to the child in time for Christmas.

I have "an arrangement" with the principal and nurse at the school my grandson attends. I have a garage full of tools and enough skills to handle most things around a house or a car. If someone comes to them in need, they call me and I go "fix" whatever I can. Sometimes it's a simple as relighting a pilot light on a water heater. Sometimes it means I scramble around to find them a new set of tires or a washing machine. Sometimes they just need a ride someplace. I never know what it's going to be until I get the call. It's not much. I only get 2 or 3 calls each school year but every time I've gotten one, it's been to help someone local that's usually flat out broke and at the end of their rope.
They have one of those giving trees set up in our post office. Not sure what the criteria is but it's for children who don't have much.
 

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Man I get it. I'm very careful with the money I donate. I work for a non-profit. I try to donate at least 1K a year there. Not on the big projects, usually it's small stuff 100 here or there. I try to do it as anonymously as possible at work. When someone is working on a project and it needs some cash thrown at it I'll do it.

I have a new found 2nd favorite charity, The Franciscan Center in Baltimore. I met a group of their employees and volunteers a couple months ago. They are doing some really fantastic work on a shoe string budget and they are great people. Someone donated 3 acres of land to them. They want to start gardens on the land and have some of the people they serve help maintain them.

They didn't have a clue how to get started. They don't seem to know much about gardening either. I told their president, I think I got a guy that can help you. He looked at me like I was crazy. I knew Mitch Daly lived out that way, he's a WFM member. I knew Mitch had been involved in some plow days. I contacted him, he has a crew put together to help prep the ground for them. My part was small, but the funny guy in WI got them hooked up at home to get what will be a fantastic food supply for them. That's a group that's really worth the money to me. I'll be sending them a little package in the spring.

The Salvation Army. They do so many different things it's amazing, go check your local chapter and see all they do. During our flood here they and the Red Cross were helping with food for flood workers. The Red Cross had set up one of their shelters, if you could get people there they would take them. That just didn't work out. The Salvation Army was Johnny on the Spot with hot meals for the workers. They'd give us something to wash up with and some hot food and a cold drink. They always seemed to show up when you were hungry.

The Red Cross would show up at strange times with a low quality "heater meals" I suppose it would be pretty good if you hadn't eaten in a month. Since then I've always had a big soft spot for SA. They really seem to do things right.

Like most I like to think when I donate money it's doing some good. Be wise and give like you want to.

Wow that's the most I've typed in a long time. I have a bit of a passion for giving.:unknown:
 

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We keep it local and avoid the big charities with highly paid administration and give donations to our church which serves several local charities.

There is also a homeless shelter in our county that is for families we donate a good bit to. To be given a spot there children must be part of the family and that always hits a soft spot for me since they have no say in the conditions they are stuck in. If your town or county has a social services department they will be aware of such a shelter and get you contact information. Donations don't have to be money, but could be clothing, personal use items, toys, food, a day of repair work, etc.

There is a rotating homeless shelter that the county churches host in the winter months. It gives them a warm place to sleep overnight in cold weather. I usually volunteer for two of those weeks to monitor the group on the overnight shift.
 

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My wife teaches English as a Second Language at her school district. Lots of her kids are migrant worker families and they don’t have much. So we help out at Christmas with clothes, presents, and food. Most of the families are very great full but to proud to ask for help.
I like doing this as we know it makes a positive difference in these kids lives. And all the money goes to the cause.



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For the past 16 years or so I've helped Veterans transitional shelters in OH and now MA. Support generally involves donations of personal hygiene care products and clothing.

My sister has an eBay connection and she purchases new, brand name, overstock clothing for me for pennies on the dollar. Just last week I dropped off a half dozen men's winter coats. New socks and underwear are also appreciated. I generally pick those up at BJ's in the bulk packs. They do seem to receive plenty of other types of donations which is good.

A friend of mine has a connection with a hotel supply company and she arranged to get damaged cases of soap, shampoo, mouthwash and toothpaste for short money. They put the distressed cases to one side and I'll pick up and deliver them to the shelter on occasion.

Once a month I'll prepare some food and bring it over to the shelter. Usually for a Saturday or Sunday dinner. I'll change it up. Lasagna, stuffed peppers, baked ziti, roast chicken & potatoes. The usual church supper specialties. Always with Italian bread and a big salad. Simple and much appreciated.

I also donate to the Salvation Army and the Fisher House Foundation.

If you do decide to support a charity check them out here first:

https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities
 

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I donate all of the standing dead timber that is on my property to a local veterans group. They come out and cut it all into firewood and haul it off. The wood is donated to needy people in the community as well as sold to help raise money for their vfw hall. It's a great way for me to help a worthwhile cause, and they help me by taking the wood. This year they have probably taken around 15 cords. Next years goal is 25.
 

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Local

I try to give to organizations that are local or that I know something about. I don't want to give money to a charity that sounds great only to find that most of the money is spent on something else- an example of this is the HSUS which runs those heart rending TV commercials about helping find homes for dogs and cats. In reality, little of their budget is spent on animal shelters and the rest is either to pay high salaries or to fund lobbying efforts.

I'm involved in agriculture so most of my support goes in that direction. Almost every state has an Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation that provides agricultural materials and training so teachers can incorporate agricultural information into the regular curriculum. In Virginia, there is no charge to the teachers or the school system for the program because it's all donation funded. Natural disasters usually have agricultural consequences and there are funds that help farm families to recover from floods, fires etc.

I agree that the Salvation Army seems to do a good job with the funds they receive. I'll drop something in a red kettle or otherwise make a donation. We've made Red Cross donations but they don't seem to be as efficient as I would like.

Local 4H or FFA programs can always use a boost. Sometimes those are tricky as they may have explicit rules on contributions.

If you want to check out whether a charity is legitimate, take a look at the IRS form 990. You can look them up here: https://www.guidestar.org/Home.aspx

Giving is good, thanks for the reminder that I need to write some checks. . .

Treefarmer
 

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I try to keep most of my donations local. My brothers and I have started a Technology Scholarship at the local High School.

Right now I am participating in No Shave November. A fund rasing event for cancer research.

If you want to see me with a beard and maybe donate a few bucks go to...

https://no-shave.org/member/billq
 

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I try to donate locally as well, although I have donated to the Hope Dementia organization for their therapy dolls program. https://hopedementiasupport.org

I did just donate to the town food bank before Thanksgiving because they were short on meals. I'll try to continue with that as much as I can.
 

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I am a Volunteer Firefighter I have been doing it for 35 years. I respond to over 300 calls a year from house fires to smells and bells, from a elderly person that needs assistance in getting up to a child in cardiac arrest on Christmas day. I have run out on dinners at home and at a restaurant leaving my wife there, to go cut a person out of a car that wrecked. I have cut romantic evenings off because I knew I was one of the only ones around to respond. I have to keep my training current and to top it off I go and help raise funds to buy a $500,000 fire engine; note Ladder trucks are around a Million dollars now.

So if you want to donate to a non profit we need your time and dedication if fire or ems isn't for you then you can come out and help out and any number of the fund raisers any volunteer fire company host. Contact them and see how you can help. Thanks
 

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I am a Volunteer Firefighter I have been doing it for 35 years. I respond to over 300 calls a year from house fires to smells and bells, from a elderly person that needs assistance in getting up to a child in cardiac arrest on Christmas day. I have run out on dinners at home and at a restaurant leaving my wife there, to go cut a person out of a car that wrecked. I have cut romantic evenings off because I knew I was one of the only ones around to respond. I have to keep my training current and to top it off I go and help raise funds to buy a $500,000 fire engine; note Ladder trucks are around a Million dollars now.

So if you want to donate to a non profit we need your time and dedication if fire or ems isn't for you then you can come out and help out and any number of the fund raisers any volunteer fire company host. Contact them and see how you can help. Thanks
Great point, Don. Our small town of 2000 people has a VFD and they struggle. 3-4 times per year they have a breakfast fund raiser and I always donate there. My Dad at 85 yrs old is still on the force, going on 56 years. In a town like ours, they respond to not only fires, but car accidents, downed trees, etc. We have one of the best departments around considering lack of resources. And you never know when you might need them yourself, right?
 
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