It seems everyone has been in the giving spirit lately. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge really opened a lot of people’s eyes, hearts, and wallets to giving back by donating to charity. While I love that so many people were moved to donate to a cause, I often wonder about how people choose to make the donations they make.


Do you choose to donate because it is trendy, because it is a cause you are really passionate about, has someone you know been affected by the thing/disease/etc. that you are donating to, or do you just choose to try to make the world a better place?

When I think about giving back, my mind immediately thinks locally. I hate seeing my money go to some mysterious place, to some mysterious organization where I have absolutely no idea how the funds are being spent or what good is coming out of it. This is one of the reasons I usually decide to donate locally.

This year has been no exception. With school starting next week in our local district, and back to school night taking place just a few days ahead of the official start date, I knew it was the perfect time to donate locally.

There are so many kids in need; kids who may not get everything they need for a successful year in school simply because parents may lack the resources to provide those needed things. I am a true believer in the idea of the “It Takes a Village” concept, and what better way for me to help those in my very own community then by giving back.

Since I do have the resources available I’m very happy to help others when they need the help – and who knows, maybe someday I will be the person on the recipient end and in need of help. I can only hope that if that day ever comes, someone out there feels the same way and will be as generous and understanding toward others.

This year I was able to purchase and donate eight backpacks, two of them were filled to the brim with enough school supplies to completely outfit four kids with all of their supply needs. I didn’t separate all the supplies out though as I left it to the district to determine who needed what and give them out as requested.


The best thing about giving these supplies to the school wasn’t even the gratitude expressed by the principal (she already has kids in mind who need the items), but it was that I could share in doing this with my family. Before we arrived at the school I thoroughly explained to my kids what we were doing and why.

Being curious kids, they of course asked a few questions about why they couldn’t keep some of the stuff. It was the perfect opportunity for me to explain to them that we already have all these things, but there are kids who may not have them and need these more than we do. They were really excited to be able to help me give these items to the school (despite the look of utter boredom on my son’s face). 🙂

brookwood donation 2014

Such joy comes with giving back that I don’t know if I can fully express the great sense of community and self worth that this creates, but I encourage each and every one of you to take a look at where a need lies in your community and see if you have the means to fill it. Even if it is something as simple as helping your elderly neighbor rake leaves, or driving them to a doctor appointment. There is always a way to help.

If you prefer to donate to an organization, do that instead! Every little bit helps no matter how you choose to donate (time, money, items, etc.).


So tell us…

Have you ever made a donation to a charity or helped give back to your community? What motivated you to do so?



Photo Credit: Andrew Ferguson / Flickr