Charitable Donations

MSN had an article that involves News to No One – that charitable donations are down again this year.

It confirmed something that I had suspected – that the Salvation Army had the bell ringers out early to try to snag a few weeks more out of its seasonal campaign. That several civic organizations are closing their doors altogether. That more people are in need of services from organizations that are already strapped.

The article noted that the American Red Cross is trying an online gift catalog to raise funds. You can see a button down the right-hand side of the screen that the parrot rescue is doing the same through the One Cause group and I am trying to support it. My online holiday shopping has netted something like $8.00 in donations, but every little bit counts.

I got a rather disconcerting e-mail this morning from Best Friends Animal Society. They started a fundraising effort based on the promise of matching contributions from some big-deal donors – dollar for dollar up to $1,000,000. Fabulous, right? So I went online and made my average annual donation last week. The e-mail today said that they had raised something under $300,000. Except they said it like this:

“Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who participated in this million dollar matching gift challenge. In spite of the short notice, an uncertain economy, and the added holiday stress, you managed to join together to raise $297,506.

And now we have more great news! Those generous donors who made the matching offer have decided to extend the challenge by another week!

We know you’ve already made a special gift to help reach this goal. It would be fantastic if you could make another. And one other way to help is to spread the word… please tell all of your friends about this big challenge.

You’ve proven, once again, that Best Friends members stand above all others in their generosity, their determination, and their heart. (We already knew that.) But with these extraordinary results, we hope you know it now, too.”

Of course, my two local groups – the parrot rescue and the library – need every dollar we can scrounge together. I haven’t even been to the library to see how the Holiday Sale went, but the Amazon sales seem to have picked up a bit. And I am planning to organize a toy making event for the parrot rescue. We all have random toy parts sitting around that we can donate and put together for the birds, if only we would take the time.

So I hope you are all doing what you can do. Spare change for the red kettles. An extra $5 for the group closest to your heart. ‘Tis the Season. Or something.

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