Post # 1
Though it is great to give at any point throughout the year, the holidays tend to be a popular time for people to feel generous.
So bees, do you give? What do you give? What is your reasoning for either decision?
Personally, I have always given something at some point during the year, whether it is money, my time/skills or donated items. I was raised in a home that really valued giving to others, and I believe that is what has influenced me to continue giving.
Though we weren’t poor, my family growing up did not have a ton of money (family of five; $35,000/yr income). We received benefits from nonprofits and other programs at some point. So my parents saw it as important to give back in some way. We would make hygeine baskets for the homeless, volunteer at different nonprofits and make small contributions to fundraisers and charities.
My DH and I still find it important to give back. During college, it was through volunteering a lot. We also donate gently used items we no longer need to local shelters. Now, we give money when possible. We aren’t rich, but have very stable incomes and are able to cover our bills. We still volunteer, but unfortunately not as much with our work schedules.
I am so thankful for our circumstances and enjoy helping others, and I think I am most thankful for marrying such a generous and carrying spouse. Talking about our contributions this year was a really heartfelt conversation and it made me realize how much I appreciate his thoughtfulness and concern for others.
Please feel free to share your stories!
ETA: Thought I would share this TedX video about “buying happiness.” It’s a great short clip showing how buying things for others results in more happiness than spending money on ourselves.
Post # 4
@bmo88: I have our almost 3 year old pick out 2 toys (one boy and one girl) to give to other families who are less fortunate, I always give $1 – $10 to the red kettle campaign when I leave the store. And I volunteer at the Salvation Army during the christmas season. I love doing it and I am on a very limited budget so the little that we do is all we can do…but we are happy to do it.
Post # 5
DH and I give monetary donations to various causes throughout the year. We also ‘adopt’ a couple kids at the local Salvation Army angel tree to buy them clothiers and gifts. We’be done the angel tree thing since the first Christmas we were dating.
Post # 6
@Waitingbee57: That is so awesome that you involved your children in the giving process like that! It’s perfect because they know what kinds of toys they like and get the joy of giving it to another.
I think it’s really generous to give even with a small budget. I have relatives who say, “they cannot afford to give anything” even though they have decent incomes, no kids and spend lots of money on name brand items, eating out, expensive jewelry and other luxuries. They are fully within their rights to decide how to spend their money and it’s fine if they don’t want to give, I just don’t buy that they cannot “afford it.” It’s their choice not to give, which is fine, but it would be better if they would just admit that.
Post # 7
I donate food to our food bank and winter clothes/blankets to the homeless shelters. I like giving things rather than money so it feels more useful.
Post # 8
@bmo88: We donate a fair amount of money to our charities of choice throughout the year, plus we donate clothing, toys and other items. We feel it’s really important to give back to our community now that we are in a financial position to do so!
Post # 9
@bmo88: Truthfully speaking, I cannot afford it. But I know what its like to be on the receiving end. I have been on it many times while picking myself up from my first marriage that ended in divorce. I was a single mom making less than 8K a year it was hard. Christmas didnt even exist one year for me instead of buying my son presnets my family bought him presents and the salvation army gave me some to give to him. It was amazing that my son got something to open that christmas. I now am an engaged bee making 32K (nothing too big) and I am living more than paycheck to paycheck but I know there are people living in way worst circumstances on christmas. Me and my fiance have also vowed that when we have our own house and we are married that I would like to take a homeless women and child in for christmas eve and christmas. Obviously this will have to be when we are a little more well off.
Post # 10
I try to volunteer since I don’t have much money to give. This year I’m actually very involved with a local program that puts together gift and food baskets to over 500 families. Right now I match up donors to families and also in charge of putting together a basket for the family that a club I belong to ‘adopted’.
In the past (and this year too) I’ve gotten a group together to go Caroling for Canned goods. We give the food to the local food pantry.
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID
@bmo88: My boyfriend and I try to go to Toys R Us every year, buy some toys, and then just drop them off right at the “toys for tots” boxes at the exit.
Post # 12
@Woodstock: Volunteering time is just as valuable as monetary donations! So many nonprofits/projects need human power to fulfill their mission. 500 families!?!? That’s incredible. Through monetary, item donations and volunteer support (like yours) 500 families will have a great holiday meal!
@Waitingbee57: Wow, that is a really inspiring story and such a great perspective. I think it shows that if we choose, everyone is capable of helping someone else in a time of need.
Post # 13
@bmo88: it really is incredible. This is only my 2nd Christmas living in the area and I didn’t know it existed last year. The sheer amount of donations people bring in, from new bikes to local buisinesses donating services such as ac/heating repair, is AMAZING. I’m so glad I’m getting to help out as much as I do, makes me feel better about not having a full time job.
Post # 14
It depends on our circumstances. This year, we’re not as able to donate as much as we have in the past. Our city has a food drive that we always give to and we always donate toys to Toys for Tots.
Post # 15
I run a food drive at my work each year at Christmas time and drop it off at the local food bank. I also like to give to Toy Mountain for children each year. I wish that DH and I had the time to volunteer cause I would love that but our work schedules dont give us much time
Post # 16
This year, in lieu of getting each other big gifts, SO and I have each chosen 3 charities for the other to donate to. This is our first Christmas together but I hope this is a tradition that we keep every year. We both feel that we are already so blessed and lucky that others could use the money more, and honestly if we want anything we just buy it for ourselves throughout the year. This was his idea and it just showed me how lucky I am to have such a caring and selfless guy by my side.
SO also regularly volunteers time at the animal shelter where our cats and dog are from and I’ve spent some time volunteering at homeless shelters.