It's the end of the year and we're being inundated with year end begs from all the charities to which I have ever given any money.
But it's been a rough year for us financially. We lost about 1/3 of Kris' income, in addition to my illness - which has cost us $2500 we hadn't planned on spending (and a bit more, that's just deductible and the part of payment I share with the insurance company. I also have the copays for the doctor visits and for the medication).
Thus, our charitable giving has had to shrink a bit. We've held off on a number of organizations to which we have belonged, even some we've belonged to for years. We keep up on Greenpeace, and sometime early next year we'll probably rejoin Habitat for Humanity. We are still members of the Swedish American Historical Society, but we've dropped the Swedish American Museum in Chicago.
It's just the way it goes.
Tonight I loaded Open Office's office suite on a PC, and I stopped for a moment when asked for a donation. The folks who've developed the Open office suite of tools aren't particularly pushy about the donations. If you don't give you still get. Everyone can use the software, and since it is an open platform everyone can contribute to the code (if you know how to do it - which I don't.) I stopped for a moment and then I gave.
It was a small donation, especially considering all the use I have for this software. I've loaded it on to every PC and every Mac under my control. So a small donation for six suites of software, that's not major sacrifice for me and it makes me feel good about myself. I've given back.
Before the end of the year I hope we can make additional donations to our church. As I said, I want to make sure we give to Habitat and Greenpeace. Maybe one or two more charities.
With money being tight, I wonder where my friends are going to give at this year end feel good charitable giving time of the year.