The holidays are stressful enough without all the requests to donate money and adopt children. As the Development Director for IHCRC and a donor myself, I know how much stress this can add to an already financially stressful time of year. Why yesterday alone I must have received 30 to 40 requests for donations. I gave once and felt good about it instead of feeling bad about the 39 other organizations who did not get my money.
So, I thought I would share a few tips on how to keep yourself saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Bah Humbug."
Care for Yourself First - You and your family are MOST important. Do not feel bad for focusing on your family.
Set a Donation Limit: We all want to give during the holiday season. Set a limit for yourself and stick to it. Remember every little bit helps whether it be $1 or $100.
Give Up One Important Thing: Do you buy a soda or a coffee every day? Do you eat lunch out? Do you grab a candy bar when you buy gas? What about your favorite donut on Saturday morning? Give up ONE just ONE during the holiday season and give that money to a cause.
Decide What is Important to You: Speaking of causes, decide what is important to you. Is it an organization who has helped your family? Did the story they told tug on your heart strings? Is it a cause dear to your heart, for example dogs in need of homes? Were you asked by someone close to you? Bottom line - it's your bottom line. Give because you WANT to give NOT because you feel you MUST.
The Holidays are Not the Only Time People are in Need: You want to give but you just can't this holiday season. Give when you can. Trust me - the need is ALWAYS there.
Feel Good About What You Have Done: Giving makes us feel good. That is a fact. Concentrate on what you gave and who you helped NOT on the 39 organizations who did not receive your money.
It's Not Always About Money: Sometimes Holiday giving is really about sharing what you have with others. Invite someone you know will be alone to eat with your family. Bake an extra batch of cookies. Donate used coats or scarfs to the homeless. Sing carols for your neighbors. Write a poem or letter to cheer someone's day. Visit a friend who cannot leave home or lives alone. Share a decoration with someone in a nursing home. Brighten someone's Bah Humbug day with a smile. There are a million ways to give even when you don't have money.