Just under half of Australia's registered charities employ no staff. In other words they are completely run by volunteers. That is great. Charities are great. People who donate money to charities are great. Whether it's time, money or expertise, giving and serving is good for individual souls and good for society. No question about it.
I have been seeking donations since registering two weeks ago. My friends, family and colleagues have all been hit up for a donation. I've never asked for such before, and because of that I was expecting more people to donate. The thing is most people don't donate to charities. Period. Those who do, usually have their favourites to which they regular make donations, and they'll usually do so, that is choose a particular charity because there is some personal connection. You would expect someone who lost a loved one to bowel cancer, for example, would, if they were the 'giving to charity' kind of person, donate to a bowel cancer charity. This leads me back to the issue of competition.
You will have received many cold calls from various charities. If you gave once you will forever be on their list. I don't have a problem with that. I usually say no. On one occasion I bought a Care Flight Bear (dressed as a groom). Later I bought a bride Care Flight Bear and gave the groom to my wife on our wedding day. I have no intention of buying anymore bears even though I think Careflight do a great job and I know how much they depend on donations.
I can't say yes to everyone. I often miss these calls anyway because they usually come in while I'm at work. However, yesterday I said yes to the RSPCA, although I've never given them money before. Donating to animal charities is not how I choose to spend my money. My point is I'm in the middle of this battle for charity dollars, and am now contributing to it by asking people to sponsor my mo.
I'm okay with people saying no. I'm less okay with people always saying no to everyone and everything. People who can't afford to support charities other than the RSL by pushing bucket loads of money through poker machines...for example. People can do whatever they want with their money. I'm not writing to condemn anybody. Respect. Do what you like with your money.
The thing is I'm beginning to feel less and less like my money is mine. I've acknowledged that all I have is a gift from God including my money. My current job was literally a God send. I used to donate money and feel guilty because I couldn't afford it, or resentful because I could, but I didn't feel like I could say no. In the past 2 weeks I've made four separate spontaneous donations, and I feel great about it.
I think part of the reason for me doing Movember is to continue this process of letting go. Obviously I believe in the cause. Men have traditionally been terrible at looking after themselves, both physically and mentally. Suicide rates are terrible. I believe in the cause, but there's something about giving, about being involved in something greater than yourself, which is humbling and liberating.
If you're not a giver, try it out. You'll be amazed by the results.
Here's the link to my Mo Space if you'd like to make a donation.