Merry Charity!

let this be a colorful, cheerful, and beautiful Christmas!

We get into the merry moods during this time of the year, don’t we? The decorative lighting, the jolly music playing in the malls, and the cookies baking!

What do you say, that we maximize the merry moods?

During this time of the year, we complain about the rush to get everything ready for the joyous holiday; for some of us, we (as in ME) talk too much about the mad rush before the new year closes in.

Back in my head, I always wonder, what about the less fortunate? See, I have a somewhat different definition for ‘less fortunate’. If you have known me personally and our family history, you will know that we have several immediate family members who are contracted with severe health conditions from kidney failure, to Parkinson disease, to hypertension, to permanent skin disease, to chronic disc disease, to joints related problems and the usual old aged ailments.

I think it is sad that we have these problems, some are even life-threatening; I don’t think we are necessarily less fortunate. Most of the affected family members are not insured, and non-insurable, including myself (for the  chronic back problem, that is); but we enjoy the subsidies from the healthcare unit, even though that may translate into less timely treatments, and yucky medical teams, still, we receive the very basics that we need.

In a way, I think we are quite fortunate to at least have the basic tier of needs (in the hierarchy of needs) met. We have a roof over our heads; although there are fewer working adults at home to finance everything and everyone, at least we get to put food on the table; we don’t have first grade quality silk as garment, but we have decent and comfortable cottony clothes (in my case, I ought to get more casual home tees, some of my tees are so torn, even the preachers who knocked at my door thought that life had been hard on me!).

In my opinion, we do just fine. No doubt, we are fully capable to live a more comfortable lifestyle, but life has been perfectly tailored, in providing us with the opportunity to do the best we could, and fulfill our duties. We are very fortunate in that sense – to be ‘able’.

In that perspective, many others who might have lesser health problems as we do, but possibly be met with more challenging situations; perhaps, they live from meal to meal.

We tend to spend more on festive seasons – doesn’t apply to me much since I don’t celebrate most festive occasions, except for more allowances for the folks who celebrate them – and complain about how little money we are left with at the end of the month.

How much, out of the big spending, goes to a good cause?

Now, I am not judging, nor am I saying it’s wrong. I am just saying, perhaps a little effort can go to the less fortunate?

In my tradition, we donate some money for charitable cause on special occasions, and festive seasons. That might heighten the merry moods, yes?

This year, we are organizing a private fund-raiser for a less fortunate family. A family that is receiving very limited funding from the social services.

You can do the same, nothing big, and easy to manage:
1. Discretion – Place a donation box beside your beautiful Christmas tree, or beside the buffet table
**No need to spoil the happy mood by ‘forcing’ your guests to donate; trust and respect that some people have other plans for their tight budget

2. Brief introduction – Before the party begins, give a short introduction about the collection box, and the beneficiary details and where the box is located
**People need to know who they are parting their money to; no need to go into length, or dramatize (note to self, the drama queen – me) the sobby story, your guests are here to have fun, don’t poke into their guilt for not donating, that, IMO, is a low-pressure coercion

3. Proof of donation – For collective donation, it’s important to obtain an official receipt as proof of donation. Of course, since this is a private fund-raiser, your guests would have trusted you enough to donate, still, it’s best to just let the donors know that the money has gone to where it should.
**If you have a social network account, you may post the photos of the money counting process, and the receipt (remember to cover up some personal details in the letter/receipt before posting up). That way, the good deed is also taking another level of viral effect – inspire others to do the same or better!

Have a great time preparing for the party!

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