The desire to help others and requests for help increases come Thanksgiving and Christmas. And there are multiple organizations that welcome your donations this time of year and will put them to good use. Your gift, depending on what organization you give to, could go to help keiki to kupuna. It could help feed families. It could keep a struggling couple in their home. It could provide clothes for children. It could go toward helping dogs and cats find forever homes. It could save a life. It could spark hope where there is none. It could brighten a Christmas morning.
But it’s natural to ask a few questions: Where should your hard-earned money go? How do you decide how much to give? Or even, should you give at all?
Let’s answer the last one first.
If you can give, yes. Please do. There are many, many people who have little. There are many children who will not receive a gift for Christmas. There are kupuna who can’t afford three meals a day. There are families without homes.
There are, as mentioned, numerous nonprofits and community groups that do wonderful work on Kauai. They make a difference. And they’re not kidding when they say every dollar helps. Those community groups rely on donations to continue their philanthropic missions. The fact is, many people could donate to charities but choose not to. The notion of giving $5 to the Salvation Army’s bell ringer seems crazy for some of us, but we’ll turn around and spend that same $5 for a coffee drink without hesitation. Most of us could afford to give more than we do.
How much should you give?
As much as you can. Generosity rolls throughout the island. It has more impact than you know. A giving heart is good for the body, mind and soul. Our world could use more people looking to give and help out than people looking for what they can get and complaining. It’s just a good example to set. Rotary clubs are a model of people who volunteer and raise money for the benefit of others. Kauai is known as a giving community A person who donates time and money for the welfare of not just those he or she knows, but complete strangers, is the kind of person that makes this world a better place. So yes, please give a lot. Those dollars that come from hundreds of people quickly add up to a significant amount that can change lives for the better. So if you’re of the mind that your small gift won’t really matter, think again. It does.
And finally, where should you direct your money?
You can’t go wrong with any of the charitable organizations on Kauai. They are led by terrific, selfless people. We won’t suggest specific groups. But rest assured, there are many options for your giving. There are many avenues to consider depending on where you believe your money will make the biggest difference and help the most people. This newspaper has published numerous stories about nonprofits holding fundraisers. They do good work. We can’t see the good that comes from our gifts, and we don’t have to. We don’t give to make ourselves feel better. We give to improve the lives of others. While we won’t tell you where or how to donate, we will encourage you, again, to give — money and of your time.
The philosopher Plato said it well:
“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.”