Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hard Economic Times Hurt Charities Too, We Can Help!

The effects of our struggling economy reach far beyond lost jobs, government bailouts, house foreclosures, and Wall Street chaos. Unfortunately, non-profits and charities are also suffering as our economy worsens. People are losing money, or are afraid of losing money, so they cut back on everything, even charitable donations. But, just because we can't afford to contribute as much as we're used to, doesn't mean we should stop contributing entirely.

Some of us may have lost our jobs, lost money in the stock market, or been forced out of our house because we couldn't pay our mortgage...but, at least we don't have to be afraid of malaria, or have a genocide going on in our country. Regardless of the state of our economy, people still suffer from horrible diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. So, don't stop donating! No amount is too small.

This is what I told my friends and family as I raised money for the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk last fall. I had a number of donations that were under $20, and the largest amount I received from one person was $100, but all of those together totaled almost $600, and I was so proud to be able to donate so much to such a worthy cause. Alzheimer's disease is a cause that is close to my heart. My grandmother, who passed away last summer, suffered from dementia for several years, and it was horrible to watch her deteriorate. I plan on participating in the walk as many years as I can and continuing to raise as much money as possible because I believe that one day there will be a cure, and people won't have to suffer like my grandma and my family did.

So, pick a cause that's important to you, or one that you find worthwhile. Donate $5 every month, or every other month, or whenever you can. Skip going out to lunch one day, and you'll make up for the money just like that. Don't think that small an amount will make a difference? It will. Check out Nothing But Nets. A $10 donation covers the entire cost of one bed net to protect people in Africa from malaria. Just ten dollars can save a life. Some Americans have it pretty bad right now, but it could always be worse. So, don't stop giving!

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