Monday, February 2, 2009

Hopefully I Won't Go To Hell For This

Today I did something I didn't want to do. More than that. I did something that I have been feeling guilt ridden about for weeks. Today... I canceled my charitable monthly sponsorships.

I knew I needed to do it. At a certain point even donations becomes a "want" and not a "need". I might be able to see, or hope, that everything will come together in time. But it will still take time... and I have a stack of medical bills piled up on my desk.

For the last 6 years I have been sponsoring a woman through Women For Women International and a child through Save The Children. Both of these are amazing programs that really do help change the lives of the participants.

I feel like shit... but have decided to adopt a airplane oxygen mask type philosophy for now... save yourself before you try and save others. At least financially.

To assuage my guilt I've been thinking of things that I could do instead. Those of you with small kids know that it can actually be pretty hard to find volunteer opportunities that allow child participation. Since I always have at least one shadow... that's kind of imperative.

A couple of months ago I went on a field trip with Kid's class to the local food bank. It was a great experience because it was one of the rare things that a kid could actually do. I still remember a church trip to a food bank when I was a middle schooler. It was a real eye opening experience for me to realize that not everyone could afford to buy food for their families. I'm going to find out if/how Kid and I can donate our time.

The other thing I want to do is help Kid start saving and donating a portion of her allowance. She is just starting to understand the money concept and saving. Now I'd like to help her earmark a percentage of her earnings for Heifer International (a charity her class raised money for and that she particularly likes since the idea of giving animals is something tangible) and then match her donation. It will take awhile at her current, one dollar a week, pace but I think it will be a positive experience to be working together towards something.


Amy said...

What a total bummer for you :o(
Do you have any eldery neighbors? They love visits and love visits from kids!

TUWABVB said...

I felt the same way when I cancelled my sponship to the ASPCA, but I also signed up to volunteer at my local shelter. But gosh, I can't even watch those commericials with Sarah McLaughlin anymore. The guilt kills me.

Me, Myself and I said...

I think you are such a great person.... always thinking of others.

Figure out a way to get your hands on coupons. CVS has free stuff every week with coupons/extra care bucks. Walgreens as well. who cares if you don't need it/won't use it. People with nothing wil. Donate it.

For instance, in the coupons yesterday there was one for a diabetes testing meter - $30 off. And low and behold, CVS has that brand on sale this week for $29.99. I am not diabetic, but I'm sure it will be helpful to someone who is, so I am getting it (FREE) to donate.


Smitty said...

You did the right thing, Mrs. F. The Smitty family has had to cut-back (though I am not comparing our pain to yours, just making a point), and it does feel bad. But you've got to take care of business first.

I really admire, though, that you didn't take a break from "charity,"... just "giving." (in the dollars-and-cents sense) That's rock-solid, and the lessons kid will learn about service versus dollars is just great. Solid all the way around!

hicktowndiva said...

Re: the hospital bills. I'm not sure if you know this, but you can easily negotiate a discount by calling and asking for one. Anywhere from 10% to 20%. I negotiated every bill from when I had my daughter and saved hundreds of dollars just by calling and saying that I was willing to pay the bill off, over the phone, with a credit card, if they would offer me a discount if I did so.

Renee said...

Just think about the positive-you have given more to these charities than most and in due time, you can give the meantime, what an awesome opportunity to not only give 'yourself' to a charity but also be giving your children a valuable lesson. C's Sunday school class bought ducks through this same foundation and it really stuck w/ him-this is something that is really important to me-to instill a sense of giving and volunteerism (is that a word?) to my children...

Mrs Furious said...

yeah we do have a whacky old lady who lives down the street...

Good grief those commercials are killer!

Me, Myself & I,
Oh thanks ... I'm feeling pretty guilt ridden still. Especially since they both just emailed me to guilt me back into sponsor again.
I will stand strong (ish)

That's a good idea re: coupons and cheap stuff. Maybe I'll try to snag some deals and then Kid & I can take it to the food bank.

Hopefully I won't get bogged down by the logistics of actual service... it was much easier just to write the check.

Thank you. I had planned to call and tell them I'd be making monthly payments... but I didn't know I could ask for a discount. Thanks!!

Oh thanks. I'm trying to think of the positive side of having contributed for so long. But I feel still feel cheap.
Maybe you and Carter could tag w/ me & Kid to Manna if I can figure out how to do that with a small group. Kid really liked it last time.

Feener said...

the charity i am working with donates new and gently used books to under resourced schools/detention centers etc. it is GREAT b/c no money is needed, you can purge your books and give some to kids who have none. it is such a wonderful idea, and my kids get it, i keep telling them about it and they understand.

Feener said...


Christy said...

Aww, you are still a great person & will do it again when you can, right?

katieo said...

"but have decided to adopt a airplane oxygen mask type philosophy for now... save yourself before you try and save others. At least financially."
perfect analogy!
(and happy late birthday to Baby!)

as the post above- Would it help Mr. F. to have his own teeny budget? (sorry if that sounded completely condescending...but it helps around here.) You "you get 'x' amount of dollars for dumb stuff. spend it wisely. Once it's gone, it's GONE. no more gum/soda/etc...") There are times when Aaron HAS to buy lunch at work (we pack it 90% of the time) but with the actual cash, he spends it a little more carefully.

Elizabeth said...

the sarah maclauchlin commercials make me cry.
Every time.

Deb said...

Think of it this way: you're putting yourself in a better financial position, and when you're able to, you'll be able to give more than before. It's a good thing.

I love My favorite charity. What a great idea for a child! I'm filing that away in my brain for when my kids are old enough.

Deb said...

P.S. How about walking dogs at the ASPCA? Or reading to seniors?

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