We enter this holiday season with Thanksgiving, giving thanks for the blessings in our life, and of course eating lots of food. Next we turn to Christmas, the season of giving. We give presents to family, and again eat lots of food. We are very blessed. We also get lots of requests from charities for donations for needy people here in the United States, and other countries. I always wish I could give more, but it is hard to come up with the money each year. My husband and I have a tradition of giving to charities in December what we would spend on gifts for each other for Christmas. We don’t really need anything for Christmas anyway. Over the years, we have gradually increased this amount. This year we had the problem of too many places desperately needing help.
Our church is in the middle of building a bigger church, so they are having a building campaign. Several charities that we have given to in the past, are now expanding the projects they are doing due to more people needing help. With the bad economy, some charities are getting less donations, so they are almost begging for money. The usual amount we planned to give just wasn’t going to do as much as we wanted to be able to do. How do we say no to such important needs? How do we find the money to give?
We decided to pray about it. I made a list of charities we have given to before, and listed the special projects they were trying to fund. From that list, after praying, we identified three that we would give to. Now we needed to come up with the money. We decided to see if we could find something to sell. With the price of gold being so high now, we thought that jewelry would be more valuable. We both came up with two rings each, and I had a watch, that we thought we could sell and get enough money to donate. These were things we had owned for many years, but we didn’t use them anymore. We agreed to donate 75% of whatever money we got, divided between the three charities. The rest of the money would go in the bank. We looked online for places we could trust to give us a fair price for our jewelry, and chose a local jewelry store. The owner of the store made us an offer, and we accepted it. We were able to donate a total of $300, which was about twice what we donated last year for Christmas.
The three charities we chose were our church building fund, the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission (www.NWHCM.org), and the International Disaster Emergency Service (www.IDES.org). If you are looking for deserving Christian charities that help needy people, you might want to check out their websites. Another charity that we have donated to in the past is Heifer International (www.Heifer.org), but we didn’t pick them this year. These are all reputable charities, that help the poor, and have had success with their programs. The Northwest Haiti Christian Mission has orphanages in Haiti, and they also are involved in helping some villages in Haiti build a school and a church. The International Disaster Emergency Service helps people after a disaster, like a tornado. Heifer International is known for providing poor families in other countries with animals to help feed themselves and earn a living, such as by raising goats for milk, and selling the extra milk, or raising chickens for eggs.
This idea worked out quite well for us this year, especially since the price of gold is so high. I am thinking about finding other things to sell so we can give even more to charities. I don’t have any more good jewelry, but maybe I can sell movie DVDs, or sell some clothes on consignment. Unfortunately, I cannot do a garage sale where I live. Does anyone know a good way to sell DVDs, or music CDs? Can anyone suggest other things I might be able to sell to raise money, and where I could sell it? Maybe you can tell me how you sold something to raise some cash. I realize this is a temporary solution, since I will run out of things to sell, but at least I can help now, when the needs are so great.