Friday, March 28, 2008

The Spirit of Giving

I love Oprah's Big Give. It makes me bawl like a baby watching all of those people get the help that they need. It makes me wish I were a gabillionaire (or even just a plain-old hundred-thousand-aire) so that I could give like that too.

After watching the show last week I thought about what I would do if I had the $100,000 challenge. What kind of places would I give to? Knowing that I could only give $10,000 at one location and/or $500 to each person, without giving cash...hmm...

I think what I would do would be to go around to different organizations and ask them what they needed and then just come back with $10,000 worth of supplies. The interesting part would be finding what kind of organizations I would give to.

I think the first place I would give to would be a Maternity Home. Not very many people know they even exist, but a Maternity Home is a shelter for homeless pregnant women that is run in a home-like setting, such as The House of Ruthin Portland, Oregon (my oft-missed hometown) which provides shelter and emotional care for homeless pregnant woman (and their infants, once they are born). I would also donate to a place like the Pregnancy Resource Center, which provides kind of an alternative to Planned Parenthood.

Then I would have to give to at least one place that helps homeless and disadvantaged teens (The non-pregnant kind). A place like Springwater Transitional Livingor Outside In, which provide shelter, job training, and life coaching for homeless youth. Or an organization like The Gateway Project, which provides new clothes, school supplies, transportation, and funding for extra cirricular activities for students in their school district who are homeless or destitute. Another great organization is Central City Concern (again, of Portland-woot!) which helps people get sober and find homes and jobs. They also have a special program for homeless veterans.

I would also donate to an organization that helps families in need-like Habitat for Humanity and the Goosehollow Family Shelter. And, finally, I would donate to organizations that help people/children with disabilities like Bike First! which helps children with disabilities enjoy one of the simple milestones of childhood by teaching them to ride a bike. I also like Easter Seals Disability Services which provides pediatric services, fun camping activities, and fun/therapudic water activities for people with special needs.

There are so many great organizations out there that I would love to donate to with my pretend money, if only pretend money could buy the things they so desparately need. And then there is my other thought-I would love to go to a low income housing development and knock on all of their doors and write a check for their rent. Seriously-just knock on as many doors as it took to pay $100,000 worth of low income families' rent. It'd be worth it just for the smiles on their faces. I mean, if they looked anything like what MY face would look like if someone paid MY rent.

In honor of the Big Give (and in leiu of spending money that I just don't have) here's what I'd like to do. I would like to encourage all of you (or any of you) to write your own post about how YOU would have spent the $100,000 challenge. Remember-you can't give more than $10,000 in one place, and you can't give more than $500 to one individual (families count as separate individuals so you could give a family of four up to $2000). Please include in your post at least one link to a charitable organization and one link back to my blog, and then comment here so I can go check out your post.

Then I will (possibly) give you something. How about this--I will have a drawing and then I will work with the winner to make a new page layout for their blog! There are limitations though-I have only worked with Blogger so far, so if you are a wordpress-ian or some other blog-host-ian I won't be able to help. If you win and you aren't on blogger (or don't want a layout change) then I will post a big congratulations post linking to your page and then put your site feed on my sidebar for a week. How about that? I know it's not a lot, but I'd really like to see what other people would do for their own Big Give.

Think of my prize more like the Teeny Tiny Give.


Becoming Me said...

What a great post. I will have to think about how to give the money. I actually donated to the Ruth House before but have never lived in Oregon.

Suzie said...

Yeah I need to think too but while I am I have tagged you for some meme thing. I thought it might be fun or you might hate me and block all my comments from now on. Anyway go to my blog and it will tell you how to play.

Suzie said...

OK I have posted my give away on my blog. Cant I just take a few $10,000 for myself though...please

Suzie said...

I'm not sure if this came through before but I have posted the big give away to my site. Not so easy to do.

Person(Also Known As Mommy) said...

Yeah, its tough. Especially when you know you could use some help yourself. (We certainly could.) But I really do believe that if you have the spirit of giving that things will work out for you too-the more you give away the more you get.

Wifey said...

What a great post! I didn't get to play (crazy week) but I think it's fabulous! Smiles!

Person(Also Known As Mommy) said...

You can still play if you want, wifey. I've only had one person enter so far, so I'm not going to end it yet! I'll post a warning post whenever I decide to make a cut off date.