Proactive Generosity

In my last post, I talked about getting a “Head Start” on generosity. I always feel like there is something more I could be doing during the holiday season.  Donating money to my favorite causes is easy enough, but something was missing.  This time, I wanted to actually see my actions making a tangible difference.

So, during this holiday season, I tried to think of a way to be more proactive with my generosity.

Around this time, I had been getting lots of “For Sale” notices from my moms’ listserves.  People were clearly trying to purge their households of stuff they no longer needed, perhaps to make room for holiday gifts. I also had so much to give away—everything was just languishing in scattered piles in my basement and garage.  My children are constantly outgrowing clothes and toys.

I contacted Anna Woods, the staff member from Head Start who helped me pass along my old sofa, and asked her if she had any families who needed things.  It was good timing, apparently, because Head Start was having its annual winter festival and providing free giveaways.  They were in need of anything warm for kids and adults, bedding, space heaters, toys, and books.

Eureka! moment: Why not put a call out to my moms’ listserves for donations? What a great way to help people pass along items they no longer need to a good cause!

So many people responded with a “Yes! I’d love to donate!”

People were so happy to drop their things off at my house instead of donating their unsold stuff to Goodwill or waiting around for someone to buy them. I think this opportunity made them feel like they were making a difference by giving their things directly to people who needed them.

When Anna came to pick up the items, she was blown away by how much stuff people had contributed. The kids helped her load up the car and even donated a few extra items. Thank goodness Anna brought her Subaru station wagon—we were just barely able to get everything in. It was packed chock-full with bags and boxes.

It’s so true, it takes a village…

Can you think of some ways to be more proactive with your generosity? What are some potential barriers? How easy or difficult would it be to eliminate those barriers?

This entry was posted in Philanthropy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Proactive Generosity

  1. Consuelo says:

    I missed this post when it came out…. I love this!!! Be sure to send donation requests to your friends too!

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