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Who would you give money to?


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Posted (edited)

Have fun with me. If you had something like $1000 every month to give away to people in need for the rest of your life, who would you give it to?

Would you do things like randomly brighten a homeless person’s day by giving them $100? Or would you save it up and help a needy family buy something like a car? Would you donate it all to some charity that you felt especially compassionate toward? Or divvy it up among a few charities?

Maybe the constraint is that it must be spent by the end of the year so it doesn’t sit in your bank for too long, but goes out in the world and does good.

And you probably couldn’t give away to your personal friends, because they probably wouldn’t take it, unless it was an unusual need that they would make a go-fund-me for.

What would you do?

Edited by Garga
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  • Garga changed the title to Who would you give money to?
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Garga said:

Have fun with me. If you had something like $1000 every month to give away to people in need for the rest of your life, who would you give it to?

Would you do things like randomly brighten a homeless person’s day by giving them $100? Or would you save it up and help a needy family buy something like a car? Would you donate it all to some charity that you felt especially compassionate toward? Or divvy it up among a few charities?

Maybe the constraint is that it must be spent by the end of the year so it doesn’t sit in your bank for too long, but goes out in the world and does good.

And you probably couldn’t give away to your personal friends, because they probably wouldn’t take it, unless it was an unusual need that they would make a go-fund-me for.

What would you do?

We have a lady who lives in one of the poorest parts of the city who started by hosting the homeless people and trafficked women in her area to her home-cooked meals. She now makes sack lunches since Covid won't allow her to bring them inside. She builds relationships with the people and finds them drug treatment when they're ready and gets them safe when they are ready to leave the streets. The people are allowed to volunteer there even if they are still using, etc. She works really hard to build them up to break them free. It's become a real city-wide effort - so far, she has no governmental aid to her, just people dropping off food/clothing/items she's said are needed. I'd set her up a weekly fund to go to Sam's Club for food, and I'd probably shop at Sephora and Bath & Body Works for the trafficked women (she has a special basket they pick from in the middle of the night - apparently it's common for the pimps to give them pretties/smellies/etc. to lure them in and then yank them away as part of the control).

I'd also like to donate to the charity my plastic surgeon (reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy) is working to set up. He has worked to repair women's faces after acid attacks/domestic violence in the past, and he would like to set up a fund to do more post-Covid. 

I'd probably also sponsor a child or two.

Edited by historically accurate
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As of right now I would somehow find a way to get money to young people in our area who are attending CC or working toward a trade and need a financial boost. I would try to target those students who fall in the middle as far as finances and financial opportunities (as I did as a student). Maybe they don't qualify for grants, don't have anyone else paying for their education, etc.

I would also love to help those who have medical debts yet also fall in the middle - don't qualify for welfare, etc. and yet don't have so much that a bill of $1000 is really nothing much. Does that make sense? Or anything else for those who are in the middle. Say I/we knew a family who was trying to save for a vehicle and were just doing their best without any outside financial help. Those are the people to whom we would give money.

 

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3 minutes ago, historically accurate said:

He has worked to repair women's faces after acid attacks/domestic violence in the past, and he would like to set up a fund to do more post-Covid. 

😞

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Just for a few things:  I would donate to World Vision, Redcross, my church, my cousin's missionary school, and this local non-profit that helps the low income people get food, jobs, etc.  Then see how much is left over.  🙂 

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I'd use some trusted local contacts--teachers, hairdressers, pastors--to find out about people in the community who were in true need. And then I'd use those contacts to get money to those people anonymously. We actually found out after her death that my grandmother had done her own small version of that for years, with her hairdresser acting as the information source and conduit. It was super cool to find out about how many people she'd helped anonymously.

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Posted (edited)

I would decide on different things from month to month as new ideas and needs became apparent to me. Today, I would donate to a new charity I just heard of for the first time- The Purple Leash Project. I think it’s sponsored by Purina, and it helps women escape domestic violence situations with their pets. Apparently most dv shelters don’t accept pets and many people trying to get out of a violent situation won’t leave without their animal. Last week, it was charities in India helping with Covid medical needs and vaccines. Next week, who knows?

https://www.purina.com/about-purina/purple-leash-project/about

Edited by TrulySusan
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9 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

I'd use some trusted local contacts--teachers, hairdressers, pastors--to find out about people in the community who were in true need. And then I'd use those contacts to get money to those people anonymously. We actually found out after her death that my grandmother had done her own small version of that for years, with her hairdresser acting as the information source and conduit. It was super cool to find out about how many people she'd helped anonymously.

That’s brilliant! Your grandmother was awesome. 

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Women's shelter, for whatever they needed, but if some of it could go towards helping children staying with their mums, that would be nice. 

Or completely in another direction, fund an artist whose work I find compelling but who is struggling $. 

Or the Foundation in the next suburb, which serves a homeless population. 

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For a while, I'd give to local people and non-profits. 

I would contact my friends that work in non-profits or the local historical community and ask where they have need. I would contact certain professors at my undergraduate institution and ask about students that might be struggling. I'd start a book fund in my late father's name that would be solely for students in the humanities or math/computer science (mine and ds' majors). 

I work order on a regular basis from all my online friends who have small businesses. 

I donate a lot to the local animal shelter.

I'd have to make a spread sheet to make sure everything is evenly spread. This could be so fun. 

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Doctor's Without Borders would get a chunk each month, the local domestic violence shelter and food bank would get another chunk, and then likely the other piece would go to our son in law to help him pay off his students loans so they can move out of their small apartment into better lodgings.

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I would love to wander through the libraries of my local university and community college and anonymously hand out envelopes of $100 bills to students who were there studying and looked like they could use some extra help. I had many late nights dreaming of someone doing that for me - even just a relatively small amount like that could really make a big difference. 

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45 minutes ago, historically accurate said:

We have a lady who lives in one of the poorest parts of the city who started by hosting the homeless people and trafficked women in her area to her home-cooked meals. She now makes sack lunches since Covid won't allow her to bring them inside. She builds relationships with the people and finds them drug treatment when they're ready and gets them safe when they are ready to leave the streets. The people are allowed to volunteer there even if they are still using, etc. She works really hard to build them up to break them free. It's become a real city-wide effort - so far, she has no governmental aid to her, just people dropping off food/clothing/items she's said are needed. I'd set her up a weekly fund to go to Sam's Club for food, and I'd probably shop at Sephora and Bed, Bath and Beyond for the trafficked women (she has a special basket they pick from in the middle of the night - apparently it's common for the pimps to give them pretties/smellies/etc. to lure them in and then yank them away as part of the control).

I'd also like to donate to the charity my plastic surgeon (reconstructive surgery after a mastectomy) is working to set up. He has worked to repair women's faces after acid attacks/domestic violence in the past, and he would like to set up a fund to do more post-Covid. 

I'd probably also sponsor a child or two.

Miss Carly’s? if so, small world!  It would love to regularly donate to her.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Garga said:

Have fun with me. If you had something like $1000 every month to give away to people in need for the rest of your life, who would you give it to?

My parents gave us $1k monthly to help us when we relocated to the states and was paying a mortgage back where we were from and rent here.

A former neighbor founded a charity after her son passed due to childhood cancer. That is where the hypothetical $1k would go to.

 

Edited by Arcadia
Clarification
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At first, I would give anonymously to some friends. The first month would go to a friend who is going through a nasty divorce. Some financial help is greatly needed. She would probably receive more than one month's, honestly. Another month's would go to a hard-working single mom I know. Another to my daughter and sil getting him through med school. Some to help kids in another country with scholarships for uniforms and supplies so they can go to school. And so on... This would be so much fun!

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Posted (edited)

We give annually to a variety of charities each quarter covering local and international assistance for housing, medical care, food, and nature. We would bump up our donations to those. Once it is in "the spreadsheet" then it happens essentially automatically. This way, hopefully, they can count on regular support. Apparently this is a bit unusual, though, judging by the thank yous we receive.

ETA hmmm, am I boring? Too methodical? Robotic? Vulcan-like perhaps? Ah, well.

Edited by SusanC
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56 minutes ago, TrulySusan said:

I would decide on different things from month to month as new ideas and needs became apparent to me. Today, I would donate to a new charity I just heard of for the first time- The Purple Leash Project. I think it’s sponsored by Purina, and it helps women escape domestic violence situations with their pets. Apparently most dv shelters don’t accept pets and many people trying to get out of a violent situation won’t leave without their animal. Last week, it was charities in India helping with Covid medical needs and vaccines. Next week, who knows?

https://www.purina.com/about-purina/purple-leash-project/about

One of the local organizations I give to regularly is a shelter that has a kennel. It was a problem I had never thought about until a few years ago, and then it was kind of a "duh" moment for me. In that situation, I absolutely wouldn't leave without my pets, either. And the statistics for animals who are left with abusive ex-partners are pretty upsetting. 

So, yes, definitely a good cause.

In answer to the original question:

At least for the time being, I would use the money to make hefty donations to my favorite local non-profits. (My "regulars" are the women's shelter, the downtown homeless shelter, the library and my local public radio station.)

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We typically give pretty generously to charity, but we've had a small change in circumstance so we're pausing a lot of our giving, so practically speaking, I'd probably just resume our various giving and that would be that. Which is a super boring answer. But we give to local food banks and homeless shelters and to a few political leaning causes as well as to a couple of theaters. And we tend to give small amounts to charities when friends are raising money or when we read something about how a charity is hurting. Like, I read about how pressed diaper banks have been during the pandemic so I donated some money to ours. That sort of thing.

 

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Posted (edited)

I like to give to clean water initiatives for third world countries.  Also to organizations that provide vaccinations and food for pregnant/nursing moms.  The clean water thing is a big deal because it often falls on the shoulders of girls to find it and it's so time consuming that it interferes with education.  The way those girls go, so the country goes.  This is the charity I use.  https://www.osfdbq.org/sister-water-project-main/

Edited by Syllieann
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I was just thinking about this.  A missionary I know recommended reading Helping Without Hurting by Steve Corbett and Giving Wisely by Jonathan Martin.  I haven't read them yet so I can't give advice.  But I know generally her philosophy is to give people a trade to preserve their dignity and give something like a scholarship rather than money.

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Give it to a mental health practitioner to help pay for patients who want care, but can't afford it. 

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I have always wanted to be independently wealthy to do just this sort of thing.

I would increase scholarships/sponsorships yo a few more students in Haiti, increase donations to a Hatian Mission (that only has one American on staff.... everyone else is a native Hatian).  

Then some money to hand out as I see particular needs.   I would also love to help fund a woman trying to escape a domestic violence situation.   That money could do rent for a year for her family to help them to a new, safe start.

Foster/adopt stuff is near to my heart as are individuals with special needs, and on and on.

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$250 to the local food bank

$125 to CASA, $125 to the local domestic violence shelter

$500 targeted to rotating individuals or causes. This month it would go to my friend to give to her friend in Honduras who is literally rebuilding their house after the storms this past winter. They need new tin for their roof and some other supplies.  Next month it would probably go to a restaurant in my hometown that feeds the homeless. The following month it would probably go to the local elementary school in to help buy new underwear and shoes for kids. The clothing closet gets decent donations but they need to provide those things new...

I think rotating the causes helps it still feel real and meaningful rather than just putting an auto-donate thing on for a given charity. Both are good, but I also know I need to feel connected.

 

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9 hours ago, Katy said:

I was just thinking about this.  A missionary I know recommended reading Helping Without Hurting by Steve Corbett and Giving Wisely by Jonathan Martin.  I haven't read them yet so I can't give advice.  But I know generally her philosophy is to give people a trade to preserve their dignity and give something like a scholarship rather than money.

I was coming back here this morning to say I'd also want to add some money to micro-lending. 

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Posted (edited)

I would probably give most of it to the Perpetual Education Fund.  This program invests donated funds and uses the proceeds to provide extremely low cost loans to young people from very poor countries for higher education.  It forgives portions of the loan for things like getting good grades and graduating.  And then when they pay the loans back, the money is loaned out to a new student.  The program is administered primarily by volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the little overhead it has is paid for out of general church funds, not donations to the PEF, so 100% of donations go to funding the student loans.

This program is doing so much to lift people like the ones my dh knew and loved in rural Argentina up from abject generational poverty to having the capacity to keep their own kids in school, rather than having to choose between school and food for the next generation.  It is doing so much more than just helping these students.  It is saving families all over the world for generations to come.

Edited by Condessa
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Also, the church's Humanitarian Aid fund is the best I have ever found for effectiveness and actually using all donated funds to directly help people.  I would give some of the funds to them, too.  Again, it's run by volunteers, not employees.  They are often the first ones to arrive after a natural disaster.  They fund a significant portion of the Red Cross's budget.  They have provided medical equipment and aid to many governments through the Covid pandemic.  And besides more traditional humanitarian aid such as immediate emergency response, medical missions to poor countries, providing wells for clean water, aid to refugees, etc., I really like how they approach other needs, too. 

After providing initial relief for a tsunami in the Philippines, they provided tools and volunteers tradesmen to head up construction on homes.  Individuals in need would work on constructing their own home under the direction of the tradesmen and on nine other homes as well, then receive the tools and a trade certification after that work--so they got a home, and a job certification, and helped provide homes for others, and filled a major need in their local economy. 

A few years after the earthquake in Haiti, they provided 400,000 trees that volunteers planted in areas that had been deforested by the earthquake, preventing future problems with mudslides and erosion.  They were largely fruit trees, so that local people could benefit from the food source, too.

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16 hours ago, SusanC said:

We give annually to a variety of charities each quarter covering local and international assistance for housing, medical care, food, and nature. We would bump up our donations to those. Once it is in "the spreadsheet" then it happens essentially automatically. This way, hopefully, they can count on regular support. Apparently this is a bit unusual, though, judging by the thank yous we receive.

ETA hmmm, am I boring? Too methodical? Robotic? Vulcan-like perhaps? Ah, well.

No--planning can be a gift. Sporadic donations are always meaningful too, but planned giving keeps some organizations above water.

I would plan my giving, and I would diversify it as well. I would have to do some research. While we do some giving currently, it's been through church (and they account for their giving and diversify). I would plan to hold a certain amount back for seasonal things, such as school supply drives that are more likely to be once or twice per year.

I know one organization that would be on my list for sure--The Marfan Foundation. They save and enrich lives while investing in people and in life-saving medical treatment, research, etc. They foster connections between specialists and patients in a way that I've never seen--I am nearly positive one of the founding members is a physician that saw the need for his patients to have these connections. They diversify their resources while looking out for ways to make things sustainable. For instance, they started a perpetuating fund to grant scholarships so that families can attend conferences; some of the attendees get their only specialized medical care for free at the conference, and it's $$$ care. This fund was largely supplied by individual physicians who have been doing this work for years, but the last 10% or so came from people who were on the receiving end of scholarships (often tiny contributions!). This has freed them up to use that former budget item to fund more research and to broaden their research to related conditions that are under-funded, under-studied, and less visible in the medical world. It's a really unique and special organization. 

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17 hours ago, SusanC said:

We give annually to a variety of charities each quarter covering local and international assistance for housing, medical care, food, and nature. We would bump up our donations to those. Once it is in "the spreadsheet" then it happens essentially automatically. This way, hopefully, they can count on regular support. Apparently this is a bit unusual, though, judging by the thank yous we receive.

ETA hmmm, am I boring? Too methodical? Robotic? Vulcan-like perhaps? Ah, well.

Hmmm, since I keep coming back and adding more to my list, maybe I need a spreadsheet...

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Pregnancy support center, single mother helps, ALS foundations that help with home remodeling costs (ALS is insanely expensive and transitions MUST take place in 12-24 months usually- widen doorways, bathrooms, feeding, CNAs, the costs are insane) and Ronald McDonald houses. 

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18 hours ago, SusanC said:

We give annually to a variety of charities each quarter covering local and international assistance for housing, medical care, food, and nature. We would bump up our donations to those. Once it is in "the spreadsheet" then it happens essentially automatically. This way, hopefully, they can count on regular support. Apparently this is a bit unusual, though, judging by the thank yous we receive.

ETA hmmm, am I boring? Too methodical? Robotic? Vulcan-like perhaps? Ah, well.

I do most of my giving through automatic monthly withdrawals. Neither the library nor the Friends of the Library is set up to do auto withdrawals, so I have a calendar entry to remind me once a year to send each of them a chunk. 

There is one other organization that we donate goods to around the holidays. I also volunteer for their holiday giving event, so no chance of me forgetting them. 

But, yes, I know most organizations are especially helpful for the regular support so they can anticipate their budget from month to month.

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I  take 50-60% to give to established ongoing charities for causes I want to routinely support and believe they are having a direct meaningful impact on improving people's lives.  For example, I support an organization that provides short term housing for homeless individuals/families. Their goal and mission is to provide short term needs (housing, food, safe environment, hygeine, basic medical care) while helping them access services like Section 8 housing, other gov. resources, job training, job placements, couseling services, transportation, etc.

 

I  then take half of the remaing 50-40% and use it monthly for a 1-time larger donation to causes that is more "emergency" type.  Maybe it would be someone going through medical treatments, a natural disaster, specific needs to outfit for a foster care placement, during a specific charity drive, etc.  The remaining half, I would keep cash in pocket/purse for those times I could bless someone immediately with a few dollars.  It could be a child selling something for a fundraiser, giving a few bucks to someone on the street, helping out a neighbor, etc.

 

I actually do this currently with our "tithing" budget.  I'm probably not quite as diligent as I could be, but I actively try to look for ways I can use my resources to better the lives of others.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2021 at 6:34 PM, Garga said:

Have fun with me. If you had something like $1000 every month to give away to people in need for the rest of your life, who would you give it to?

Would you do things like randomly brighten a homeless person’s day by giving them $100? Or would you save it up and help a needy family buy something like a car? Would you donate it all to some charity that you felt especially compassionate toward? Or divvy it up among a few charities?

Maybe the constraint is that it must be spent by the end of the year so it doesn’t sit in your bank for too long, but goes out in the world and does good.

And you probably couldn’t give away to your personal friends, because they probably wouldn’t take it, unless it was an unusual need that they would make a go-fund-me for.

What would you do?

I'd donate farther to a missionary in Honduras where we sponsor kids.

In the summer I'd use the money to make more backpacks for Honduras

I'd sponsor some more kids in Uganda.

I'd donate to a local backpack food charity I want to get involved with

I'd look around for more local charities to give to

Edited by vonfirmath
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I'd probably divide the money, and give some % regularly to charities I have researched and maybe visited, and use the rest for unplanned giving when I discover needs or when new needs arise.  For a generic example, when I learn of a family that has been uprooted due to a house fire, or when there has been a mega disaster leaving many homeless.

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At least for several months, I'd probably make larger donations to my favorite places so that they could do something big-ish.  So like my sweet little local library would get a big chunk one month.  Another month I would (not that this would surprise you) buy a ton of blood pressure machines and donate them to my Women's Health office to give to women who need them because that's something I'm passionate about.  Local crisis pregnancy center could get a big chunk.  NICU/child life would get a donation of money or gift cards.  Our friend's charity would get a donation.

 

After I exhausted that list, then I guess I'd see who needs help on an ongoing basis, like a food bank or animal shelter and either send cash or donations regularly, perhaps with a note that I've committed to sending them X amount monthly for Y months to help their planning purposes.  I'd probably also keep some of it set aside to give out to a bigger need once in a while.

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Posted (edited)

Use it to fund a special needs trust for my son with bipolar etc - he just won his appeal and will be on SSDI soon.  Also put some in his fraternal twin brother's trusts (autism etc), although those already exist and have some $ in them, so BiPolar Man needs it more than AutismMan.  We won't be around forever to help out, hence the need for trusts.  I'd also like to use some $ to help pay for clothes etc for the other dudes in AutismMan's group home - not all of them still have relatives alive,  ready and/or able to help out with supplying new clothes, shoes, etc as needed.  Folks on SSI are only allowed $60 a month to cover all needed personal items like clothes, haircuts, toiletries, etc. And snacks, movies, etc.  And medical stuff not covered by Medicaid. 

 

Now, if it was $10,000 a month, I'd see about doing the above AND working with the agency running AutismMan's group home to fund and set-up another home - there is a huge waitlist of folks in Illinois who have been awarded funding but can find no opening in any group home. 

Edited by JFSinIL
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On 5/9/2021 at 2:28 PM, Dmmetler said:

Music programming in urban neighborhoods/schools. 

There is a local organization that I support that brings music instruction to both urban and rural schools (the rural schools actually need more help because they are ,much more needy and have less people helping them_

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