One of my main spending priorities is donating to causes that I feel help others. How do you use your money to do good?
I think a lot about how I use my money — and what those resources accomplish. I like to think I can help others with the way I use my money.
Yesterday (September 10) was World Suicide Prevention Day and my friend Melanie at Dear Debt put together a blog tour about suicide and finances.
I'm fortunate that I haven't been in a position to face depression or suicide, although I have dear friends who battle every day. I also live in a community where some people have been marginalized because of the way they were born. The type of marginalization they face as already-vulnerable teens is severe enough that many contemplate suicide. And, in fact, Utah, a place I lived many years and that is just a couple hours to the south of me today, has one of the teen suicide rates in the country.
I live in a state where the young LGTBQ+ population is also at risk for suicide, even though the rate here isn't as high as it is in Utah. While I don't usually get all political up in here, and I'm not saying you have to care about such things (although I think that care and concern for our fellow humans are important), it does make sense to think about an issue you care about and then use your resources to help others.
Donating More to Suicide Prevention
I've always been a staunch ally, and it's important to me help others as I can. I donate money to causes I think will enrich others' lives or help them improve. I like my money to have a purpose. I've recently started paying better attention to how suicide impacts certain populations in my community. I want to donate to local organizations that reach out to at-risk people and bring them hope.
Melanie does a lot to help her online community learn that debt doesn't need to be a death sentence. As part of her blog tour, she has been sharing information about the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (www.Suicide.org). I've been thinking about how to work on a more local level. I'll be showing support at my town's Pride Festival next week, and I hope to talk to people about what local resources there are to help others facing suicide. That way, I can put some of my resources into those community efforts.
Deciding Where Your Money Will Best Help Others
I've been reviewing the way I help others and changing where my money goes. In recent years, I've shifted toward more local efforts. I donate to a local food bank. I have become involved with a local political organization in the hopes I can help change my local area for the better, especially as it relates to income inequality and underserved populations. I'm reviewing how some of my money still goes to a church I'm not sure is the best solution to some of these issues.
My 13-year-old son recently pointed out that my position as a staunch ally and someone concerned about the problems facing certain populations isn't really conducive to where some of my money is going. He suggested I look for a LGTBQ+ organization locally that offers outreach to suicidal youth. I'm in the process of looking for a way to get involved — at least with my money.
I like the idea of donating money and time to help others. And because there is such limited time, I know that some causes are going to get my money instead of time. With Melanie's inspirational guidance, and with the knowledge of what's happening in my community, I hope to re-evaluate where my money is going and redirect it into causes I think will be beneficial to the community.
You can use your resources to make a difference in the lives of others. The right word, talent, or dollar in the right place can help make the world a better place.
What causes do you believe in? How do you use your time or money to help others?