Weekend Assignment #302: What charities do you donate to regularly, if any? Why or why not?
Extra Credit: Do you remember what you most recent donation was for?
Donated medical supplies for the St. Michael's Guatemala Project, Summer 2009.
Obviously, I'm heavily involved with St. Michael and All Angels Church these days, both as a parishioner and as a part-time employee. I probably would not endorse all churches, synagogues and mosques as necessarily the best use of your charitable dollar, but I thoroughly approve of St. Michael's on all sorts of levels. Aside from the spiritual and fellowship aspects of the place, St. Michael's has food bags for the poor, makes sandwiches for a local soup kitchen every fourth Friday, and is tuned in to a number of social causes, such as the tendency of people crossing the border illegally to die in the desert long before reaching Tucson. A delegation from St. Michael's goes down to visit communities of displaced Mayans in Guatemala every summer, bringing health care to people who have been uprooted and made to live in a mountainous region where their usual crops won't grow. Above you can see some of the donated supplies for one of these trips.
I donate both money and time to St. Michael's on a regular basis, and wish I could help out more.
There's a lot the parish needs, such as air conditioning for the church. That probably sounds selfish on my part, me just wanting not to be hot in church in the summer. But the church legitimately needs to replace its outdated boiler and swamp coolers, not just for our personal comfort but for energy efficiency, a smaller carbon footprint and to entice potential new parishioners. After all, who wants to sit in a strange church when it's nearly 90 degrees inside? (Not that I know the actual temperature in the church in August. I only know it's hot enough that people have actually fainted from it.)
The other charity I give to more than once a year or so is the American Red Cross, although most of my donations come from my veins rather than my checkbook. I like that I absolutely know my efforts help to save lives. Occasionally I hear rumblings to the effect that the Red Cross is not perfect at all times in all places (for one thing, they didn't hire me when I had a job interview with them last year); but what is? It's hard to fault an organization that helps to ensure a safe blood supply, teaches water safety and CPR, and helps disaster victims when there's a hurricane or earthquake.
The International Red Cross, parent organization to the American one, is in the thick of Haiti disaster relief efforts right now. That's no surprise. Wherever and whenever there is a disaster, they'll be around, assuming the local government doesn't keep them out. They also inspect prison conditions around the world and do other good stuff.
Yes, I gave money to the International Red Cross last week, and on Tuesday I'm giving blood again, if my veins cooperate. So yes: aside from St. Michael's, they're my charity of choice.
How about you? Did the Haiti earthquake move you to donate money somewhere, or is some other cause more important to you; or do you not give to charities much at all? Please tell us about it in your blog, or in the comments thread below.
While you're thinking about that, let's have a look at last week's assignment. For Weekend Assignment #300: Eyes or Ears?, I asked which was more important to you, your vision or your hearing, and which you were more satisfied with. Click on each name below to read the full response:
I have been told by several eye doctors that I have the worst uncorrected vision they have ever seen.(no pun intended). (Trust me, there's an award you don't want.) I began wearing glasses when I was just three years old. I switched to contacts at 18, but since it's now established that contact lenses can slow the progress of nearsightedness in kids and adolescents - because the corrective lens is placed directly on the eye - I wonder if I should have changed sooner.
My ears, at least so far, are much better. Sure, they suck after going to a concert, but I've never had a problem hearing anything. Ask Jenn, she'll tell you how quiet I need it to be in order to sleep. The thing that drives me crazy is when there is a car outside idling. That noise drives me nuts.
Julie said in comments...
Oh, gosh. It's Friday and I haven't even had time to think about this.
I'll make it short: I have very bad eyes. If it weren't for the contacts and reading glasses combo, I'd be unable to work. However, I have two hereditary loss of hearing on both sides of the family. And I've priced hearing aids. Oh, I am SO scroooood.
Your turn! Here are the guidelines:
1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, January 22nd at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better. ) You never know; I might start getting this posted earlier in the weekend again!
2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on gmail.com if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."
I hope to hear from you soon.