Saturday, December 9, 2017

Every Penny Counts

Mr. W snapped this on his way home from LA
Wednesday afternoon, somewhere near the Thomas fire.
Ash is raining down at my house today, as smoke from the Thomas fire in Ventura County blows north. I don't know exactly how many structures and homes have been lost, but I know it's in the hundreds, and I cannot even imagine what people who lived in the fire's path are going through.

Tomorrow, Mr. W. and I are heading to Walmart to buy a whole bunch of stuff to donate to the victims (if you want to contribute, Venmo me tonight!). It may not end up being much when you consider the magnitude of everything lost, but hopefully it'll help.

I really believe every little bit helps.

At the beginning of this year, I was feeling really uncertain about what would happen to many of the causes I care about. Certain organizations and initiatives seemed to be in jeopardy—so I set a crazy goal to donate $100 a month to different charities. Now, for some people, that's peanuts. But it was more than I'd ever coughed up to nonprofits in my life.

I'm excited to say I exceeded my goal by about 40%.

It got me thinking about how much easier it is to give than I thought it was. Sure, I could have used that money to pad my savings account or take a nice trip. But receiving thank you letters from teachers in need and nonprofits that do such important work for wounded veterans or the environment or LGBT rights—it made every last cent count so much more.

Did you know that if every one of my Facebook friends donated just $5 a month to charity, there'd be more than $40,000 a year going to good causes? From just FIVE bucks a month. Almost everyone can afford that.

So I'd like to poke you in the rib and ask you to donate to something you believe in. Or send some money to a great org like Direct Relief or the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Or drive yourself to Walmart tomorrow and pick up some stuff to send to Californians who have lost their homes. They need it, and I have a feeling it'll make your holiday season feel a little more meaningful.