Thoughtful Giving

Kunas

An often overlooked aspect of well-being is financial wellness. Personally, this is a dimension of wellness that I probably put the least amount of energy towards, which I’ve been trying to change in recent months. One aspect of financial wellness includes philanthropy, of which I’m happy to report I’ve spent a bit more time and consideration towards this year. As I’ve gotten older and been involved with more organizations, workplaces, and higher education institutes, I’ve gotten more and more requests to make donations or contributions. I wish I had an unlimited amount of funds (that’s not as much money as it looks in the cover photo) so I could appease each request but that’s not realistic nor would it be responsible of me considering my financial situation. Thankfully, I am able to make small contributions to various organizations in which I strongly believe. Here’s who I’ve been contributing to in 2014. My donation levels aren’t anything to brag about but $25 here or $50 there helps. Anything helps.

Croatian Red Cross
In 2012 I visited Croatia and fell in love with the country. Its people were generous, kind, and as friendly, if not friendlier than any Midwesterner I’ve ever met. This past spring, the Balkans suffered tremendous damage from flooding. Croatia, being one of the countries devastated, called out for assistance and I felt compelled to make a small donation. When natural disaster strikes close to home I usually donate clothing or household items but when the people you want to help are across the globe, a monetary donation is the easiest way to help out. I hope one or two Croatians benefitted from my small contribution. croatia

Hilarity for Charity
This past spring, funny man Seth Rogen made a pitch in the Senate to encourage more funding for Alzheimer’s research. Did you know that of the top 10 causes of death in America, Alzheimer’s is the only one with no known cure? Did you know that this disease can’t be slowed once it has taken off? Did you know there is no concrete evidence to support how Alzheimer’s can be prevented? My grandmother has Alzheimer’s and several of her sisters died of Alzheimer’s. I don’t want my generation or the next generation to succumb to this terrible disease. In the past, I’ve supported other medically-based causes but after thinking about it further, I believe those causes get far more attention and awareness-based events than Alzheimer’s. After reading more about Hilarity for Charity, I believe this is an organization I will continue to support. GrandmaDes Moines Music Coalition
I love my city! Every year I enjoy the wonderful music festival, 80/35, put on by the DMMC! This year when we purchased our tickets we made a small donation. Like I said above, donations don’t have to be brag-worthy to matter. Anything helps. I believe in the DMMC and support all that it is doing to attract people to our wonderful city. I also believe that the more successful 80/35 and the other events are and continue to be, more and more talented artists will consider Des Moines as a place to stop when touring the Midwest. Here’s headliner Conor Oberst from just a few nights ago!Conor

Iowa Public Radio
Every morning as I’m making breakfast and whenever I’m driving to work I have my radio tuned to IPR. Each quarter they do a membership drive because they are entirely listener supported. I count on IPR to provide me with non-biased news programming, the latest music, and I even love Car Talk but don’t really love cars. Alec Baldwin recently did a satire-type advertisement which you must listen to if you need some motivation as to why you should support public radio.

Those are just a few of the organizations I’ve contributed to in 2014. Whenever I am asked for money I think about and do a little research as to what my money will be put towards. Philanthropy is a very personal decision and shouldn’t be made in haste. The next time you are asked to donate, support, contribute, whatever they call it, do some homework to determine what you’d be supporting and never feel bad if you can only give a little. If everyone gave a little, it would be a lot.

  • Stephanie Majeran

    Great post! So true about needing to do some research before giving, it is pretty sad how many organizations out there are not as charity-worthy as they might appear!

    • HelloWellness

      Definitely! I came across an article once regarding where money goes when it’s donated. Here’s an interesting website: http://www.charitynavigator.org/