Why Giving to Charity is Good For You!

Katie Silver writes about budgeting and saving money rather well! But we have chosen to share a short piece from her budgeting book “Still Living Life on a Budget”, not really about budgeting, but instead about why giving to charity is rather good for how you see yourself in this world, and for realising how lucky we are.

Very few could fail to be moved by the current situation with migrants, refugees whose lives have been destroyed, parents whose desperation leads them into making decisions to take their children on journeys so perilous, they are the stuff of a mother’s nightmare.

I have a three year old son, and like many I have spoken to since, and untold more, I sobbed and felt grief for a small child whose death on his perilous journey has brought the true and human cost of the migrant crisis into focus in the most harrowing of ways.

It therefore felt like the right time to share this excerpt, because I think the words ring true, because there can be such a feeling of uselessness, so after you have signed the petitions demanding action (heres a link to one – change.org)  perhaps think about what more you could give; it may just make you feel a little more human again!  Included at the very bottom are a selection of links to charities specifically with the current refugee crisis in mind.

“…………….Give to charity – because I think sometimes remembering that actually you are rather lucky and that there are others worse off than you can help bring some perspective and some peace to your life, it is not very altruistic (but not much in life is if you are truthful), but it is a truth that if you have £20 and you give £5 to charity (say to the World Food Programme which feeds desperate people across the world), then you still have £15 which is more than the recipients of your charity have. Sounds crazy? It helps – it helps you to see the world beyond your front door, street, town, county, Country, and by taking a worldview it is very easy to look around and be thankful and grateful; and of course there are within our own country those who are worse off, caught up in a circle of poverty which can be hard to break. Food banks are reporting an ever increasing need for their services.

If money is very tight there are ways to help others; how about these ideas to get you started:

– Each time I am shopping I buy an extra tin of beans or a box of cereal, a bag of pasta or some biscuits (generally about £1.00) and I pop it in the Food Bank collection box ( you will find these now dotted about many supermarkets).

– Throughout the year, when shopping in supermarkets and discount shops, I buy extra soap, flannels, toothpaste,

Vector background illustration with helping hand concept on blacksmall toys, children’s hats, gloves and scarves. Also paper, pens, stickers and sweets (nothing costing more than about £2.00 at a time), by time September/October comes I have enough bits and pieces to make up a couple of Christmas Shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child appeal run each year by Samaritans Purse (find out more here -http://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/) . Samaritans Purse is an evangelical Christian charity, and if this is something which does not appeal to you, there are other organisations which run similar schemes with less “evangelising”, Link to Hope is one to think about – http://linktohope.co.uk/shoebox-appeal.

– When you work in an office and your birthday comes along – your colleagues will expect a cake at your expense! Do they really need it? Do they all really want it? Instead of the £10 spent buying cakes – give the money to the World Food Programme who will spend it feeding those who really need it in refugee camps and in disaster zones throughout the world – http://www.wfp.org/.”

Want to give money specifically to help with the current refugee crisis?  These links might help:

Aylan Kurdi Fund – set up in honour of the small boy whose death, will save the lives of so many

Migrant Offshore Aid Station

Médecins Sans Frontières

Refugee Council

Save the Children

British Red Cross

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