It seems like every time I leave the house there is an opportunity to give to charity. Salvation Army buckets get my coins, $1 or 2 donations added onto my grocery bill, toy donations in the bins at discount stores, weekly and monthly food donations to the school food pantry, the list goes on.
And I don't mind it really. I like to do a small part somehow.
But, after thinking about how I don't budget for groceries or anything else I'm wondering how much (or how little) I am frittering away of our own funds. Hubby's job is solid right now but it might not always be the case.
And talking to my Mom on the phone while I grocery shopped I mentioned how part of my cart was going directly to the nearby food pantry. Of course, I got the standard lecture about how "welfare people" mostly need to just get off of their butts and work and many of them are doing better than her and just expect a handout. She continued on about how we don't know what may happen with the economy and I need to save that for my own family. It was hard to wrestle with that argument but my standard retort is always, "Yes, but what if they have hungry children?" And I'm sure that may the be the case in some instances but I can't imagine that the majority of people going to food banks are there because they don't want to work. My husband's parents seem to have that same view (although never espoused in quite that way). I think it's just the older generation being brought up with an "Earn what you Need" ethic. And while I don't think that's wrong, I think it's a bit short sighted and stingy. Lest I leave you with a poor impression of my parental sets, let me say that they are all very giving with people that they know.
After talking to my Mom, I briefly considered keeping the one bag I designated for donation. And then I drove to the food pantry anyway.
But, I do think I need to designate a set portion of our funds instead of willy nilly here and there.
There are so many places and people that need help, it feels overwhelming.
Any ideas, guys?