To everything, there is a season

James in a meditation hut in the Japanese Gardens in Portland, Oregon, May 2014

James in a meditation hut in the Japanese Gardens in Portland, Oregon, May 2014

This time of year, among all the commercials, advertisements and mailings to buy buy buy there are commercials, advertisements and mailings to give give give.

It can be overwhelming during the holiday season to try to provide a good time to friends and family while being bombarded by organizations asking for your charity.  The holidays seem to bring out the will to give in people, so I understand why there is a big push for charity during the November and December months.

Though I think it is important to donate time and money during the holidays, I think we need to think about spreading the love throughout the whole year.  Generally, my husband and I choose local charities and organizations to donate to which are usually a mix of 1) organizations that bring art, culture and humanities to the city therefore enhancing our community and school systems and 2) organizations that assist people in need.  We have been known to donate to friends and family participating in fundraising efforts, like walking, running and biking for national organizations, as well.

I understand that everyone donates time and money differently.  It wasn’t until this year that we actually put a certain amount of money aside per year earmarked for charitable donations.  This way we have an agreed upon amount to donate, and we can start with our favorite organizations first and sprinkle around the rest throughout the year.  This allows us a comfortable level of charity while still staying on budget.

Not all of our charity has been money.  Throughout the year we donate items to AMVETS and ReStore Habitat for Humanity.  Though it’s been awhile, I’ve also donated time to the International House.  Just recently I found out that Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates will take donations of old eyeglasses.  I donated 4 pairs on Friday!  Also, you can send greeting cards all year long to St. Jude’s Ranch to be reused and sold to support their programs.

Here are some of the organizations we’ve donated to over the last 2 years (click on each to learn more!):


Alexander Youth Network

Alzheimer’s Association


Arts & Science Council

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates

International House

NPR – WFAE Charlotte

ReStore Habitat for Humanity

Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and Silver Bells

St. Jude’s Ranch

What are some of the organizations you like to donate to throughout the year?


(originally posted on on 12/14/14)


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