Giving to those in need

I decided to tap into my emergency/savings fund this weekend, and will probably redirect a percentage of future funds as well.   Though my previous uses for it was really considered a fund source for when unexpected events arise, I don’t think I’ve truly spent it on a true emergency (yet) as I did when I donated to help the recent typhoon victims.  Using the funds for tires on my car pales in comparison to the utter devastation this typhoon has left these victims.  Not having access to food, shelter, and basic necessities for days – this is an emergency.  Looters arising from feeling hungry and hopeless that turns into rage – this is an emergency.  People not knowing where their loved ones are – this is an emergency.

Thankfully, I am beyond grateful to hear that my loved ones back home are okay and haven’t been impacted.  But reading all the accounts and watching news clips have left me so mournful to those that were deeply affected.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like for my loved one to lose my grasp as the water carried them away from me, nor what it’s like now with all the debris and destruction left everywhere.  Images are being shown all over news stations that I feel are pretty graphic, and it’s heart-breaking to imagine that little ones are seeing decaying corpses out on the street in real life.

I admit, I have a hard time with contributing.  I tend to be cynical and mistrusting when donating to organizations (though I do realize there’s some legit ones out there), and I’m not too fond of the corrupt stuff that happens in the PI.  But if even a portion of the contribution goes towards feeding a couple of kids or giving medicine to the sick or elderly or helps rebuild people’s lives, then it’s money well spent.

There’s at times all these thoughts that arise about how I frivolously spend, and how shameful that is since it could have been redirected to giving more – it’s happened during previous natural disasters, from Katrina to the tsunami in Japan to the earthquake in Haiti.  But that’s not productive, and as soon as it appears it’s time to refocus.  Because at the end of the day, I do realize I have an abundance of good fortune when relating it on a macroscopic/global level.  Despite this debt hanging over me and all these budget preparations for getting a “forever” house or raising kids, I’m still in a good and fortunate position to give what I can, whenever I can.  And beyond the monetary help, I just want to help those that might feel helpless, even if it’s just a minor token of support or prayer.  People who are used to tithing make this seem so natural, but for me it (admittedly) takes some work.  It’s a work in progress, but one that I personally feel it’s important to work on.

And as with anything, these are just my own thoughts and viewpoints.  I felt inclined to put that disclaimer on since this seems kind of preachy, but I don’t intend it to be so.  

34 thoughts on “Giving to those in need

  1. You’re not being preachy at all, Anna, but clearly speaking from your heart. The images coming from the Philippines have been so heart-breaking. It’s easy (and normal) to get caught up in our problems but when we compare them to something like these – we are reminded of how fortunate we truly are.

    • Glad to hear you didn’t think so, Shannon – I agree it’s easy to get caught up day-to-day. Natural disasters really remind us (at least me) how easily things can be taken away, so it helps remind me to realize how fortunate my life has turned out.

  2. I don’t think it sounds preachy, Anna. My family over there is okay as well and I’m glad to hear it’s the same with you. God bless you for tapping your emergency fund to fund someone else’s emergency.

  3. I know some people do feel skeptical about some of the charity organizations and the truth is that there are shady organizations out there and even the legit ones sometimes can’t manage it efficiently. It’s easy to criticize those organizations and not contribute from where we are, but for the people who are in need, even if the funds are not being efficiently allocated, little is better than nothing and that little can mean life as oppose to death. I want to commend you for donating and trying to re-direct your attitude. I believe that God is working through you and you just opened up to His people with compassion.

    • “but for the people who are in need, even if the funds are not being efficiently allocated, little is better than nothing and that little can mean life as oppose to death”… this was the most eloquent way of saying what was on my mind – very true, Michelle! Even if it helps out one victim, it’s better than helping out no one. God bless you (and your family), Michelle. xo

    • Aww, thanks GMD, you already know this made me a tad emotional. I’ve for sure been praying for the victims. It doesn’t seem like they’re receiving aid quickly enough (at least that’s what the media portrays), so I hope they start receiving it soon. :/

  4. I think it might not be your emergency, but human kind has an emergency. I think that’s very kind of you Anna. In our community we are mobilizing our own relief effort. But I will probably donate money to the red cross as well. They really need clean drinking water there. It’s so sad to see.

    • I loved what you wrote, Tonya, and I agree. That’s so kind of you to donate. I agree, it’s really heart-breaking, especially with a link out there that shows the before and after pics of Tacloban.

  5. Glad your family is ok and you’re not preachy! You can express your opinions without being preachy and I think you did it with tact. I think taking some $ from your EF for this cause is good, because it helped you put things in perspective and help others. Our pf ’emergencies’ most of the time aren’t even close to what this kind of emergency is. I can’t even imagine and it is so devastating.

    • Thank you for not thinking it was preachy, M, I can never tell in these types of situations. It for sure makes me re-think and re-assess (and also to stop b!tching as much at trivial things). I just hope they receive more aid soon. :/

  6. I am really glad that your family is safe and well. I think it’s awesome of you to give to a worthy cause. I can relate in that giving freely is a work in progress for me, too. There are so many bigger things going on in the world than our debt. It’s a bit overwhelming to put everything into perspective sometimes, especially when we are confronted with such devastation.

    • I agree E.M. Giving doesn’t come naturally for me (especially when I hear some stories about small percentages going to an actual cause), but hopefully at least some of it will go towards them. Thank you for your well wishes, as well, with my fam. xo

    • Nothing infuriates me more than fake charities trying to profit from natural disasters! I donated to one that was legit (at least what my friends here consider legit), so hopefully that’s the case and it actually goes towards the victim. Thanks for stopping by, Charles!

  7. We don’t have TV or cable at our temporary home so I had no idea what was going on out there. That is heartbreaking!

  8. Anna, this is totally a great cause to support and I’m glad to hear your family is ok. It’s hard to imagine not having enough food to eat and it’s good to see a lot of folks out there supporting the relief efforts. As someone who was heavily involved in the financial side of relief efforts during Hurricane Sandy (I used to work for Catholic Charities of NY), that money will go to a good cause.

    • Oh goodness, I forgot to add Hurricane Sandy. That’s amazing that you were heavily involved in a great cause to rebuild people’s lives. I agree it’s uplifting to see a lot of people donate, hopefully the aid will come to them soon since the media makes it look like not enough is being brought in yet.

  9. Good to hear your family is ok! I am also skeptical because I work in nonprofits and I know how much money goes to administrative costs rather than the actual cause.

    • Agreed Chelles – I think that’s a big part of why I mostly just directly support a person, whether it’s a teacher friend who needs school supplies or someone dealing with a medical issue. I’m just putting faith that at least some of the funds goes towards victims.

  10. Not a bit preachy! Happy to know your loved ones are safe. I am currently awaiting assignment to go over and help with disaster relief efforts, and I’m so happy to hear of how you so generously used your savings. 🙂

    • I love that you’re making the time and commitment to help those in need – you’re amazing Jen, and I respect you so much for doing so! I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences on it when they assign you.

  11. I don’t usually trust organizations or anything like this, but, as you said, money and support can be sent DIRECTLY to those in need. Something I also like to do from time to time. Happy to hear your family wasn’t affected and kudos for your big heart 😉

    • Aww, thanks dojo. Agreed, I prefer helping people directly – thankfully, my family is fine, so I just hope that the funds that helps those in need at least partially goes towards them. I’m hoping for the best.

  12. Pingback: Blog Round-Up: November 11, 2013

  13. I’m so thankful that my family back home isn’t affected, either. But still, this has been so heartbreaking. I may be in debt, and my EF may be low, but they need my money more than I do.

  14. I’m so glad all your family is OK. I get teary just about every time I see the news coverage. I suggested making a donation to bf, and like you he’s a little cynical. I guess since he grew up there and has seen the corruption, he knows that the money doesn’t always go where it should. But that isn’t going to stop me from making my own donation.

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