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Do you donate to charities?

Dec. 13, 2012

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

As the year ends and the holiday season begins, the coffers of the world’s charities begin to fill. That’s because every year, Americans from all walks of life open their wallets, making donations that are expected to top $200 billion.

“I think that during this time of year, people have generous hearts and there is a time period of giving,” said Peggy Dyer, chief marketing officer with the American Red Cross.

The American people are the most giving people on Earth. Last year, Americans gave $289 billion to charities, reports Giving USA, more than any other country. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, 89 percent of American households give, most to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the American Cancer Society. On top of that, most households give to their place of worship, with the intention of helping the needy in their community.

Americans’ contributions have helped give aid during some of the world’s recent disasters, both at home and abroad.

After Superstorm Sandy, nearly $220 million was raised in relief for disaster victims.

Americans also pledged the lion’s share of money for relief efforts after a tsunami struck Japan in 2011 and an earthquake leveled Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, in 2010.

The bad economy has taken its toll on charities, with the expected $217 billion in charitable giving to be nowhere near the $311 billion high donated in 2007.

People nervous about the economy and those just returning to work are not expected to give as much as they have in the past. “It takes six months to a year for someone who’s been unemployed to feel secure enough to open up their wallet and start contributing again,” said Sandra Miniutti, chief financial officer at Charity Navigator, a charity watchdog. “People are still somewhat uncertain. I don’t think this is going to be a big rebound year.”

If you want to give, organizations such as the Charity Navigator can help you find a charity that will ensure your money goes where you want it to.

What do you think?

How do you give in this tough economy? Why is it good to give? Do you support any charities? If so, which ones? If you can’t afford to give money, what are other ways you can help? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
12/19/2013
Hackettstown/New Jersey
Arthur
Mrs. Rokosny/Warren Hills High School
To be philanthropic is a virtue; to give to charity does not only prove one’s altruism but also proves how well informed he/she is regarding a certain cause. People do not blindly give to any charities- they choose the specific cause they personally feel are big issues in which they can ultimately help by donating. I do support charities but try to stay aware of which ones I donate to by doing the appropriate research as well as personally reflecting on which issues I feel are the most integral. These charities that I personally support are not only those that tackle issues that I have been impacted by, but also more established foundations that fund what society deems to be at the forefront of the nation’s plights such as disaster relief(American Red Cross), fighting cancer(Breast Cancer Research Foundation), and care for veterans(Salvation Army). I believe that it is the duty of the people who are fortunate enough to lead a healthy, happy life to donate to charity because it defines and shapes a large part of their character. Besides the fact that you are helping others, giving to charity is important because it is a way for you to make a difference in the world, change someone’s life, and really express what you are passionate about. Even those who can not afford to give money, can help by simply volunteering their time and efforts. If one can not directly contribute to help change the world through donations, it is important to realize that he/she can still spur others to donate, or even simpler, just raise awareness of the issue. These small efforts, when accumulated, truly make all the difference in changing society for the better.

12/19/2013
Port Murray/ NJ
Justin
Rokosny / Warren Hills
Donating to charities can be done through many different means, whether it through donating food or money or spending your time to help others it all counts. Myself, i will donate money when every i have a chance

12/10/2013
O'Fallon il
Allison De Boer
jopseh arthur middle school mr rist
Yes it warms my heart when i donate

9/27/2013
Watertown/Ma
Greg D
Mr. Remis Watertown High School
If you do not have the money to donate to these charities then it is possible to donate your time to these organizations to help feed and cloth the people who are less fortunate, it is great to help these people as much as possible because it is the duty of citizens to help each other in that way. If it is possible to donate money out of the goodness of your hearts, that would also be good to contribute even the smallest amounts to those who would appreciate it so much more than someone who has a home or a job so no matter what the economy is like, people should always be able to give something for a worthy cause.

9/27/2013
Watertown/Mass
Christina Mazzeo
Rimas/ Watertown High School
One of the best qualities of a person is to be kind. Donating is a good way to give back and help others in need. It makes you a better person. Donating does not just consist of just money, it can be clothes, food, shelter or just your time and effort. Even in this tough economy there are plenty of ways people can give to those who are less fortunate. I support the salvation army charity and Good Will which are both great organizations to help others. Good Will will take everything from clothes to books.

9/25/2013
Watertown
Hayley
Rimas
I donate all the clothes that either don't fit or i dont like anymore to Good Will which is a charity for the needy. It's good to give and donate to the ones who are less fortunate than you are.

3/20/2013
Denver/CO
Mayra
Mrs. Mumby/John F. Kennedy High School
To this tough economy i donate all of my all old clothes to the needy or the church. I'm saving up money to give it to the church and salvation army. Anything is good to give, for example: you can give your time, clothes, and food. Just by helping out in the community you can make such a big difference. These people who give money, their time, food, and clothes are just amazing because they're not selfish and they try to make the world a better place for the children to grow in. I respect these people because they're helping the community.

2/28/2013
Irving, Texas
Marco
Malcom/Nimitz
I do donate to charities. My parents have had me putting money in the Red Kettles since I was little. May parents donate and I have learned to do that also. I guess Christmas is the most giving time, but my parents give at all times. And all things being said, I will donate whenI have a jovb also. Charities help people in all kinds of ways and they cannot do so without our help

2/19/2013
Grand Blanc MI
Sydney
Mr.Howd McGrath
I clean out my closet every season and donate to charities. I clean out my dresser in the winter and summer again i donate to charities. I think all people should do this because they give them to people in need

2/15/2013
Belleville/New York
Nathan
Miss. Colby/Belleville Henderson
I think that it is good to donate to charity. I believe that you just dont have to donate money you can also donate your time and effort to the charity. Both your money and time can help greatly to the charity and help give someone else a better life they always have dreamed for.

2/15/2013
Belleville/New York
Heather
Colby/Belleville
First of all money isn't everything, if you have something nice and dont have any use for it, give it away to someone, or donate it. Being nice to others and showing the less fortunate will never hurt anybody. In my opinion charities are wonderful and generous objectives to help others in need. You can always donate, or even help at a local pantry.

2/6/2013
Harrisburg, PA
Carly
Central Dauphin High School
I don't think that donating to charities means giving money; you can donate time and help out during specififc fundraisers instead of giving money. Should it be required to donate to charity? No. But those who are successful and have an above average income should highly consider donating a portion of their income to help others. People in high power, such as politicians and celebrities should definitely donate money and time to charities, since they are viewed as role models. I think it is a personal opinion whether middle-low class income people should donate to charities or not.

2/6/2013
Harrisburg, PA
Ellie
Central Dauphin
In this tough economy, there are many things that people cannot afford. At my grandmothers church, I donte to a food bank that lets people come grocery shopping for free, depending on their income. If you can't afford to give money to a charity, giving clothes or canned foods to a food drive can be very helpful.

2/6/2013
Harraisburg PA
Carlee
Central Dauphin High School
I think people who are more fortunate than others should donate to charities. Charities are always for a good cause so you won't waste your time or money on something like this. Charities are for people that are in need so dontating could really change their lives and also, it could make you feel good about yourself when you see how much you affect them.

2/6/2013
Rudyard MT
Donovan
Ms.Campbell Nothstar
I dont donate to charities, but donate to charities is a good thing. To give things that you dont need and want. So donating it to charities helps out the kids, people with bad health, or poor people that needs all that stuff.

1/22/2013
Irving/Texas
chhering
Bradley/Nimitz
Giving someone doesn't always mean giving money, you can help the charities differently if you can't help them with money. Going on march, help them in their work, make banners, join events, giving clothes that you don't use it anymore, canned food. Helping is what makes us human being. Caring for one another.

1/22/2013
Irving/Texas
chhering
Bradley/Nimitz
Giving someone doesn't always mean giving money, you can help the charities differently if you can't help them with money. Going on march, help them in their work, make banners, join events, giving clothes that you don't use it anymore, canned food. Helping is what makes us human being. Caring for one another.

1/21/2013
Irving/Tx
Jazmyn
Bradley/Nimitz
My family and I gave to many different charities this year. When hurricane Sandy happened, we gave our old clothes that were to small for my bother and I to that charity. We try to give every chance we get because there was a time were we needed help and people gave to us, so we try repay the favor. Even if we don't have the money to give on the financial side, We give with other things, like clothes, food, shoes, etc. We enjoy helping other families in need.

1/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Linda
Bradley/Nimitz
Times are tough with this economy and obviously most people are gonna try to feed themselves before we feed others. But giving money isn't the only way to people. I donate old clothes that don't fit me anymore to different places that take them. But if you can't even do that, doing good deeds can't help everyone out and it won't be costing you a cent so it is great to put in any effort to help.

1/19/2013
Irving/Tx
Jennifer R
Bradley/Nimitz
Giving is better than receiving. Being generous is what Americans are known for, even if may of us don't have a lot to give, we are willing to give what ever we can to help those that don't have anything. If everyone donates even the smallest amount of money then it adds up to a huge amount of generosity. For those who can't give any money, then there is always the alternative of helping the community by volunteering at homeless shelters or other voluntary services.

1/18/2013
Irving/Texas
Ashley P
Bradley/Nimitz
It's no surprise that people are nervous about this seemingly failing economy and cannot seem to keep up with their ever generous donations. The economy has been hard on all of us and although, our hearts want to give and help spread joy to the not-as-fortunate, it's sometimes tough to cope with this economy as it is now. I may not be supporting any charities at the moment since i don't really have an income with my jobless self but one day i wish to contribute and donate to those who need it more than I do. In the future, I look forward to being part of a charity so I can join the impact since it's never too late nor too early to start making a difference.

1/18/2013
Irving, TX
Liliana
Bradley/Nimitz
Money is tight when the economy is bad and people need all the money they can save so giving is tough. However, I think that the less money you have to give and still deciding to give is worth more then a rich person having a lot of money and giving more money. Even though the value of the money is still the same. People give because it gives a feeling of satisfaction that you are somehow helping someone in need. If there is no money to give there are many ways to help your community by volunteering in local homeless shelters or other projects in the community which will give the same feeling of satisfaction as giving to a charity.

1/18/2013
Irving/TX
Martha
Bradley/Nimitz
It is a fact that bad economy times are striking, making it difficult to contribute to charities as we would like to. However we have to remember that most of the time we don't have to empty our wallet in order to feel like get that sense of accomplishment. As the economy gets tougher, so do we. Giving money always sounds like the easiest way to contribute,but that is if it's available to you. Now that if there's not enough money to spare, time is something that most of the time we always have. Volunteering is great option for someone that's looking to help their community, and it is also a great recreational activity for families as a whole. Specially during holiday seasons when families get together and thank for what they have, it is when they should go out and try to spread a little of their joy, but volunteering at places like homeless shelters, or hospitals. It is hard to believe that sometimes doing something for someone out there rather than just sparing some change can impact their life even more. It's something about good actions that lets people who perhaps have let go of hope, that the kindness of strangers still exists. At the moment I am not supporting any charities, but I know that it will never be too late nor too early to donate and help my community and the people I share this country with.

1/17/2013
Irving/TX
Julio F.
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes the economy is getting pretty tough on a lot of people but there are other ways you can give to charity that doesn't involve cash, like giving a helping hand, by donating your time or donating somethings you don't need, for example old clothes, some toys, things you basically don't use anymore. Giving to others or to charity gives you a great feeling knowing you did someone good and that you are putting a smile on someones face. Plus, there are many people in the world that have it worst than us, so it's important we do our part and help out a little. Even though I don't support any charities at the moment I wish that one day I would be able to do that, but even if I don't support a charity I still give my old clothes or some of my belongings I don't even use to people in need.

1/17/2013
Irving/Tx
Carolina R
Bradley/Nimitz
If i have extra money that I know I am only going to use for myself, it usually goes to church. During Christmas it seems that people do rememer that there are other less fortuante and that it would not hurt to share what they have. It is good to give because not only does it make you feels good but you are helping to improve what is out there. Even if it is not with money, donating time to help the homeless or an organization can be great help.

1/17/2013
Irving,TX
Lily
Bradley/Nimitz
Donating money isn't the only way to lend a helping hand. For instance, my family and I donate our old clothing to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. These groups serve the community as an inexpensive shopping option and through charitable efforts. It's good that we give to others, because there are people in the world who are worse off than we are. Many of them have problems that are beyond their control, and the best way for mankind to advance is by helping those who are unable to help themselves. By doing so, you're making a difference in someone else's life. Every effort you put forth to help counts,whether it be a small contribution or not.

1/16/2013
Irving
Kimberly Lopez
Helen Bradley
I like to donate when I have money, even if it's just a couple of bucks. Any amount of money can help and if donating money is a problem for you, then donating clothes and toys is a major help too. Even if you can't do that, you can always donate your time to help an organization with what they need. From helping set up, serving, cleaning etc. Donating isn't all about the money.

1/16/2013
Irving/TX
Kenia R
Bradley/Nimiz
When it comes to donating anything can make a difference whether its a thousand dollars or even a few bucks. Donating does not only mean giving money donating can also mean giving clothes or giving food so others can have something to eat or wear in this cold weather. It is good to give because everybody deserves to enjoy a meal.

1/14/2013
Irving, TX
Kelsey
Bradley, Nimitz High School
Our economy is tough I am luck to not have been hit as hard as others because of the fact that my parents are both employed and my father even works for the city. Living in a household with two incomes definitely makes it seam that the economy is doing fine. However when you take the time to look around you can see the troubles that other are facing. helping out those in need it why people in america donate. That and the rewarding feeling you get after doing a good deed.

1/13/2013
Irving, TX
Brittany H.
Bradley/Nimitz
The closest thing to charities that I actually give to are donations to my church. I also occasionally throw my change from gas stations into the little “help starving children” cans at the register. I can't really afford to give large donations but I do donate things like clothes I don't wear to the Salvation Army. I find it important to give what you can because no matter how hard you think you may have it, there is always someone who is a little more unfortunate then yourself.

1/11/2013
Irving/Tx
Ashley C
Bradley/Nimitz
Although i do not support any charities, i do give to good will stores. I am not able to afford to give money, so what my family does is we give our old clothes to the stores or sometimes our church. It is acceptable to give clothes, shoes, any furniture type stuff and food. It is good to give back to the community because not all people are able to work to support their families ; if they are, some may not be able to purchase clothes or food.

1/11/2013
Irving Texas
Frankie R
Bradley Nimitz
By me falling all the laws and paying taxes i give to the economy every day. It is good to give because i know what its like to be on the receiving end. I like to get get get, so in return I must give. I support charities, more so with my time and volunteering rather then donating money. Time given to a charity is better in my opinion because you have to look at it as what you're giving up. You can always get money back, money comes and goes. Time, however, is something you cant never get back.

1/10/2013
Irving/Texas
Claudia
Bradley/Nimitz
When it comes to a donation there is anything is acceptable whether it is thousands of dollars or a very small amount. It is good to give because you maybe helping someone who one day may help you. When you need help the people you helped will have it in mind and may be able to help you. If you are like me and cannot give monetary donations you can give your time or items that are no longer usable for you. Anything that you donate will be very much appreciated by the charity regardless of the amount.

1/10/2013
Irving/TX
Jessica H.
Bradley/Nimitz
When we think of giving to a charity, most people think of giving money, but there are many ways to give to charities. We can help by giving money, clothes, food, or other products essential to everyday life. While I don't favor a particular charity, I give money at church to help families that may not have enough. Giving to those less fortunate than us helps unite communities while helping those in need. As a personal reward for donating, there is no greater feeling than seeing the face of a grateful child or parent.

1/9/2013
Irving, Texas
Sona
Bradley,Nimitz
Any sort of help is truly appreciated. Even if its a small amount, it will surely add up. It could make a big difference in those peoples life. Its good to give because if you help others, god will help you. It does not necessarily have to be money that one donate. You can give clothes, hygiene products,shoes, or even food. We are very fortunate to even have what we have. So we should not take it for granted and we should be generous enough to help others.

1/9/2013
irving/tx
cindy m
bradley/nimitz
You can give anything, im sure that person will appreciate it. Most people can give a lot more then what they do. Maybe instead of getting your nails done one week or instead of getting a hair cut you could give 10-20 dolllars to someone who really needs it to live. Good things happen to people who do good things!

1/7/2013
Irving/Tx
Hector S.
Bradley/Nimitz
Donating is important. Donating gives people more unfortunate then us a chance to sleep indoors, have a balanced meal. There are countless people who are not able to take care of themselves due to difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, I do not donate to charities although I plan to when I am older and more economically stable. I lack money but make up for it by volunteering to as many events as I can to help out in any way that I can by either picking up trash, serving food, etc..

1/7/2013
Rudyard MT
Donovan
Mrs.Campbell. Northstar
I do some times donate to different charities.Its good to give to the economy.Some people out there in the world have things that there don't need or don't use . I think the people should give more to the charities. It's always good to see happy faces on people that you gave to.

1/4/2013
Irving/Tx
Rebecca M.
Bradley/Nimitz
There are many ways to give in this economy today. Spare change and clothes that haven't been worn in years are some examples of ways to give to those in need. Some people have more than they need so why not give some of the excess to those who can truly appreciate it. My family has been contributing to the Susan G. Komen foundation for the past 5 years, since my mom and now recently my sister were diagnosed with breast cancer. We have participated in fundraisers, giving money, and in the walk for the cure in Dallas. I have also participated with my school to feed the homeless. It feels good to see the look on the faces of the ones you have helped and to know how they truly appreciate what you have done even if it is something as small as loose change and old clothes.

1/4/2013
Belleville, NY
Erin
Miss Colby/ Belleville Henderson
I do donate to charities. I feel that it is something everyone should do if they are financially stable. It is nice to help people in need.

1/4/2013
Belleville/NY
Elina
Ms. Colby/BHCS
In my opinion, people should support charities, because there so many people who need our help, our environment needs our help. If we don't help, who will? As a foreighner i can say that America is a really giving country. I know that because I live here on a grant. American Councils DC provides a great amount of money for students from other countries to live, experience and study in the US. There are around 60 people only from my country, which is very small and there are more than hundred these countries. American Councils covers living expenses, tickets, it provides free education. I think it is the right thing to do. I can't support any charities, because I don't make money myself. But I am trying to do some contribution attending different volunteer organizations and doing community service. We make projects helping different kinds of society, environmet, disabled people, and homeless animals amd people.

1/3/2013
Montgomery/ TX
Sonya R.
Metzger/ Montgomery High School
I believe people should donate whenever they can. It is acceptable that people who do not ?have the money can find other ways to be charitable, like volunteering at their local red ?cross, or at an animal shelter. Really, there are a lot of places to volunteer. My family and I ?donate to Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Kids Wish Network an organization that ?grants wishes to terminally ill children, and we also donate clothes to Houston Achievement ?Place every year. I think it’s our duty to give or help out charities because they need it. I feel ?guilty sometimes when I see sick people, stranded animals, and people sleeping on the ?street while I have a way to help these people and animals. Everyone deserves to have a safe ?environment and to be healthy and charities are the programs that will help. ?

1/1/2013
Montgomery/TX
Dylan T.
Metzger/Montgomery High
I think everyone should donate to some kind of charity. It's understandable if you don't have the money to donate daily, but even pocket change is better than nothing. My family donates to the Toys for Tots foundation every Christmas and the Semper Fi Fund/Wounded Warrior Project monthly. There are times where people just can't donate a considerable amount of money for a charity, but there are ways to help; like helping out at a local soup kitchen or becoming a volunteer firefighter to help donate wounded or critically ill firemen. Anything that can help others in need will do. Donating or volunteering for a charity is something that comes from the goodness of your heart, not just from your wallet.

12/19/2012
Irving/ TX
Amber P
Bradley/ Nimitz
I can't donate to charities but, I volunteer in many different ways, to help a variety of people. Currently, I volunteer at an animal hospital that helps low income people take care of and treat their sick pets. It's good to help other people, because not only does it help them, but it helps you empathize with other humans and feel overall good about yourself. Not everyone- like me, has the money to give but there are other ways you can help instead of giving money, you can give your time and effort which is just as valuable.

12/19/2012
Irving/Tx.
Katie D
Bradley/Nimitz
I, personally, don't have much to give. However, I have found small ways to give in great amounts. To give to charities doesn't start with your wallet, it starts with your heart. So, even though I can't financially give, I can give my time and effort to charities that need assistance. It's good to give because it helps the world go round. You can't expect to live a greedy life and then hope that people help you when you're in need. To give is to receive, and if you don't give there will be nothing to receive. I don't necessarily support one charity over another, but an charities that I have helped and supported have been group efforts with my church. I've helped with Catholic Charities, the North Texas Food Bank, Mission Arlington, and the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Stores. I find that giving my time is just as rewarding as giving my money.

12/18/2012
Irving/Texas
Monica
Bradley / Nimitz
To help other people in there time of need especially on the holidays is a blessing. Though the economy is bad there are still people willing to donate or lend a helping hand. Giving money is not the only way you can help, you can volunteer at a homeless shelter. Bring food to people in need, give any clothes that are still in good shape, give presents to little kids whose families can't give to them. There are so many ways you can just go out there and lend a hand. Though to you giving a person a simple sweater or food isn't much, to them it's a blessing.

12/14/2012
Irving/TX
Mayra Z
Bradley/Nimitz
Recently my class has been having Angel Trees, which is when kids that don't have enough money to get gifts based on the money we raise in each class. I believe in this case that we help still just by giving a few each year. The truth is that we are going through much unemployment during this time period and we may not give as much as before, but little by little we can raise enough money even pennies.It is good to give to others because in times of holidays or celebration there are those who can't do the same due to the lack of money. People need to realize that not many people have the same privileges as us and we can make their lives much better by just giving some of what we have plenty of, it can improve their lives dramatically.I support charities by giving them my change when I go to Walmart, cause that's where most Salvation Army donations are given.There are many other ways people can help, for example I contribute by volunteering at homeless shelters and helping in cooking for them at my local school while also donating used and new clothes we may have never worn to donation centers.Little contributions to the needed can be the best gift to them.

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