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Giving Thanks

This week kicks off that special time we all look forward to all year. It's the end of all the political commercials and phone calls and the beginning of all the holiday commercials and charity phone calls. Wonderful.

There is nothing that says I'm thankful like being bombarded dozens of times a day with people asking you to help those less fortunate, for only $19 a month, that's only $0.63 a day, and less than a penny a second.

Now it's not that I'm against helping, what I am unhappy about is being beaten over the head with stories that make me feel like I'm just not doing enough to help others. And I especially don't need to hear from some super rich celebrity telling me to open my wallet. Let's measure his percentage of income to charity against most of the rest of us and I would say we are helping pretty well.

My wife and I give what we can, when we can, to those organizations we have decided to help based on things that are important to us and to those that we feel need it the most. This doesn't mean any other groups are unimportant and are not worthy of support, it just means we have different priorities.

We don't do it to get a free blanket, or set of mugs, or our pictures up in the hallway of charity "X". We do it because we want to and we expect nothing back in return, which, frankly, should be why each of you give to whomever it is you give to. Doing it to be rewarded should not be one of your reasons.

Most of the organizations asking for money at this time of year are doing it because they know that many of us are suckers for a sad story around the holidays. We take a look at all we have in our life and tear up at the story of little Bobby or Carly who needs our help. "Honey? Where is the checkbook?"

Helping people is a good thing to do, and guess what? It is a good thing to do in May and August, just as much as it is in November and December. Those that need help need it all year, not just at the Holiday's.

So if you want to help an organization to help those that need it, I commend you. If you are doing it because you feel guilty, then I'm still glad you are helping but wish you were doing it because you know it is the right thing to do.

Be thankful for all you have, you likely worked very hard to get it. But if you want to help someone then do it because you know it is the right thing to do and not because someone called you on the phone or put a commercial on TV to make you feel bad by not giving.

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