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To give or not to give--and how much

September 3rd, 2005 at 04:46 pm

It may not seem like it from my past few entries, but I have been following Hurricane Katrina's aftermath like everyone else, probably too much. Even without having the cable channels we used to have, I've gotten plenty of news through the regular channels, CSPAN, and radio. The past few days I haven't gotten much else done. It's been so frustrating watching those poor people just waiting for help. And so maddening to hear things like the Red Cross being there early on, but being turned away by FEMA because they wanted to force people to leave, not give them a haven. Ham radio operators, who could have helped with the communication problems, were apparently also turned away. But I digress.

I was the most upset at the point where I felt equally pulled by wanting to help and being afraid for our own financial security. How far are gas and other prices going to go up? How much can I donate so I don't feel cheap and ashamed, and still make sure we'll be able to handle what might be coming up in our own lives.

It made me realize how the traditional advice to save 10% and give 10% makes good sense. It must be a very freeing feeling. You are saving a good amount against disasters in your own life, but you also know you're doing your part to help others. Then if disaster strikes you, you don't need to blame yourself for bad planning or feel guilty accepting help.

10% for saving OR giving is out of the question for us right now, but I did finally decide to donate $25 now and more later, probably once a month for awhile. I know it won't make much of a difference, but it sure makes me feel a whole lot better.

2 Responses to “To give or not to give--and how much”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Try not to be so hard on yourself! You did what you were able to do and that is what matters most. Blessings to you.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Those feelings you've expressed were, for me, the most powerful in the quest to save money.

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