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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Giving Tuesday


We had Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, now, Giving Tuesday.

Anne Frank said, "No one ever became poor by giving" and Gladys B., my Mom, says, "You can't out give God."

It bemuses me we now seem to be a society that 1. has to have a reason for giving and 2. a site for giving. When I was growing up, giving was a way of life. On Saturdays, my parents would do their own work and then help other family and friends do theirs. I well remember working on my uncle's tobacco farm, for no pay, because he needed the help and I was available. We didn't give on Tuesday, we gave every day, a way of life then and a way of life now.

Further, I must admit the concept of a day dedicated to giving confuses me but I do have some suggestions about giving. If you're a Christian, do you know about the ECFA? The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability "enhances trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries by establishing and applying Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship to accredited organizations."  The ECFA, founded in 1979 provides accreditation to almost 1,900 members and represents almost $22 billion in annual revenues.

During this season of gimme, gimme it's nice to know there's someplace to go to find out if an organization is legitimate. I don't believe in, nor give to, the middle man such as united way; I've never seen the need to give to a middle man when I can give directly. That and people have told me the united way shuffled money away from some organizations to other organizations they wanted to receive more money. Legal? Of course not but such things happen all the time and one is naïve to think, or believe, otherwise.

When I give, I start locally and then, if funds and interest allow further, I branch out. For example, The Salvation Army is a charity I support because they live and work close to the areas they serve. According to this site, the average Program Director's salary is $43,700 which is 44% less than the national average. The Program Director's live and work on site and receive a modest allowance for their vehicle.

Generally, I don't give to organizations that receive federal, state or county tax dollars because my attitude is, "I've already given". It pains me so many tax dollars go toward the killing of the unborn; it pains me the President supports that killing. God alone knows the loss to the art world, the medical community, corporate American, etc. because those babies have been killed. There are some places I give that aren't an ECFA member and my reasons are personal...centers that assist pregnant girls and women have their babies then keep the babies or put into adoption; a little girl I taught in Sunday School, now a woman, who is on the mission field with her husband and children; friends...true friends...who are going through hard times; the church and other places of my choosing.

With 1,900 members there are a lot of places to give and give wisely; it's important to me to be a good steward of what God has entrusted me and the ECFA is a tool I've found useful. Perhaps you'll find it useful as well.

Blessings ~ stewardship ~ ECFA ~ Salvation Army ~  Anne Frank ~

6 comments:

  1. Oh Sandra my parents and grandparents were so giving and I like to think I am just as giving. There is a lot of need out there and we have an obligation to not be selfish and share what we have. The Salvation Army has always been where the money goes the farthest in my area too. The local food bank and women's shelters are also where there is need.
    It takes so little to give to make a huge difference in someones life. Hug B

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  2. Hi Sandra, this is such a great and informative post. I believe in giving and I love to give to those in need and like you, giving directly can be the difference in your donation going to the right area or not.
    The Salvation Army is the best charity organization and the best in my area too.
    My parents were big givers through church and more, sharing always what they had with others. Learning and seeing this as a child taught me the importance. When one is so blessed, the way to say thank you, is to give to others. I receive my biggest gifts of joy when I give.
    Beautiful post and thanks for sharing.
    Have a blessed day!
    Hugs

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  3. Great post! I used to be on the board of a United Way organization and we were treated like dirt. We were much more efficient with our money than the equivalent organization that served boys but we got less than half the funding. I stopped supporting UW after that. I also now only give locally or direct and often it's simply to someone in need, especially with medical bills. I know where all that money goes.

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  4. You are such a kind, generous person. The world needs more people like you. We try to give as our hearts and pocket books allow. (Notice I don't call it "Give Back". That's such a communist term. I didn't take anything to give back to!!)

    I like the Salvation Army too. They are good people. United Way is socialists bent on their own gain. I did some temporary work at UW and they are corrupt in the extreme.

    I've been reading a lot of medieval history. In ancient times the nuns had places a woman could go to to leave her child anonymously (it was through a little hole in the wall - very interesting, I think). The child could be adopted or raised in the convent. There they where trained to be a governess, maid, etc. kind of work until their early teens and then integrated back into society. I truly wish we could bring that system back! When a child is murdered it prevents a whole blood line of people from being born. It's just so wrong!

    Great post as always.

    Luv ~:)

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  5. I agree that we don't have to go much farther than our own back yard to find needs. I really enjoy shopping for a family with children to supply the family with everyday needs and the kids with a couple of small toys. The Salvation Army is great as is the Good Samaritan facilities.

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  6. Lots of food for thought here on giving.. I will check out the info! This year, we are helping someone locally, directly. We just have to decide exactly what our gift will be to best serve the recipient and her young child. -Tammy

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