Tis the season for gift giving--and not just fancy computers, televisions, iPods, new clothes or handbags or whatever other luxury your heart desires. It's also the time to remember that there are others out there who need the basics of food and shelter. People who are struggling to survive day to day.
When we were growing up we gave at church, school, and filled the Salvation Army coffers, and our local grocery stores, scout troops or schools collected cans and Toys For Tots to be sent to those in need. But in this age of computers we no longer have to even leave home to donate. We can run our own cyber-charitable campaign.
Sponsored by Jo-Lynne Shane author of Musings of A Housewife Blog
A web site called You Give Goods lets us each set up our own charitable drive or donate to others like Philadbundance or The Pottstown Cluster (a group of religious communities banding together to nourish families in need.) Two local bloggers, Jo-Lynne Shane author of Musings of A Housewife blog (supporting The Pottstown Cluster) and Tina Creaney Seitzinger of Life Without Pink (supporting Philabundance) are two bloggers who set up their own food drives using You Give Goods.
Philabundance supported by Tina Creanery Seitzinger Author of Life Without Pink Blog
You Give Goods lets you look at a group of items to purchase (with the price of a case of them next to it) and you just click on your choice of purchases to donate and they are bought by the case without the markup you'd pay if you were buying them yourself at the grocery store. Not only do they buy in bulk, but you don't have to pay for gas to get to the store, buy the food there, and then put them in your car and head to your local food pantry for distribution.
It's charitable giving made easy through the use of social media and the web -- modernized giving at it's best! Goods for purchase start at $5.
Even if all of us donated $5 for every $100 we spent on the holidays this year it would swell the inventory at food pantries or help provide money for other social programs. The program greatly reduces the costs and time to manage an 'old fashioned' drive and reduces the gas needed to deliver it, freeing up more dollars and time for the organization in need.
You Give Goods was developed by a group of New Jersey friends who wanted to find a way to increase the efficiency of charitable giving. The result of their brainstorming is You Give Goods--an innovative way to manage charitable giving for food pantries, shelters (for people and animals), or other organizations across the country in need of assistance. Since it's launch in September, You Give Goods has launched over 100 drives.
Who starts a You Give Goods campaign? You do! Your neighbors, scout troops, homerooms, service groups, (bloggers like us), businesses, schools...the list goes on. Is it too late to start giving? It's never too late to start a campaign. 49.2 million Americans are living in poverty--someone will always be hungry or in need of assistance for housing or clothing. Yes, YOU can make a difference. And you can start today.
That's one of the most important lessons I ever learned in life. It all begins with you. Even if you won't have a great campaign by the holidays this year, aim for the Easter holidays, or any other date of your choice. Want to read about others who've made the leap to organizing a drive? Head to this media link and read all about them--they have one thing in common--a desire to give to others.
Kudos to Jo-Lynn and Tina for alerting the local bloggers to this great way to raise money. It's as easy as You Give Goods, You, and your social media contacts. So give some good ... someone is always in need.