Bloggers for Charity

The Blunt Bean Counter has asked some of us blogging folk to support charities by auctioning off the opportunity to write guest posts on our blogs. I have no idea how this will work out, but I’m happy to give it a shot for a good cause. The first announcement about this blogger charity effort came out yesterday.

I won’t repeat all the information in The Blunt Bean Counter’s announcement, but suffice it to say it is not often that I will offer to let folks do Guest Posts here (I get offers every day folks, so no this is not me asking for unsolicited content, if it is NOT in this context). If you want my point of view on Guest Posts, read Guest Posts: Please Stop the Madness)

I will blatantly steal the “rules” from Michael James description:

  • Click Here to submit your “bid” via e-mail to my secret lair.
  • The auction will close on 2011 Dec. 16. I will publish periodic updates of the highest bid and will notify the winner after the auction closes.
  • The winning bidder must send me (by email) a scanned copy of a donation receipt, dated between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31 to confirm that the donation has been made. Please block out any personal information; I only want to check the amount and that it seems to be a legitimate charity receipt. You may choose your favourite charity.
  • The “blogger for a day” post will appear on 2012 Jan. 17. I must approve the post contents. I will be very liberal with a genuine attempt to contribute an interesting article and will be very harsh with an obvious marketing piece. At the bottom of the post, the guest blogger can provide their name, name of their company and a brief description of their company and its products. Alternatively, the guest blogger can remain anonymous.

This is your one chance to guest post on this site!


Holiday Cheer Volume 3: Holy Crap it’s Christmas Eve!!!

For my regular readers, I am so lazy swamped over the holidays that I am taking some time off and putting up a “Best of” anthology until the New Year (January 4th, to be exact). Enjoy two Best of posts a day over the Holidays, and have yourself a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Given the nature of this day, in that most of us are either madly panicking about whether we have put ourselves sufficiently in debt to impress our loved ones, or we are driving 12 hours in the middle of a blizzard to make it to see our loved ones, here are some Festively themed Best of posts.

Charity as a Present

As eyes turn towards the juggernaut coming at us called the Christmas spending orgy (I am thinking of trademarking that phrase), let me reflect on the idea of using Charity as a present.

Click here for the complete Post.

Christmas Already?

So after wandering through Loblaws and Independent stores near my home, this time of year is schizophrenic since it is Halloween season. However, Christmas is here now as well (in fact, Christmas almost intervened into Thanksgiving, mainly when the Canadian Tire put their Christmas section in the Friday before Thanksgiving).

Click here for the Complete Post.

Holiday Hangover?

How goes your holiday hangover? Did you make too merry over the holidays and need to lose some weight? Worse, did you overspend and now have some hefty credit card bills to pay?

Click here for the complete Post.

All the Volumes


Charity as a Holiday Present

As eyes turn towards the juggernaut coming at us called the Christmas spending orgy (I am thinking of trademarking that phrase), let me reflect on the idea of using Charity as a holiday present.

Let me first point out that I feel that I do a fair amount of charitable work, and I do give to charities as well, so as a rule and as a concept I completely support charities and feel their good works are a wonderful thing. I strongly suggest to you, good reader, that you give at this time of the year (and all year round). Remember that giving is not just a monetary thing, many charities would love your skills and time as well, so please remember that as part of your charitable works.

What a Crock of Beans!

Now, for those of you who plan on sending me a card that says something like:

“We thought of you this holiday season and have made a donation to the Human Fund in your name”

let me be very succinct: BULLSHIT (note the Seinfeldian reference).

If you wish to give to Charity, wonderful, I applaud your giving, however, do not believe that your “giving” in any way, shape or form makes me feel more festive because of it. You giving to Charity is not a gift to me. If you don’t want to give me anything this year, that is cool, and you don’t even need a card, just drop me an e-mail something like:

“Dear Scrooge, we didn’t feel like sending you jack this year, enjoy the Holidays you unlikeable so and so”

No, I have not completely gone off my nut, but I am really kind of tired of Pious folks showing me how Good they are by “giving for me”, I give as much as I can, and that is as good as it can be.

If you want to give, please do, but don’t masquerade that it has anything to do with me, thanks. Oh and if you send out a card like that and DO NOT give, Karma and or the wrath of whichever God you worship will get you eventually (isn’t that a Happy Holiday thought as well)


Christmas is Coming

Yes, it’s that magical time of the year again. Christmas is coming when we all go into our wallets and splurge like the world might end tomorrow, with little thought of what else we might do with the money.

This documentary portrays the front-line street workers who serve the needy under the umbrella of the Salvation Army. One of the world’s largest social agencies, the Army is a religious institution that serves the practical needs of people first, believing that religion is of no use to anyone hungry, homeless and hopeless.

Join filmmaker Rosemary House as she peers into the hearts and minds of people on both sides of the street – those who help
and those who need help. Shot in the streets of Toronto at Christmastime, the film chronicles the small hopes, and tiny victories of a life lived below the poverty line and the daily rewards for those who work to serve others.

Next time your wander past a Salvation Army Christmas Kettle, thinks about this video:

Salvation by Rosemary House, National Film Board of Canada

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Canadians are Charitable

Stats Canada posted some data in 2009 that confirmed my guess that Canadians are charitable when they donate to charities (one of the reasons I love living in this country).

The statistics show that there is a core of about 25% of folks who give most of the money, but also the most time to these charities, but on a whole, Canadians still are very charitable folks (when they can).

Canadians donated a total of $10.0 billion in 2007, up from $8.9 billion in 2004. In 2007, the average donation was $437, compared with $400 in 2004. These increases were not adjusted for inflation.

The total amount of time volunteered through groups and organizations amounted to about 2.1 billion hours, which was equal to almost 1.1 million full-time jobs. On average, volunteers contributed 166 hours each.

Volunteering your time can be just as valuable to any organization. I give money to some charities and I give my time to organizations that want my help (and talents) as best I can. Most of the time I have so much fun, I think I am the one getting the most out of the time.

Where does our time and money go?

Where do Canadians Give their Time and Money?
Where do Canadians Give their Time and Money?

This graph lines up pretty much how I give. Most of my monetary donations are to my Church because my time is given to Recreation activities.

More Interesting: Start Young

According to the survey, people were more likely to volunteer and donate to charities or non-profit organizations later in life if they had participated in a range of community or youth activities during their primary or secondary schooling.

These activities included participating in student government, a religious organization, a youth group such as girl guides or scouts, or an organized team sport.

This data is very useful, and topical for me, as my wife did a talk on the youth stewardship program at our Church and made that exact same point. You need to get kids and teens to understand WHY they should give, and that giving their talents (not just money) is an incredible gift they can give their community. Simply forcing kids to give won’t teach them the importance of the gift (and more likely those kids won’t give later in life either), get them to understand why, and they will gladly give when they are adults.

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