I’ve never been much for charity prior to now. I participated in the Combined Federal Campaign for several years while working for the military, but gave that up when I saw how high a percentage “administrative fee” the United Way was cutting off the top of everything. I prefer deciding how my dollars are spent.
At the time, the charities I gave to were mostly environmental-related, i.e. World Wildlife Fund and Sierra Club. As I got more into the technology space, my occassional charity became the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I still give money to them every year, but mostly to get the cool T-shirt.
I’ve now decided to become more interested in charitable giving. There are a couple factors involved, but one of the biggest is my daughter. She has absolutely taken over my heart and I want the world to be a better place for her. I’m also working now for a company doing software for the non-profit space, which has raised my awareness.
As a senior technology worker, I make well above the national average salary. I would look at $36K a year as the poverty line, not a working salary. All us geeks should be very appreciative for how well off we really have it. To demonstrate some of that appreciation, I’m going to contribute $100/month to a different charity each month in 2009.
Actually, I’m cheating a bit. I donated $100 to Toys for Tots this month, since I couldn’t imagine any parent seeing their child go without a toy for Christmas. Each month I’ll look for a new worthy cause and let you know what it is.
I challenge all my fellow geeks to share in the challenge. Please feel free to share your ideas for worthy charities, and I’ll let everyone know where my $100 goes for the month. $100 is not a lot of money, but it can make a great deal of difference for a lot of people. Toss in your $100 too and let’s see if we can make the world a better place.
January: Doctors Without Borders
February: Amnesty International
April: Direct Relief International