Friday, May 31, 2013

The Boring Part

My desk is positively littered with very sweet notes providing receipts for charitable giving. This is cool. In years past, I would have recycled these.  But I think there is a good chance I might make a charitable level of giving this year that warrants a tax deduction.  So I'll be keeping these.  Hopefully not all on my desk.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Busy Day- Go charity!

A long weekend mean lots of time to get involved in the community. We kicked off the day with a 5K that was benefiting the Special Olympics.  We can talk about how slow my time was, or we can talk about how awesome it was to see families encouraging this Down's Syndrome kids on the same course- or how cool it was when the lady pushing her cerebral palsy son crossed the finish line.  It was a pretty great 5K.

Kiwanais-KITH Pancake Breakfast, May 25
Figure 1: Delicious Pancake Image stolen from here, the KITH website

And THEN, we went for the KITH/Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast. And I say "we" to mean not just myself and husband, but his bestie and wife and kiddo. We got the multiplier! The awesome thing about going to a pancake breakfast with a 4 year old is the access to high quality pancakes. Sure, we all got yummy pancakes, but the kid got Mickey Mouse Pancakes- with a smile, how do you even do that?- a doggy pancake and a BIKE pancake.  Kiwanis seriously knows how to make their pancakes; I'll be watching out for opportunities to eat and support good causes with pancakes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Seattle GiveBIG

I'm a bit late to talking about this, but May 15 is the Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG campaign.  They collect matching from generous donors, and then connect civilians like me to local and regional nonprofits.  On May 15, any funds donated get MATCHED by the Seattle Foundation.

And someday, when it's not so late, I plan to go back and use the resources on the Seattle Foundation site to help me find a good environmental organization to support. They do nice due diligence on organizations, as part of supplying grant 

I cashed out my PayPal Account (where my contracting money goes) to make $500 in donations to some of my favorite charities. I gave money to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (on behalf of my husband), Friends of Youth, Kirkland Interfaith Transitional Housing, IDRI and the Puget Sound Blood Bank. And just like that, the thermometer ticked up by $1,000. Thanks Seattle Foundation!

So far, (as of 9:00 PM) 10 MILLION DOLLARS have been raised through this effort. That is stunning.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Share the Love!

I took dinner to the Friends of Youth shelter at the Landing earlier this week. The best part was being able to share that doing-good feeling with my mom and grandma, who happily joined in to help out.  (Also, cooking with my mom seems to reduce that feeling of existential kitchen crisis, where I wonder, "Why am I here? Do I even know what cooking is??")

I knew it would be more fun, and less chore like to have my Mom helping in the kitchen. But I was surprised by how good I felt about sharing the experience.  I always feel really good about taking dinner over there- it's something really tangible that I am doing for my community. It's really nice to share that feeling with someone I like, and to feel like we are the sort of people who do good things in the community.

I was planning to write a post about how I want to look for more ways to share that good feeling, but my folks beat me to the punch on Mother's Day.  While we were sitting down to a Mother's Day brunch, my Dad turned to his mom (my saintly grandmother), and said, "Your mother's day gift is a donation to Donors Choose."  I couldn't have been happier if the gift had been for me.  Or if I actually got to read the books that my grandmother picked to buy for a local classroom.

I think I'm starting to understand what they say about good deeds multiplying.

Have you noticed our totals?  Just inching past the $4000 mark (!)

Now would be an awesome time to sign up for the Crawl for a Cause- raise money for charity, and hang out with me for my birthday.  It's going to be grand!

I'm donating blood this week. I'll try to write an update about the importance of blood donation, but schedule yours today!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Letter from Friends of Youth

Sometimes I worry that I am not doing a very good job of explaining why I am doing this, or why it matters.

Perhaps this letter from Friends of Youth can help to explain it. 
"Your generous dinner contribution... provided a hot and healthy meal to young people in a time of crisis. Your gift helps our guests take their first steps on their journey from homelessness to stability and safety." 

Yup, my pulled pork provided a transition to stability and safety.