Ah, December 26th has arrived. This is when we stop being so much in the spirit of giving and start thinking about giving for the tax write-off. I say “we” but I really mean “you.”
I’m giving all year long, this is stuff I don’t worry about anymore. You people on the other hand only seem to get that charitable feeling around November/December each year. OMG! Poor people can’t eat in the winter! Guess what? They starve in the summer, too. They’re also pretty sweaty, what with not being able to afford to run the air conditioner. But the children! Yeah, they’re home in the summer, vacuuming up all the groceries with their mouths and leaving nothing but crumbs for their parents. Children are awful, you can’t deny that. So, give all year long like the cool kids by picking one or more of the following types of charitable giving and let the good times roll!
You see a family having a meal at a decent restaurant. Probably one of those chain restaurants with actual waiters and no playroom. One of the kids stutters a little. The horror! That poor family has a disabled child! They’re a charity case! I don’t care if they pulled up in a late model car and their clothes are new and in style. They have a disabled child! They need your help! So hail the waiter and tell him that you’re covering that table’s bill and make sure he knows that it’s because they have a disabled child. Then lean back in your chair, content in your aura of smugness as they find out that their check is covered. Watch as they try to convince the waiter that it’s not necessary. Observe out of the corner of your eye as the parents glance around the room for their mysterious benefactor and speak in hushed tones. With any luck, their faces redden with gratitude.
The Electronic Treasure Trove
The toaster that doesn’t work, the microwave that can barely get a cup of water up to room-temperature: why recycle those when you know that there’s a charity right around the corner who would love to have barely functioning electronics. And they love to get those in the wee hours of the morning, placed eloquently in front of the outward opening door which also happens to be the only entrance to the building. If you make them work hard to move your unwanted items out of their way to get their charity open for the day, they’ll appreciate it all the more.
But don’t stop at small appliances. That thirty-year-old refrigerator collecting dust in your garage is just what some poor family needs to keep their milk and chicken barely below room temperature. So call up your local food pantry and tell them just how fabulous it worked twenty-five years ago. The age isn’t worth mentioning, I mean it was barely used so it’s practically new. I swear.
Too Broke to Be Picky
You’ve got tons of clothes that you’ll never wear again and what better way to clean out your closet than donating to people less fortunate than you. Socks with holes so wide that you can fit two feet through? Someone can use it. Blood stains on a pair of white pants? Who are they to judge. I mean, those things were expensive. Not anymore, but whatever. And these people are poor so they’re not allowed to be picky about the things they get.
But don’t stop at clothes! Extend that lovely service to food. Fish the can of blueberry pie filling that your grandmother gave you in 1984 out of the cupboard. Is that jarred bologna?
Even at 960 mg of sodium per link, which will likely kill anyone who eats it, it still makes a great donation to your local food pantry. It’s not like they can be picky, right? So donate a thousand jars of it. Throw in some of that pie filling and like a billion little tins of potted meat. There’s nothing that sounds disgusting about mechanically separated meat. Nothing at all.
Things with Strings
No donation is more satisfying to give than the one that comes with conditions. After all, the true spirit of giving is making sure you know how much the recipient appreciates the kindness you extend. Pick a charity, any charity and donate a sizable sum. But don’t just write a check and drop it in the mail. You want to hand-deliver that noise so you can see the look on their face when you tell them that they have to make people pray to your faith to receive the benefits of it. Or tell them how everything they’re doing is wrong while dangling that check in front of their desperate little eyes. It doesn’t matter that you’re not entirely sure what they do, you know better because you’ve got the cash. If they refuse, then you know that they didn’t really need the money. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s some moral high ground that they’re taking. They can’t have a moral high ground when you’re the one being generous.