Being Charitable

I am cautious when I give to charities. I’m sure everyone has wondered about some of their past donations.. You here of scandals, embezzlement, frivolous purchases and such, it makes you wonder how your money is used. I tend to stay with the big boys when it comes to national or international disaster relief. I feel I can’t go wrong with the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army. I’m not saying it’s not safe to go with others, I just feel comfortable with them.

I do donate all year long, but I keep it local. The ones that tear at my heart usually get into my wallet. Kids and animals are the usual ones. They both get sick and injured usually through no fault of their own, but through us adult humans.

The biggest cause I support is the rehabilitation of wild birds by the Bird Treatment and Learning Center here in Anchorage. Most of the birds they get in are sick or injured by some type of human interaction. Birds that are electrocuted on power lines, caught in traps, hit by a car, got into some type of toxin discarded or even flew into a window. Last year they took in over 50 bald eagles and over 600 other types of wild birds. Over half of them were able to be returned back to the wild. The rest were placed in facilities to where they could be used for educational purposes or passed away.

Their volunteers work at their clinic every day of the year. They also take their education birds around the state of Alaska to schools and different organizations, teaching people about the species and the dangers presented by man that they can face. They do all of this with no government funding. They do it with donations from individuals like you and me and some corporations.

I support them with both time and money. I see what a supporter’s money goes to and I’ve never seen a dime wasted. With a small and extremely talented staff, they perform the unthinkable. They piece the largest and smallest birds back together so they can have a second chance. I’ve seen three people struggle to hold an eagle while it is cared for and one person struggle to handle a chickadee because it’s so small. No matter what the species, they all get an equal chance.

There are many good charities out there and they all have a good cause. You need to pick one that is right for you. Money is tight, so I try to make it count. Bird TLC gets my money because they make a difference. Make sure whoever you donate to makes a difference. I don’t do it for a tax break; I do it so they get a break.


Meggie said…
Well said, Dave! Nice post. My heart also reacts to charities involving children and animals.
RuthieJ said…
I'm with you and Meggie. I try to keep most of my donations local too and used to serve on the board of my local Red Cross chapter, so they're at the top of my giving list.