Some thoughts on giving back... Nothing profound here, just some thoughts about our experiences...
Anyone who knows Debbie and I well will be unsurprised to learn that much of our giving back is aimed at animals. Not all of it, by any means, but quite a bit.
For many years we gave modest amounts to carefully selected animal-related charities. Over and over we learned to our chagrin that the beneficiaries of our largess were anything from outright frauds (ouch!) to high-overhead operations where too much (often most) of our contribution went to paying the officer's salaries. We got fed up with this, and searched for a better way.
Today we're making three regular animal-related contributions. Two of these are through small, local organizations that we know personally. Obviously we could still get surprised by these, but I think it's much less likely than with the contributions we've made to the larger organizations that actually market for contributions. The third is one that we started about six months ago. We met with the owners of a local veterinary clinic – people whom we know and trust – and arranged to create a fund that helps people with animals who need veterinary care that they cannot afford. This was our idea, though we discovered when we talked with the clinic's owners that they already had a poorly funded version of a similar idea going. The money involved is quite modest, but it has direct impact on local animals in need – and, of course, on their owners. We make these contributions anonymously, but we learn about the animals (and owners) that have been helped. It's been very satisfying to have direct knowledge of the impact of our contribution, and comforting to personally know those people who are (in effect) administering our contributions. We like this general pattern much better than sending a check to a large, opaque organization and never knowing what they did with money.
We've also found a few ways to follow the same general pattern to help some local people in need. I'm not going to get into the details on these, as in some cases these are done anonymously and we'd like to keep it that way. The important bit, for us, is the combination of direct knowledge of how the contributions get used, and a trusted intermediary to administer them.
After a bit of fumbling with ways to do achieve this pattern of contributing back to our community, we've learned to be a little creative and a lot careful – and we really like the results...
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Moved pipes this morning ... in our alfalfa field, just north of our house. I started before sunrise, finished just as the sun was peeking up over the Wasatch Mountains to our east. In the middle of this effort, there was a moment when the eastern sky was bright along the Wasatch silhouettes, and the puffy clouds were all lit up against a gorgeous blue sky. In the mountain foothills, the spray of dozens of irrigation systems was all backlit by the bright sky, jewels against the dark green carpets of alfalfa, oats, and other grains. A light breeze rustled the leaves of willows, cottonwoods, and box elders along the irrigation canal 100 feet east of where I was standing. Several hawks circled overhead, while dozens of other birds greeted the morning with a nonstop chorus. I heard a few rooster crows, and a couple of our neighbor's dogs barked at who knows what. What a beautiful morning in the 'hood!