In the fall of 2012, 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation teamed together to create #GivingTuesday. This charitable response to a weekend of self-indulgent spending is exactly what people around the world need. Every year, the amount of overall giving has increased and millions of lives have changed because of it.
Are you a part of the movement?
As a college student, I am well aware of what it’s like living on a meager budget. Sometimes you live paycheck to paycheck, without a light at the end of the tunnel. While I find myself in this situation on a regular basis, I have also learned the value of donating the little I have, to those who have so much less.
While there are many reasons that people should give, I want to share three reasons specifically for college students.
Learn to Manage Your Money
By planning ahead to give to a charitable organization, it will cause you to plan ahead in your personal finances. Perhaps that means one less meal out, or you wait until next month to buy that new video game. I have found it helpful to put money that I plan to donate aside before I divvy out the rest. This is a skill that will benefit you through the years, especially when your finances get more confusing. And even though you get most of your taxes back while you are in school, that won’t be the case for much longer. Tax deductions through charitable donations is a no brainer.
Giving to others helps you to think less about yourself and your own problems and allow you to focus on making someone else’s life better. In a study by a couple of professors at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of California, Riverside it was found that people who give experience greater joy and feelings of contentment than those who don’t give. It’s important to learn to be happy now, instead of just hoping for something to come in the future.
My final point is probably the most important in my mind. As a college student you are typically out on your own for the first time. These short years in school is where you decide the type of person you want to be. You begin to develop your own connections to community and country. Amy Peterson on familyshare.com suggested that through giving you can become a part of something so much bigger than yourself. She said, “Donating a little bit of money or time may not seem like much. But if your donation is joined with others, it becomes something much bigger. My family decided to donate some money to water.org. As I showed my children videos of children in Haiti fetching water out of a dirty river, their world view was enlarged.
Giving of yourself is a habit that everyone should develop. If the world was less focused on greed and selfishness, we would live in a much better place. Take a few minutes to look through the websites of some nonprofit organizations (NGO’s) and see if one has a mission that speaks to you. Start with a dollar and then build from there where you can. I promise it will be worth it.
What charities do you donate to? What makes you want to give? Leave your thoughts below, I’d LOVE to hear from you.