Last week following the earthquake in Haiti, I wrote about how grateful I am to live in Canada and to have an amazing standard of living. Today’s post might be a little controversial, but it’s something that’s been on my mind since the disaster. First, let me make it clear that the disaster in Haiti is of epic proportions and that it will take billions of dollars to rebuild and bring the country back on its feet.  There are 3 million people in Haiti without the basics of food and water, and more dying every day because of this. And because this has just happened, it is at the forefront of all of the news and it’s on most people’s minds at some point in the day.  In fact, it’s hard to avoid the call for action.

This is the challenge: Right now, there is imminent need for aid in Haiti.  Yet, every single day of the year, there are over 3 billion people in the world who live on less than $2,50 a day.  At least 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water.  Let’s not forget the fatalities due to AIDS and malaria. This is the tip of the iceberg (stats taken from Poverty Facts and Stats).  We live in Canada, where donating $5 to the disaster in Haiti is no big deal for most people. What if we did the same cry for help for the billions living in poverty? Would we see the same amount of donations?

There are so many honorable and respectable charities world-wide that I always find it a challenge to know where to donate. How many donation requests do you personally receive in a week or a month? Someone I know is usually doing a walk, run, bike, hike or snowshoe for a charitable cause. How do we find something to give to everyone?

Until we are financially free – we have to make choices about where our donation dollars go.  So what have you decided? Are you on board for donating to Haiti? Or will you simply increase your donation to your favorite charity this month? What about all of the local charities? Should we be donating our money in our own backyard? What about the homeless in Toronto, or the Daily Bread Food Bank?

Here’s what I’ve decided, since I find it all very overwhelming sometimes:

  • I donated $5 to Haiti through the Red Cross
  • I will fill up a bag of clothes & household items, this time donating it to Haiti instead of the Canadian Diabetes Association
  • I will continue to put aside $1 a day to donate to the events my friends are raising money for
  • I will continue to donate $10/month to Agel Cares for people in need around the world
  • I will continue to volunteer my time with the CDA as often as possible

That’s it from me.  How do you decide? Do you support one charity only? Do you keep your dollars at home? Do you focus on charities that are raising funds for degenerative diseases or poverty or hunger or children? Let us here from you in the comments section.

Enjoy your day and remember how blessed we truly are that we can decide where to donate, instead of being on the receiving end of the donations.

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