Ages ago, when I was working three jobs and living with four other people so that we could have financial security, and for the first time in my adult life I had actual free money, I used to give money to charities for things I believe in. Helping women all over the world better their lives. Feeding people. Literacy movements. Environmental and historical conservation. Space exploration*. Ocean cleaning.
I miss that.
Since then, finances have been getting tighter and tighter, and I can barely take care of myself, let alone other people--even for the good of the world. But I don't like that feeling, like every single penny needs to be pinched; it's a grabby, scared feeling.
So I think I'm going to start little mini-funds. I have very little wiggle room, but 5% of my income each month, will go to a charity I like, one that actually uses the money to help people, and that does something on-the-ground and practical for them. And it'll build from there, because the Universe likes when people are good to each other. I just wrote it on my calendar next to my desk: at the end of the month, I'll figure out what five percent was, and I'll give that to whichever charity I decide to give to first.
It's an experiment; let's see how it goes. As Leonie Dawson says, "worldchanging philanthropy". It's got to start somewhere, right?
*Yes, space. Because we need to spread life out or we're gonna choke it off.