I used my own dollars, but even though I donate often, this challenge really made me "think outside the philanthropic box". I wanted to do something unique. I initially gave a couple of tenants in our rental properties, $20 off rent to enjoy the new year. But I was just stalling to look for something more profound.
Something I really want to do is have lunch with a homeless person. Not just buy them food or give them money, but sit with them and talk with them. Make them feel like a valuable member of the community. Money can buy food, clothing and shelter, but it can't buy love, confidence, or dignity. We didn't end up doing that, but found a close second... a new 'pay what you can' café opened up in Milwaukee and we went there. It is called Tricklebee Café, and part of "One World, Everyone Eats". We 'paid' our fair share for our food, then we donated an extra $20 to cover the costs of meals for others. The beauty about this place is that it is a communal eatery. You walk in and you share tables with others, regardless of race, age or gender. We were talking with people within 30 seconds of walking through the door. This is also located in a food desert, so the emphasis is on fresh, whole food in a community surrounded by convenience stores and fast food. The local community has a 42% unemployment rate, so this provides a safe haven, with community and nutrition.
Anyway, it was a wonderful experience and a great place to visit. We plan to go back at least once a month and keep donating $20 to help the mission and help others. I will soon be posting more about this place at Primal-Prosperity.com
Thank you RCF for helping us all to get out of our comfort zones! Writing checks to charity is great, but easy. Giving money in an 'active' sense takes time and effort... but SOOOOO much more rewarding!