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How We Give!

Written by Michal Park – Senior Adviser

Oh, what a wonderful response to my call out for Hudson clients tell me how they give back to the community!  You have all inspired me!

This week I ordered a Street Library online that I plan to fill with books and fix it to my front fence to provide reading material to my neighbours and locals who walk by.

Here are a few of the responses I received. I am humbled and proud:

  • I just focus on being kind to people, pick up rubbish around the neighbourhood rather than step over it and, it sounds silly, but pick up people’s rubbish bins that have fallen over in the wind, or put their lids back on when it’s raining. Sometimes little things make a difference too.

  • In response to your latest Tuesday talk I give around $20k each year to around 35 different charities. The main ones are the local church (around $2k), Smith family (around $2k), World Vision, (around $1.5k), Australian Conservancy Trust (around $1k). All the others get anything from $100 to $600.

I have found over the years that charities appear to share the names of donors between one another and although I contribute to around 35 charities I get mail from around 50 asking for contributions. This bemuses me because as a result of spreading the contributions over a large number of charities, I tend to give less to each charity.

I give because I can and because the charities really tug at the heartstrings: especially RSPCA, SPANA, Four Paws and Humane Society International, RFDS, Salvos, Red Cross, Fred Hollows, Childrens Hospital Foundation and Mission Australia. I also give to organisations that have a commitment to the natural environment.

Sometimes I feel I am wasting my time because no matter how much I and others give the problems only seem to get bigger and bigger; with poverty and homelessness in Australia, war and famine overseas; and mistreatment of animals worldwide.

In the past I have volunteered for positions on the childrens P & C, for the local AFS chapter; and for the local Neighborhood Watch committee; but my days of volunteering are past. What has made me feel good over the past two years is visiting elderly and sick neighbours in their house or in hospital, and knowing how much they appreciate the visits.

I can’t say donating or volunterring makes me feel any better. I just feel it is a responsibility to contribute if you can. I am not all that fussed about money; but I have been poor; and, for me at least, the main benefit of having money is not having to worry about not having it. There have been times in my early married life where a serious illness to me or my wife could have been financially catastrophic; and I am just thankful that neither I, my wife, nor any of our children have ever been seriously ill.

  • I have been heavily involved in fostering and animal rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming.  It’s been one of the best journeys of my later years, learning patience and sheer persistence when sometimes it’s against the odds can save a life and effectively giving a home and a voice to those who cannot speak and advocate for themselves.

  • I was just reading your article in the Hudson Report and it is funny, but I never thought  giving blood, which I have done around 100 times over the years, or volunteering to host overseas exchange students, which our family has done around a dozen times for periods of 1 month to 1 year, as volunteering or altruism. It is just something we do.

  • I do my best to deliver food baskets to friends who have lost income and potentially jobs throughout the Covid lockdowns.

  • I donate plasma!

And finally this one:

  • We must be aware of the power and magic of Acts of Random Kindness that can open as opportunities in everyday life.  If one feels the inner impulse to act on an Random Act of Kindness opportunity in one’s life, that can be a beautiful way of giving.

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