Seth Godin posted a short blog entry this morning about the fact that tomorrow is the biggest day of the year, in the United States, for charitable giving, and about the reasons for that fact. It’s worth a quick look. He also suggested some good specific charities, and they do indeed look like deserving causes.
I would add to them the humanitarian fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as The Interpreter Foundation. And there are plenty of other excellent places where you can make a contribution.
I guarantee you that giving will make you feel good. There is solid social science research demonstrating that people who give to charity and perform service are happier (all other things being equal) than those who don’t. My wife and I, for instance, just handed in a substantial tithing check — substantial for us, anyway, though it wouldn’t be much for all of you plutocrats and tycoons and heiresses out there — and I’m still glowing from having done it. Seriously.
(Some of my critics will now attack me for having, as they’ll spin it, boasted about paying a tithe. But, surely, anybody understanding that I’m a committed Latter-day Saint won’t be surprised that I tithe. All of us active Mormon types tithe. I would only be conveying new information, and potentially boasting, if I told of additional donations beyond those expected of, and typically paid by, a fully communicant Latter-day Saint. But I’ve said nothing of any such donations, and I’m content if my most vocal critics consider me a heartless skinflint. They already consider me far worse things.)