"It's better to give than to receive."
One of the biggest challenges I face in general and specifically in charity is selflessness. Charity is easiest when it also benefits you. It may seem like a win-win situation and it often can be. But there's something a little more powerful about giving and not receiving.
I could easily contribute to worthy causes by purchasing an item for myself. The (red) campaign is a great example. Somehow they've turned consumerism into charity. I don't want to completely knock their efforts. I mean, you can't get an endorsement from Nelson Mandela for doing nothing about HIV/AIDS in Africa. I just don't think you should have to receive to give. In fact, you probably shouldn't be concerned with receiving at all.
That's why this post from Jason Boyett's blog really caught my interest. (Jason is an author I really enjoy - check out some of his books on his website.) This is where I learned about the efforts of Soles4Souls. Right now, they are trying to reach a goal 50,000 pairs of shoes in 50 days. For just $5.00 you can purchase 2 pairs of shoes. Five bucks is nothing! I just spent twice that on dinner! And the shoes will go to children all over the world in need of shoes.
So give up five bucks. Give a needy kid a pair of shoes. Don't expect anything in return. And have a happy Thanksgiving.