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The airwaves seem to be filled with messages encouraging people to donate to charity organizations during the holidays. While people very often equate charitable involvement with a monetary gift, there are many ways of donating without a check – such as giving time, clothes, food or other necessities.
A few years ago, I became involved with a charity called “Recipe for Success” which is dedicated to combating childhood obesity by changing the way our children understand, appreciate and eat their food, while educating and mobilizing the community to provide healthier diets for children. Because the charity is not based in NY, volunteering at some of the events and cooking classes was not really an option. Yet, I still wanted to be involved.
Cooking and food education is a cause that is very important to me. Simply sending a monetary donation didn’t make me feel connected to the charity. Instead, I would “donate” recipes that would be placed in annual cookbooks that the organization would sell in order to raise additional funds for their cause. It made me feel like I was a part of the charity while also allowing me to utilize my talents and interests.
Another positive outcome of donating something personal as opposed to just writing a check is that I was very invested in making sure the cookbook and other initiatives from the organization succeeded. So I personally pushed out messages on my social networks.
In the end, donating something that was more personal to me was the extra encouragement I needed to contribute to an important cause. While I am no longer very active with the organization, I do keep in touch and check for updates on their progress. It is something I feel honored to have been a part of.