Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yes Man

Today it was 66 degrees here on the East Coast - not exactly the weather one would expect in December with three weeks until Christmas. The Rockefeller Center Tree is lit, the Menorah's are out, and the Kwanzaa folks are...watching Shaft..or whatever they do.

Aside from gorging ourselves on fudge, candy canes, and egg nog - December is also a good time to catch up on one's charitable giving. Partially for tax write-off reasons, but mostly because it's a good time of year to give back in thanks for all you have - and all that Obama has borrowed to keep the bailouts coming.

I've started my own little way to give back, modeled after the Jim Carrey movie 'Yes Man'. Basically it goes like this: Anytime someone asks me to donate or give to a cause/charity in November or December, I say Yes. No questions, no hesitation.

The most common place you'll see this happening is at the cash register at a retail store. It seems more common these days; before the cashier gives you your total for whatever buying, they'll ask if you'd like to donate a dollar or three to the Leukemia Society, or whatever. "Absolutely." Want to purchase a children's book for a child in need? "Yes Ma'am."

It's kind of a Russian Roulette sort of game when I go out shopping now. I have to arm myself with a stack of $1 bills - who knows what I might be donating to. Makes it kind of fun knowing you can't say 'no', and to be honest - giving feels good.

I heard a story once about a woman who had been going to the same church for 50 years. One day there was a story in the paper about how this woman had donated $100,000 to a church on the other side of town, to help them with a renovation. When the pastor from her home church asked why she'd given to another church instead of her own; her answer was, "Because they asked."

So, join me and become a Yes Man this December.

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