Words by Tara Wagner
Our Donations: Why We Give Where We Give
It’s important to me to Pay it Forward, before we even pay our taxes. This means at least 5% of our gross monthly income (income before tax and expenses) goes where we are called to give.
Why is this so important to us?
Because it aligns with our values, with the world we want to live in, and with our sense of responsibility – the ability to respond.
Growing up going to church taught me a few invaluable lessons:
- We belong to each other and are responsible for one another
- To whom much is given, much is expected
- We pay it forward before we even pay our government
I learned these things through sermons and conversations.
And I learned these things through direct experience.
I’ve lived in poverty, raised by a single mom, becoming a single mom myself, but never once feeling as though we were “poor”.
Because of the kindness of both strangers and those we knew who lived by these same principles, we may have had some hard times, but we never suffered or struggled.
And it’s only through the charity of others that we were able to lift ourselves up and do more.
How could we not pay that forward?
Here’s Why I Donate To These 4 Charities
As I explained here, we donate regularly to these 4 charities (and others where we feel called).
doTERRA Healing Hands
We’ve been honored to meet some of the recipients and see the amazing work that doTERRA pours out both in the US and around the world. 100% of donations go directly to the many organizations they support (they cover all admin fees themselves). Some of those organizations include:
- Operation Underground Railroad and other organizations each with a mission to stop, prevent, or offer rehab after sex trafficking
- Days for Girls: An organization that teaches young women in countries around the world about their reproductive cycle and provides reusable hygiene kits that allow them to stay in school
- Mentors International: They empower small business owners around the world with micro-loans and education to create financial stability for their families
- Countless disaster relief efforts: From the hurricanes in the US to earthquakes in Nepal, they’ve helped to provide for needs, rebuild, and support communities around the globe
- And many more…
We donate through products that give 100% of the purchase price to Healing Hands, by adding a donation to our orders, and through larger donations throughout the year.
Civil Liberties Defense Fund
We began donating here when we couldn’t be there in person to stand with Standing Rock, and we’ve been donating months ever since. CLDF provides legal defense for the brave protestors and activists who often find themselves unlawfully arrested, fined, brutalized, and more.
This donation is very important to me because of the great respect I have for the activists who often dedicate their lives to this work, and sacrifice so much where so many can’t or won’t. They epitomize the values of “The ability to respond = Responsibility”, and I want to stand with them, even when I can’t.
Shriner’s Hospitals for Children
Shriner’s holds a special place in my heart, being a recipient of their charity as a child with severe scoliosis. They provided my mother and me with 100% free care, including flights from Las Vegas to their Los Angeles clinic for appointments, surgeries, and check-ups. I can’t imagine the debt we’d still be paying off had it not been for the countless volunteers and donations Shriner’s receives and I’m honored to be able to take my part on the other side of their mission today.
I also was deeply moved as a pre-teen by my experiences there. Seeing young children who were born with much more severe disabilities, or who survived burns, and all of them so joyful and kind. I didn’t much care for the clowns that roamed the halls, but I did learn that love and laughter heals all manner of wounds, and that nothing is so bad that we can’t still find peace and happiness amidst it.
MS Focus also holds a special place in our hearts, as both Justin’s mom (who passed away several years ago) and his uncle have Multiple Sclerosis. Living with MS can be especially difficult, and what we love most about MS Focus is that while many organizations are collecting funds to search for treatments and cures, MS Focus is focused on making the lives of those already dealing with the debilitating disease a little easier and more affordable.
MS Focus helps with things such as wheelchair ramps, vehicle retrofitting, co-pays, education, and therapies for patients and their families, and so much more, 100% free of charge.
Want to Play Along in Your Own Business?
Click here for ideas to help you make this a part of your business (even if it seems like you don’t have much to give).
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About the Author
I’m the breakthrough coach for self-employed women who are barely surviving their business. I help you to identify and overcome your old habits – both practical, as well as emotional and mental – learn a better way of approaching the work/life/family juggling act, and gain confidence in your new role in your growing businesses. Learn more about me here.
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