I read a article by Riley McDermid where she points out that California is the third-least charitable state in the nation. The first question that came to mind was simply, why? I live in the heart of the Silicon Valley where we have some of the nations top paying jobs so why are we ranking so low when it comes to donating for charity? I had to look at myself to try and draw some sort of a conclusion.
The number one thing that most of us run short on is time. Living in San Jose you will notice that everyone is always in a hurry and everything happens at a fast pace. I never notice how much we are in a rat race until I visit country living places like the Napa Valley or the out skirts of Reno, Nevada. Everything is so calm and serene. No traffic and everyone greets each other when they make eye contact. Usually with a smile. Reflecting on how fast pace we live within the Silicon Valley it came to mind that a good reason for the decline in charity donations is simply a lack of time.
My wife and I have talked about (many times) donating to charity, volunteer work and organizing a donation effort for charity. Our intentions to do something for our community were always there but our lives are filled with so much activity. Were raising three kids (one is out of the nest), working full time jobs and at night I pursue my passion for music. The list goes on and on but those are the main things that keep us busy. When we finally get a chance to relax the last thing that comes to mind is everything we talked about doing aside from our daily duties. I’m sure this is a common thread if you live in a city like San Jose. That must be one of the main reason’s why our donation efforts have declined over the past few years. TIME
A couple of days before reading Riley McDermid‘s article, I had already set in motion an effort to start a toy drive with the creatives of two brands that I am part of, Specialist Music Group and Return Of The Boom Zap. I wanted figure out how we could get ourselves involved without it becoming just a thought that sees no action. The best way to get things moving is to simply do it. Figure out the details as you go. Make it part of our routine and just go for it. I am confident that things will fall into place and we will cross paths with the right people to help grow the effort but first we have to get the idea in motion. I had no idea that California ranked so low in donations and that the numbers are declining so Riley McDermid‘s article came at the right time to fuel our efforts!
If you are thinking to yourself, it’s alot of work and time to organize a toy drive or something similar. Well, I’m not going to sugar coat it; it is alot of work and it does take time. However, please do not let this discourage you. Consider this thought. It takes every little grain of sand (millions of grains) to make a beach which most of us call paradise. The easiest way to get involved is to simply donate. Feed the machines that are in motion. Feed the machines that are committed to helping our community. Find one that serves the community which relates closely to where your heart wants you to help and just go for it. One donation doesn’t sound like much until its added to a pile of donations. One more donation means one more person or family could have a reason to smile.
Reflecting on the decline of charitable donations in California I have to admit, I get it. It seems that people that are out trying to gather donations always seem to pop up at the wrong time. It’s always when I don’t have any cash on me or I just paid all my bills and I have nothing but dust in my pockets. To be honest, I don’t like to carry cash, so more often than not I have nothing in my pocket to give. The article by Riley McDermid did strike me with shock. I thought it was some catchy headline to optimize blog hits but the fact of the matter is that it was true. The shock quickly turned into motivation to get things moving. We have a call to action on what our hearts have been wanting to do for some time now. We are aiming to do it in a way that doesn’t disrupt anyone’s daily routine but rather put it in line with what we do on a regular basis. The internet has connected all of us and hopefully this write up serves as some type of motivation for you to think about helping within your community. Keep it simple, help by either organizing your own effort, volunteering time if you can or by feeding the machines that are out there helping the community. Everyone deserves a reason to smile : ) Let’s go out and donate for smiles!