In 2005, Mr. and Mrs. Lionel Thompson, a couple in Washington found themselves on the receiving end of the generosity of their neighbors. The recession hit them harder than they thought possible. They were not sure where money would come from for milk and food, let alone the mortgage – then neighbors appeared at their door with money to help. While they were very grateful, they were equally embarrassed. The Lionels knew there were other people in the same situation. Those who never thought they would need financial help and friends who could and wanted to help. They wanted to eliminate the potential embarrassment between the giver and recipient.
So they decided to do something about it. They created a website so friends, family and neighbors can make anonymous contributions to help others. This is different than giving to a non-profit. It is the essence of designated giving. Directly to the person who needs it. Gifts are not tax-deductible, but as we know, that is NOT why donors make a gift.
The website is terrific. It is easy, simple and honest. Go to Give Anonymously and see for yourself.
In 2009, we are living in a time when even those who had – have not. Many despite best efforts are caught in the worst economic storm possible. Even Suzie Orman has finally understood the massive impact this economy has had on the best savers, workers and homeowners. The Lionels, in Washington, have created method for neighbors to help neighbors without the embarrassment. It is the essence of philanthropy – helping someone you know, helping someone who has less than you, without a middle man. It is an old/new way to give in a new economy.
Pass it on, make a gift yourself, tell others about it.
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