January 03, 2011

Living so I can GIVE like no one else

The month of December is all about giving.

What you didn't get that memo?  Believe it or not, I got it the day after Thanksgiving.  We arrived at Target at 4AM in the pouring rain.  Our brains were so sleep deprived we didn't bother to bring an umbrella, so the ladies in front of us shared.

I've never met that woman in my life - yet she and her family each let us under their umbrellas.  (There were 4 of us: me, Jay, Mama, and Daddy.)  When they were allowed in the store, they offered to let us have their umbrellas.

4 o'clock in the morning is a very ugly time, yet this people were beautiful to us.

I decided to take on the Sisterhood Monthly Project challenge full blast.  Jay and I have been financially bless and I wanted to bless others with it.  For the first part of the month, check out this post explaining how I gave the first 3 weeks.

The last two weeks of December I got a little creative.  My mother and I went to Cracker Barrel for lunch (lunching somewhere is our standard Friday date).  The CB, as my Papaw calls it, allows anyone to order off the kids menu.  I was able to get my meal and drink for only $4.05.

A 20% tip would have been $0.80. 

Let me just say I've never been a fan of the % tip guide.  Just because I order expensive food doesn't mean the server works harder.  Nor does my ordering frugal mean that the server earns less.

Since our state tax rate is 9.5%, a quick trick to figuring out a proper tip amount is to just double the tax. 

Instead, I doubled the cost of my meal.  Sure it was only $4, but I'd say its a rare day that a server gets a 100% tip.  Hopefully it helped make her Christmas just a little brighter, if just for the thought.

The for the big finish...all month long we've been hearing about Lissa's son Bridger and his campaign for a Charity Water well.  You and I talk all the time about "getting our water in" and how difficult it is to remember to walk to the kitchen to fill up. 

Imagine if clean drinking water meant walking miles to the nearest well?

I committed to donating the remainder of my personal spending money to his cause.  Thankfully he reached his goal just after Christmas, but I was proud to do my month-end budget report and see that I had a bit extra to help him exceed his original $5,000 goal.

On one hand it was a selfish thing - I needed motivation to not spend all that spending money on fast food.  What better way to encourage my way out of my bad habits then to pledge to a good cause?

There is still time - he's got 9 days left on his challenge.  If you haven't donated yet, consider giving.  Its fun stuff!

How'd you do this Christmas?  Did you open your wallet for a stranger?  Did you purge your closet for someone in need?  Financially or otherwise I hope you found a way this Christmas to give back.


  1. love it. i've been trying to make sure i give a little extra to the vendors when i get a homeless newspaper...and just generally look for ways to help people out. there's plenty of opportunities, that's for sure.

  2. I like your tipping idea!
    We did several things - bought groceries for some families that needed help, gave to the Bell ringers, gave to a mission in Haiti. I think your way made you more conscious of giving in your day to day life, and I like that.

  3. I cleaned out the boys closets of all their old but yet still good toys. All the pieces still their and everything in working order. 6 bags all together. I then gave it all to the daycare where the boys used to go. I used to give it to Goodwill, but they resell them. I just showed up and dropped them off. The owner was so excited!!

  4. I really like the idea of giving away what's left of your personal spending money. It would certainly make me think twice before running through a drive-thru for lunch/coffee!

  5. You're awesome! And yes I did all of the above. In a big way. And it felt wonderful!

  6. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas for me without giving to people who really need it. So yep, we chose some local causes (food bank, "adopt-a-family" gift program) and made donations. It felt really good to do that.

  7. We have a few charities we support, but my husband can never resist anyone with a table set up outside of the grocery store (love him!) so we probably give a lot more than I keep track of.

  8. hooray brooke! i love you and i love all you do. i also love your readers!!! how wonderful to see that everyone did SOMETHING!!! i love it!


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