The Opportunity for Charity
As another year draws to a close, many people pause to give thanks for their family, faith, health and finances. Many, however, are still struggling from the 2008 recession and other financial setbacks. Of particular concern to me and my wife, Toni, is the impact on our community’s children. Did you know that there are more than 2,000 homeless children attending Volusia County Schools? As a guidance counselor at a local middle school, Toni can testify to the negative effects of homelessness and malnutrition on the students. How do you learn or behave normally when you haven’t eaten or don’t know where you will sleep at night?
Not long ago, Toni and I decided to help support Halifax Urban Ministries (HUM). The executive director, Troy Ray, and his team work tirelessly to prevent homelessness in our local community. Money donated to this charity goes a long way . . . would you believe that HUM can prepare a complete meal for just nine cents? Another favorite charity of mine is Food Brings Hope, which was founded in 2007 by local businesswoman, Forough Hosseini. Incredibly, 100% of Food Brings Hope donations go directly to providing meals and collaborative resources for more than 500 students in eleven Volusia schools. I was introduced to Forough and her charity when I was invited by the News-Journal to sell newspapers on a street corner to raise funds and awareness for the organization. It turns out that my location didn’t have the best foot-traffic, but that didn’t matter because “Mary” found me and handed me a check from her business. The fact that she and her husband had planned to make this gift truly inspired me.
I share my own experiences with you because it is easy to get confused and frustrated when we are bombarded by the agenda-driven political rhetoric about taxes, “paying your fair share,” and the “haves” and “have-nots.” Ignore all that “noise” and simply ask yourself, “What’s important to me?” and, “How can I help?” I’ll leave you with what I said to the audience of donors at the Food Brings Hope Gala (sponsored this year by Holland Financial):
“We give to help. Not because we should feel guilty for having financial resources or for experiencing success, or because someone says we ought to, or because some might think we’re selfish if we don’t. The needs of others are not our responsibility, nor are we obligated by their circumstances or misfortunes. Yet these situations create an outlet for our true potential and a way to experience the kind of joy that comes from giving to someone who can never repay us. Charity is about opportunity. We can make a difference. And, I can’t stop smiling about that.”
David D. Holland, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, hosts a weekday radio show at 9AM on AM1380 Ormond Beach, AM1230 New Smyrna Beach and AM1490 Deland. He has also authored two books in his Confessions of a Financial Planner series. Holland offers investment advice through Holland Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment adviser in Ormond Beach. He can be contacted at (386) 671-7526. Email your financial questions to info@DavidHolland.com.