Let me start by saying I know that money is tight. Believe me, I know. We adopted twice in 18 months. We're still feeling the financial effects of that, as well as raising two kids with chronic medical issues AND doing all the normal things that families do: buy food (those little buggers insist on eating three times a day, plus snacks!), pay bills, pay for the kids' activities, etc. When people ask me for donations, I often feel helpless to do anything because we simply don't have a lot of discretionary income.
When I saw Jack and elected to become his Guardian Angel, I knew that I would need to lead by example. The first thing I did was roll the coins that I had in my glass lighthouse, the place I store my loose change. That yielded $7.10. It seems like a drop in the bucket, but having been through two adoptions, I can attest to the fact that every little bit helps.
With that in mind, here are five painless ways to raise funds to help waiting children:
1) Make a small commitment. When a family needs thousands of dollars to help with their adoption, it sometimes feels like the help you could provide is inconsequential. It's not. Committing $50 or $100 or $1000 may be beyond your reach. Committing $5 or $3 or $1 may not be. Every little bit counts. Committing $30 a month to sponsor a child may be beyond your reach. Committing $1 a week may not be. Every little bit counts.
2) Start a penny drive. Nobody likes pennies anyway. Alone, they aren't good for much. Together, they add up. Ask everyone you know to save their pennies for you. Collect them on a regular basis. Roll them, and stack them somewhere visible to encourage you. They add up quickly.
3) Use a pocket-change jar. Set it by your front door (or on your dresser, beside where you get undressed at night). Make it a habit to drop your spare change into it. You won't even miss it. I promise. Oh, and don't forget to pick up those coins you see on the ground. They count too!
4) Make a weekly sacrifice. I like to get together with co-workers every week to visit a favorite establishment. I can easily spend $10, although I try to limit it to $5. Cutting out one trip per month yields me a quick $5-10. Alternatively, don't actually make the sacrifice, but commit them money you would have saved anyway. You can still go out with your friends AND raise some funds!
5) Make your work work for you! I work part-time in a retail establishment. Occasionally I get tips (very small ones, as I am not a server). I have dedicated all my tips to adoption donations. In addition, any single dollars from my paycheck are earmarked for adoption donations.
6) I know this post is called Five Painless Ways, but I'm going to add one more just because I can! Dedicate any windfalls to adoption donations. Did you just win $5 on a scratch-off lottery ticket? (I sell lots of those at work!) Donate it! Did you (like I sometimes do) put on a pair of pants and find a twenty-dollar bill in the pocket? Donate it!
If you have any creative ways to painlessly raise funds, please share them with me and the readers of The Wonder of Boys!