5 Tips for Charity Donations That Count, Not Con

With Americans donating at least $358 billion to charities last year, we certainly give with our hearts, but unfortunately, not so much with our heads, according to the latest AARP research. A survey of 800 adults by our Fraud Watch Network reveals that despite having the best intentions, the majority of wallet-opening donors continue to make key mistakes that add to their risk of being taken in a charity scam, along with other holiday hoaxes. Among the findings: 70 percent …

Teaching Our Adult Children About Gratitude

Many moms got exactly the gift they wanted on Mother’s Day last weekend: time with the kids. For empty nesters, there’s much joy when the house fills up again even for just a few hours. Many of our adult children don’t realize how much we value spending time together. The notion that time together is a perfect gift can seem strange to our millennial children. They have been branded with a reputation as the self-centered and materialistic Generation Me. Indeed …

Be Generous, but Give What You Can Afford

African Americans/blacks have a history of giving. More than two-thirds give to churches and organized charities. We also give to family members who need help paying bills, college students who need tuition assistance and others. We are responsive to our churches and Greek-letter organizations that make appeals. >> AARP Financial Freedom: News, Tips, and Resources for Your Financial Health I applaud the giving tradition and am, indeed, part of it. Yet it is important that our gifts are part of …

A Holiday Surprise: Learning How to Give

There’s a woman in my town who seems to be everywhere. She is of indeterminate age, and whether she’s at the Metro or the farmers market, she asks passersby for money. Sometimes she sells the homeless newspaper. She usually talks in a kind of sad, downbeat monotone. I saw her at the market Sunday, and it was pretty cold. When she said she needed a few bucks for a meal at our local cafe, I said I’d walk down with her …

How to Be a Charitable Cheapskate

It’s the kind of news story that makes national headlines every year or two: A person of seemingly modest means secretly amasses a small (or not so small) fortune while leading a frugal lifestyle, only to reveal that wealth by giving it all away to charity. The latest jaw-dropper came from 98-year-old Jack MacDonald of Washington state. He died in September and left a surprise fortune of $187.5 million to Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of …

28 Ways to Heal From Tragedy

Many of us are experiencing grief and sorrow after the shock of the deaths in Newtown, Conn., on Friday. The tragic shootings have brought many issues to the forefront: gun control, school safety, mental illness and the daily tragedy of thousands of children around the world who die every day from violence, child abuse, neglect and hunger. How can we lift ourselves up from the fear, sadness and negativity? What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference? At …