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Author Topic: I want to donate, but...
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

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Hello! I used to go by Very New To This-- But that was more than a year ago. In that time, Scarleteen has been an invaluable source of information for me. I read articles on here all the time and have learned a lot. I grew up with shoddy abstinence-only 'education' that mocked condoms at least once and gave me all sorts of wrong impressions about what sex was.

Now I'm a sexually active college student, confident in my sexuality, and not afraid or confused any more. I've donated thirty dollars to Scarleteen at various times in the past, but I want to keep supporting you guys and the fantastic work you do.

So when I earned two hundred dollars by winning a scholastic award, my first thought was, 'I should donate all of this to Scarleteen!', or to some other charity, since I support(ed) many.

The problem is? The donations I used to make were before I was paying bills, worrying about a mortgage, cooking my own meals, and thinking about tuition and rainy day money. My parents provide all of my non-scholarship support and forbid me from getting a job, lest it impact my studies. According to all sense, I should save this two hundred dollars for groceries or even a bicycle to get me places since I don't have a car.

And yet.

I really want to give back. My whole life, I've never had any money that was entirely my own, not given to me by my parents. I always swore I'd donate at least half of any winnings I made if I won the lottery or something. I got this money through hard work, but it's not money I expected to earn. So I'm pretty torn.

Therefore, even though I'm essentially asking you whether or not to give you two hundred dollars, I trust the advice on this site enough to actually ask. I've been debating with myself for months now. I'll be cashing the check in just two or three weeks, when I can get to the bank. It doesn't expire until December, so I'm not worried about that.

The only non-donation or non-grocery use for this money might be on my very first sex toy, as a note, but I don't think I can justify the expense...

Anyway. That's what I need advice for right now. Can you help?

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I really appreciate you being so generous and thinking so generously.

Know what I think, though? I think you got an academic award: that's fantastic. Congrats! And I'd personally suggest spending it on something -- whatever you think that something is -- that FEELS like a reward to you. Maybe fund a weekend mini-trip somewhere, maybe get yourself something that will make your upcoming schoolwork more of a breeze, something that feels like a gift, to yourself.

And as a cyclist, and someone who also transports herself often by bike, a bike sounds like a great choice to me. It both helps you get around AND helps give you a break away and a shot of endorphins when you need it. I myself recently finally got tired of fighting with the bike I'd had forever that was constantly breaking and it's been a delight to have one that works perfectly. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68261 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

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A bicycle would be really helpful, especially if I could get one with a good basket. Part of me wants to donate, still--after all, I could be helping educate others and spreading healthy sexual education--but I do see your point.

Still, are you sure that I should choose myself over helping others? It sort of runs against my own tendencies, especially if I'm buying myself a bike rather than food. I do want one, though... I walk everywhere, and it can be tough to get places on time if I'm on foot. The sidewalks are also wide enough for bikes in my city; you see them all the time. So I really think I'd get a lot of use out of a bike... Your advice sounds better the more I think about it.

But how much could you do with two hundred dollars? I really do want to help, and my mom seems willing to get me a bike. The idea of owning something bought with money that's entirely mine is a strong temptation, but...

I'm sorry. It's just a hard decision to make. It really is the first money I've ever earned, since I've been forbidden from getting a job. I want to spend it to the best effect I can.

Thank you very much for your advice. I'll stop rambling.

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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As someone who has often been very low-income, but still gives as I can to a lot of causes, the way I make my choices there is looking at what I have to work with, and if my essentials are met.

With that being your ONLY income, donating it would be very generous, but also...well, it seems YOU are the worthy cause right now, you know? Not having one good means of transportation is a big void: I'd fill it first.

And if it helps, know that YOU taking care of you also is in alignment with our mission, big time. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68261 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

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Actually, I just realized that I may have found a better way to spend my money. My parents have said they'll buy me a bike; I'm all taken care of. However, one of my friends just got kicked out of her house for having her father arrested--he attacked her. She's homeless and until yesterday jobless, but she's got a part-time job now. She's also making another attempt at community college.

I hadn't thought about giving her the money because she hates charity. But since she really needs the money, I might be able to convince her to take some of it as an early birthday present. I won't be able to convince her to take all of it -- not even if she was starving on the street and I'd hit the lottery, I think -- but maybe a decent amount.

I just thought I'd let you know. I'll see what I can get her to accept and decide what to do with the rest. I might end up donating some to Scarleteen after all. While a reward is a fine idea, I think I might regret it in the end. I'm not in dire straits.

Your advice was wonderful. If not for this situation, I'd definitely take it. I just realized that I could pay for all of her textbooks and make sure she actually eats. If she'll only let me... She would rather sleep on the streets than let me pay for a Motel 6.

Now I feel a bit bad for having asked for advice and not taken it. I may yet donate, depending on what I can get her to take. I think Scarleteen is a very worthy cause.

Thank you very much for your time and everything. I really appreciate it.

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Oh, pshaw! Happy to talk, regardless.

Just FYI, though, you might also just help direct her to some resources. If you give me a zip code, I'd be glad to help you find them.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68261 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
No Longer New To This
Neophyte
Member # 39160

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She's in Scottsdale, or very near it. I tried for an hour to get her to let my buy her a five dollar pizza when she hasn't eaten since yesterday and she wouldn't let me. *sigh* She's as strong-willed and independent as they come...

She's living out of her car right now. I hope she'll use any resources I get to her. She keeps wanting to take care of everything by herself, and I can't stop her.

I really appreciate all your help!

Posts: 38 | From: Traveling | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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This looks like the best help organization for her locally: http://www.hbys.org/ They have a LOT of services, including a transitional living program.

Their crisis number for youth (under 21) to contact them for help through is 602-254-7777.

[ 08-04-2009, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68261 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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