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Thread summary:

Christmas traditions: donation gift, giving tree, Chinese toys, charity causes

 
Old 11-28-2007, 02:39 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,700,767 times
Reputation: 6941

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A number of years ago, my extended family made a tradition. This tradition was that we would buy less gifts for everyone and mainly buy gifts for the small children. We would pool our money saved. During the year we would search for needy individual or groups that had wants and were worthy. We would have a meeting and vote for our choice and then we would donate the whole sum to that person or group, anonymously.

Now, many of my family have more money and many are not so well off. However, we give what we can to our "donation gift" and there would be no deference given to those who gave the larger gift--it was from all of us. This way the money would make more of an impact with a larger amount.

It was sort of like the show in the 1950s--"The Millionaire" Do any of you remember it:

"My name is Michael Anthony, I was the executive secretary of the late fabulously wealthy.....who had the strange hobby of given away, 1 million dollars, anonymously, to people we he has never even met."

Of course we do not give away a million, but we have rules:

1. It has to be someone who we do not know and they do not know us.
2. We will not publicize the giving, so that we gain notoriety but can tell people, individually or in groups, like this forum, but anonymously about this modest giving.
3. We want no praise or thanks, we are not special, we are not better, nor do we do it for afterlife rewards; most of us may be described as humanist, socialist, atheist, and communist in early years.(I hope McCarthy turns over in his grave).

4. It can be given to any cause, any religion, or non religion, even if one of us, objects to the purpose or lifestyle of the individual or group.

5. We can never contact the group or individual, after our donation.

Generally, our donations are not very large, in the early post war years 20-100 dollars, maybe some years 3-8 hundred, sometimes 1 thousand, some times 2-5 thousand, sometimes more. To say what the amount is against the rules. This is not a great deal of money, as we are not a wealthy family, we have problems from year to year but we do create our "donation gift" every year. We feel it is not the amount of money that is important.

This was not my idea or my family; we started this tradition, right after World War II, more then sixty years. It was an idea of a long ago, man and his family, who are no more.

We have contributed to women shelters, international organization, many individuals in need, many individuals who are helping others, religious organization (I am an atheist but I have voted for some of these and against some), gay rights, abortion rights groups and right to life groups (our groups ethics change over time, as new members are born and others die, we make no judgment--that was what was decided, at that time) but I am against abortion; we try to stay away from political organization but the group makes the decision; small little known charities here and abroad. etc.

It is difficult to say how much we gave, or to who because we do not keep records only to verify that the money has reached the destination. Mostly it is Cash, and/or untraceble funds. Many times multiple little donations (that will equal the total sum) during the year, so as not to attract publicity and it is easier to give cash in smaller amounts The information I have is only in our oral traditions and memories. When family memories die, part of the history dies--as it should. Again, we feel the amount if money is not important and we do not want to remember who our recepients were to minimize giving ourself unearned pride, and to not effect the future donation gift.

We do not always give the "donation gift" during the holidays--as this period attracts much more donation--and there is need all year.

We do not solicite thanks, praise or any rewards, so as part of the rules please do not add to my reputation, please do not attempt to find out who we are; we will not respond for any news stories. We will not accept funds from any other, than our family. We have not set up a foundation because we do not want to use it as a tax deduction--that we feel would be a reward.

If some of you think that you can find me through my multiple posts, please do not, I would not be happy and I would deny that this is true. You can never prove it.


I am not asking you to believe this post, I do not care. If you like what we do, then do it, or not do it--it is your choice.

Most importantly,is that I livecontent with small means.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:35 PM
 
636 posts, read 2,107,060 times
Reputation: 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
A number of years ago, my extended family made a tradition. This tradition was that we would buy less gifts for everyone and mainly buy gifts for the small children. We would pool our money saved. During the year we would search for needy individual or groups that had wants and were worthy. We would have a meeting and vote for our choice and then we would donate the whole sum to that person or group, anonymously.

Now, many of my family have more money and many are not so well off. However, we give what we can to our "donation gift" and there would be no deference given to those who gave the larger gift--it was from all of us. This way the money would make more of an impact with a larger amount.

It was sort of like the show in the 1950s--"The Millionaire" Do any of you remember it:

"My name is Michael Anthony, I was the executive secretary of the late fabulously wealthy.....who had the strange hobby of given away, 1 million dollars, anonymously, to people we he has never even met."

Of course we do not give away a million, but we have rules:

1. It has to be someone who we do not know and they do not know us.
2. We will not publicize the giving, so that we gain notoriety but can tell people, individually or in groups, like this forum, but anonymously about this modest giving.
3. We want no praise or thanks, we are not special, we are not better, nor do we do it for afterlife rewards; most of us may be described as humanist, socialist, atheist, and communist in early years.(I hope McCarthy turns over in his grave).

4. It can be given to any cause, any religion, or non religion, even if one of us, objects to the purpose or lifestyle of the individual or group.

5. We can never contact the group or individual, after our donation.

Generally, our donations are not very large, in the early post war years 20-100 dollars, maybe some years 3-8 hundred, sometimes 1 thousand, some times 2-5 thousand, sometimes more. To say what the amount is against the rules. This is not a great deal of money, as we are not a wealthy family, we have problems from year to year but we do create our "donation gift" every year. We feel it is not the amount of money that is important.

This was not my idea or my family; we started this tradition, right after World War II, more then sixty years. It was an idea of a long ago, man and his family, who are no more.

We have contributed to women shelters, international organization, many individuals in need, many individuals who are helping others, religious organization (I am an atheist but I have voted for some of these and against some), gay rights, abortion rights groups and right to life groups (our groups ethics change over time, as new members are born and others die, we make no judgment--that was what was decided, at that time) but I am against abortion; we try to stay away from political organization but the group makes the decision; small little known charities here and abroad. etc.

It is difficult to say how much we gave, or to who because we do not keep records only to verify that the money has reached the destination. Mostly it is Cash, and/or untraceble funds. Many times multiple little donations (that will equal the total sum) during the year, so as not to attract publicity and it is easier to give cash in smaller amounts The information I have is only in our oral traditions and memories. When family memories die, part of the history dies--as it should. Again, we feel the amount if money is not important and we do not want to remember who our recepients were to minimize giving ourself unearned pride, and to not effect the future donation gift.

We do not always give the "donation gift" during the holidays--as this period attracts much more donation--and there is need all year.

We do not solicite thanks, praise or any rewards, so as part of the rules please do not add to my reputation, please do not attempt to find out who we are; we will not respond for any news stories. We will not accept funds from any other, than our family. We have not set up a foundation because we do not want to use it as a tax deduction--that we feel would be a reward.

If some of you think that you can find me through my multiple posts, please do not, I would not be happy and I would deny that this is true. You can never prove it.


I am not asking you to believe this post, I do not care. If you like what we do, then do it, or not do it--it is your choice.

Most importantly,is that I livecontent with small means.
You always give me a chuckle. I like this idea, too.

We usually do the giving tree or something like that, just buy some random child their Christmas gifts. But this year, since we are boycotting Chinese toys, that will be difficult. I think this year our money will be going to a homeless shelter.
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:45 PM
 
1,501 posts, read 5,228,409 times
Reputation: 1131
Could your family adopt me?? That's the best!
I'm always stumped on what to get neices/nephews(teens), and adult family who have more than everything, and one year suggested to them that I'd like to make donations to an animal shelter in their names. I asked if they'd do it for me (as opposed to stressing about what the heck to buy for once.)

Talk about an uproar!! Bah Humbuggers :>(
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Old 11-28-2007, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,046 posts, read 21,860,537 times
Reputation: 5068
That sounds great to me, but I know I'd never be able to get my family to buy into the idea, unfortunately. I am tired of Christmas being all about greed and consumerism.
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Old 11-29-2007, 12:30 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,700,767 times
Reputation: 6941
The Man who started this idea of a "donation gift" was an extraordinary individual. He was an American who fought in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. If you know anything about that conflict, you would know that there were many people of strong belief in social rights, from many countries, who volunteered to risk their lives for the people of Spain.

He survived that conflict. He had a hatred of German Fascism because of their support for Franco and fought early in the war for France and was an underground fighter in France, during the war. In addition, he was outspoken in his hatred of the roman catholic church because of it supported Fascism and how it turned a blind eye to Hitler.

I met him, when I was a young man. He saw much brutality in his life. He never wanted to accumulated wealth or possessions and gave away his money as he made it; he believe that all humankind are enriched by small tokens of kindness and generosity. He did not believe in god; he believed in the true orthodoxy of communism. A relative of mind met him during the war and that started the idea of a "donation gift".

Livecontent
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:42 AM
 
636 posts, read 2,107,060 times
Reputation: 271
You are so confusing. A socialist atheist republican communist who funds both abortion and anti abortion rights. I think I need a sleeping pill or something.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:20 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,383 posts, read 41,214,113 times
Reputation: 13257
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningGlory View Post
You are so confusing. A socialist atheist republican communist who funds both abortion and anti abortion rights..
Old school Republicans were/are very different from the ones in the White House today.
Livecontent's post reminds me of the Jewish approach to charity.

The different levels of tzedakah (charity) into a list from the least to the most honorable.

8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor *without* being asked.

4. When the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor does not know the identity of the recipient.

3. When the donor is aware of the recipient's identity, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2.When the donor and recipient are unknown to each other.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

We tend to give throughout the year,it is good to give at times *other* than Christmas.
Our extended family, on either side, mine and his, could never get organized enough to do a large sum like that.
His family barely even knows mine.
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:36 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,700,767 times
Reputation: 6941
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningGlory View Post
You are so confusing. A socialist atheist republican communist who funds both abortion and anti abortion rights. I think I need a sleeping pill or something.
I do not fund both abortion and anti-abortion; my family over 60 years of "donation gift" has given funds to to these different causes. As I said, opinions and ethics change over time, as family members are born, reach maturity, have a say, die, and new member have their say.

So, what the family chooses to do, may differ at different times in history. I cannot control want others do, before I was born or reached maturity, and I make no judgement. I was just trying to give an honest picture of the "donation gift".

I am against abortion and in my memory and in times of my choices, my family has not given money to abortion causes. However, what they did, at earlier times, I can only surmise from some memories of the others.

You are confused by the Spanish Civil War. The republican side, versus the nationalist, was the side of the legitimate government, which were supported by the many communist and Socialist in Spain and other countries. One of the many reforms was the attempt to break up the land holdings of the nobility and the catholic church. I did not say I was a communist; I characterize myself as a social humanist.

Ah, but I am not about to give a history lesson. Read about the Spanish Civil War--it has many lessons to teach. It beats reading the trash about the stupid, idiotic "stars" in "People Magazine".

Livecontent

Recent Edit: I just realized that you do not have an understanding of the term "Republic". Republic is a form of government established for the rights of the individual. The United States of America is a Republic with a Democratic form of government. The American political party, Republicans, is a name for this organzation taken from the term, just as the Democratic Party, used the term "Democratic" to describe their organization. It does not mean that the republicans are not democratic, nor the democrats are not republicans. So, if you are an American and believe in American principles, as described in the Constitution, then you are a Republican; that does not mean you subscribe to the principals of the republican political party. But you need to read more to learn more about it.

Last edited by livecontent; 11-29-2007 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:45 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,700,767 times
Reputation: 6941
Quote:
Originally Posted by cil View Post
Old school Republicans were/are very different from the ones in the White House today.
Livecontent's post reminds me of the Jewish approach to charity.

The different levels of tzedakah (charity) into a list from the least to the most honorable.

8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than he should, but does so cheerfully.

6. When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor *without* being asked.

4. When the recipient is aware of the donor's identity, but the donor does not know the identity of the recipient.

3. When the donor is aware of the recipient's identity, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2.When the donor and recipient are unknown to each other.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

We tend to give throughout the year,it is good to give at times *other* than Christmas.
Our extended family, on either side, mine and his, could never get organized enough to do a large sum like that.
His family barely even knows mine.
Cil, this makes me cry with rememberances of my discussions with the Jewish people, I knew in my youth. Thank You.

Livecontent
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