How in the world do YOU pick a charity….

If you’ve ever read my bio here or on Myspace or anywhere really, I say at the end how I give a portion of my commission to two charities – The SIMS Foundation which provides mental health support for Austin Musicians &  HAAM – The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians

I chose these because they are important to me and affect me, my ex-husband and father of my children is a musician., personally SIMS has helped my family, HAAM is a great service to the majority of my close circle of friends who are musicians & artists. Plus they “fit” with my rock’n realty name, my persona, and also largely because it was easy to just pick one or  two, write it down, and there.

BUT there are times when I am overwhelmed with emotion by say, the Season For Caring stories each year in the Austin American Statesman, or a news story, or like today by the horrendous tragedy in Haiti. Heck sometimes I feel like a charity, single mom of two, working a job that can be unpredictable at times.  Sometimes all I can pull off is donating old kids clothes to Goodwill or children’s shelter.

Some  do hit home more than others. October 2008 my darling darling cousin Christopher Davis was killed by a car while he was riding his bicycle, he was a young man 31, charming, happy, fun, and cool. His death was a devastation to our family. Because of his light, his father decided to  found the Christopher Davis Memorial Fund, an d use it for other members of our family. The first recipient being my nephew Fernando for his first year of college, Nando deserved this for being so hard working in high school, saving for a car, being a kind big brother to his special needs sibling, and many other attributes. This year it’s going to him again and to a cousin of mine excelling at her University. This makes me happy. (I wish I could show the letter my uncle writes to the recipients…it’s so touching, but too personal methinks)

September 2009 my ex-husband’s wife, aka my kids dear stepmom, was diagnosed with breast cancer at 33,  HORRIFIC! Then I was all Susan B Komen all over the place, raised $300 for the Race for the Cure, bought pink stuff left and right.

at the 2009 Race for the Cure – Austin

It’s hard to know and focus on where to put your philanthropic energies. Is money better than time? Is one easier?

Well I decided rather than always give to the same two organizations, I was going to pick a different one each month and spread the love, and I will write a mini-post about that group

I had already chosen January’s charity  to be my  for cousin Christopher’s memory as the letters and checks to the recipients are going out this month, but then Haiti happened, and it was so hard to watch the news this morning…so I’m going to split – that is that.

I really want to know how do you give? How do you decide? Do you donate time? Money? Both? I would like to do more time, but that is harder to come by than money sometimes.

Also please comment with links & ways to help the Haiti sitch – i was going to google and search and put it here but unfortunately my time has run out and there seems to be a variety of stuff out there….and i wanted this out there TODAY

****UPDATE***** here’s a link to The Ellen Show’s page that has all the organizations donating to Haiti in one easy place :  Help Haiti Recover

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