Kindness Challenge Day 7: Make a Donation

This is Day 7 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge for Nov 2012 where hundreds of participants from around the world get together in spirit to do 14 acts of kindness over 14 days. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Kindness Challenge tasks and posts.

Join the Kindness Challenge!

Hello everyone! :D Welcome to Day 7 of the 14-Day Kindness Challenge! ;) We are now at the one-week mark, and halfway through the challenge itself!! :D

Share Your Results for Kindness Tasks to Date!

Have you reported your progress for your daily acts of kindness? If not, now is the time to do so!

I’m having a blast mingling with the participants in the comments section of the daily task posts. Participants like Wanxuan, Hendro, Netta, Dolly, Hetal_S, Ken, Qin Tang, ASLO, Bette, etc. have been relentless in sharing their daily results with others and it has been giving other readers and participants so many inspiration and ideas in the process! Great job everyone! :D

Some of you have been tweeting about your daily results (hashtag Kindness Challenge) which is awesome; however, do join us in the daily task comments! That’s where all the real action is taking place!

My Day 6 Review: Talk to People (I Don’t Normally Speak To)

Day 6′s task was to Talk to Someone You Don’t Normally Talk To.

 Talk to someone I don't normally talk to

Hilarious conversation I had with a friend whom I don’t normally speak to. As you can tell, he’s quite the comedian!

Yesterday’s task was a level 1 and level 2 task. Level 1 was to talk to one person whom you normally don’t talk to. Level 2 was to talk to at least three people. Being the host of Kindness Challenge, I promptly opted for level 2 to serve as an example that it is possible to do level 2 within the day itself, and it’s just a matter of whether you want to or not.

Person #1: Long-lost Friend from JC

The first person I selected was my long-time friend from junior college, D. We were good friends in JC but somehow drifted apart over the years, due to different life paths. We got back in touch after she learned about my Kiss92 segment (she even tried to tune in to support me), but it was only a one-off message and we didn’t message each other after that.

So I messaged her in Whatsapp to spark off a conversation, after which we began chatting continuously for almost two hours! It was really great catching up with her after a long while. I learned that she is in China now for work (and has been there for a year already) and she is returning to Singapore later this month. We have arranged to meet up early next month. Looking forward to that. :heart:

Person #2: Distant Friend from Frisbee

The second person I selected was someone I knew from playing frisbee three years ago. We would talk during the frisbee sessions and sometimes hang out as a group after. After I stopped joining the frisbee sessions, we kind of lost touch, though some of my friends continued to keep in touch with him.

So I dropped him a message yesterday morning, following Day 6′s task. We ended up having a deep discussion about life, relationships, and expectations stretched out over the day (the discussion itself was about an hour). I realized that my friend is a deeper thinker than he lets on, as he tends to be the comedian when around others. I had to cut the chat short at the end of the day as my phone battery was about to go flat. We agreed to chat again on a different day.

Person #3: Random Stranger

The third person was a stranger I met while at Mustafa doing my visa application. (I’m going to India in December for an entrepreneurship conference! More details when the time comes.) We were sitting at adjacent computer booths while filling up our visa application forms online.

Suddenly, the internet went down and we couldn’t continue with our application process. We began to chat. I asked her why she was going to India for and also asked her for help on my visa application. She surprised me with her ready answers and openness in helping me, even voluntarily giving me tips on what things I should watch out for. She told me I needed to have a passport-size photo (which I didn’t bring as I didn’t know) and filled me in on the steps that would follow after I completed the online form.

Thanks to her pre-empt, I realized I had to return later in the week since I didn’t bring my photo and hence couldn’t complete my application within the visit. I thanked her profusely (and her mom as well, who was sitting beside her), and then left. It was definitely a beautiful encounter. :D Even though we didn’t know each other, she was unreserved in rendering help to me. I definitely felt that she was an angel in disguise right there and then. :heart:

Day 7: Make a Donation


Do you make donations toward worthy causes?

I’ve never been big on donations, to be honest. A big reason is because I never know what the organizations will do with the money. Recent exposés of charitable organizations (from National Kidney Foundation, to Ren Ci (a charity hospital), to City Harvest, to others) that misuse funds haven’t exactly helped with that perception.

I always feel that if I want to help others (which I do), I might as well just do it directly through my actions and where I devote my time to, rather than through donations, because the money can well be lost in administrative fees, bureaucracy, maintenance of systems and processes, and unoptimized ways of doing things,  rather directly to the people whom I’m really trying to help. I’ve long heard about non-profits and their ineffective methods of running their organizations.

However, earlier this week, I interviewed a cancer survivor who has directly benefited from the outputs of cancer research (and the cancer research has been made possible precisely because of donations from public). It made me realize that there is indeed a place for donation and charitable causes in our world, and these donation drives do directly impact the people we are trying to help (and perhaps ourselves too someday if we are ever caught in the same predicament).

(I’m doing a write-up on National Cancer Center Singapore and inspiring cancer survivors (whom I interviewed earlier this week), which you can read about later today when I publish it.)

Today’s kindness task is to make a donation—any donation of any kind, of any amount. Let’s get started!

Your Task: Make a Donation

When people see the word “donation”, money comes to mind immediately.

While you can donate in the form of money, today’s task ISN’T limited to just monetary donation. Here are just some examples of donation:

  • Donation to the homeless or beggars on the street
  • Donation to a charitable cause
  • Donation to an entity or organization (e.g., school)
  • Donation to a disaster fund (e.g., Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy)
  • Blood donation
  • In-kind donation (such as supplies, clothes, textbooks, products, services, etc.)

I know some people will probably skip this task because they don’t want to part with their money. That’s fine. Just do what you feel is comfortable. Ultimately I can’t force participants to follow the tasks; I can only assign the tasks, do the write-ups, publish them on a timely basis, and live true to the tasks myself in my life as I try to spread kindness to others.

If you’re not comfortable with parting with your money, perhaps consider the other forms of donation I’ve listed above. Blood donation (which I went for last week but got rejected unfortunately as I was not a valid candidate for blood donation due to small veins). In-kind donation such as old clothes and old books. Donation of something you don’t want anymore which you know your friend wants (don’t just shove your unwanted goods to others; that’s just recklessly discarding something from one place to another).

Even when it comes to monetary donation, you don’t have to go crazy and donate like thousands (though if you have the capacity to do that, go ahead and do so!). A dollar is a donation. Two dollars is a donation as well. Same for five dollars, or ten dollars. I’m sure most of you spend more than this on your lifestyle, be it places you wine and dine, your monthly cellular bill, your apartment rental, things you buy, electronic equipment, etc. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to request that you donate an amount that’s merely a split fraction of the amount you usually spend on entertainment and life.

Myself, I plan to donate to National Cancer Center Singapore after interviewing a cancer survivor on Monday and realizing that the donating to cancer research does make a difference. I’ll be sharing more about NCCS and the interviews I did in a post later today. Stay tuned.

(If you’re interested to donate to NCC and do your part for cancer research, visit this page: Thank you!)

Share Your Results!

What type of donation have you selected? To whom/which entity did you choose to donate to and why? How much did you donate (if you’re comfortable sharing; not meant to use as a measure of how well you did the task)? How did you feel when making the donation?

Check out the responses of other participants in the comments section!

After you are done, proceed to Day 8: Pick Up Litter.

Image: Phil_Parker

  • wanxuan

    I just got news that Tong Seng Produce (Song He Rice) will actually sponsor (i.e. donate on your behalf) one 10 kg bag of rice to the needy if you post a pledge, post or story of kindness on North West CDC Facebook page (North West CDC) :angel: Such a display of generosity!

  • Sonah

    It has been on my mind for a long time.Now , in the context of the kindness challenge I am determined to make a donation, in form of cash, to an organisation which has taken the initiative to sensitise the entire population on the need to revive our values with the object of creating the conditions for a better society,characterised by Honesty, Simplicity, Respect,ect. as well as set standards for people to be guided by ethical and moral standards. Such projects need to be encouraged and supported. It will be done in all modesty by this week-end

    • Celes

      Hi Sonah! What organization is this?

      • Sonah

        Hi Celes,
        Thank you for your query. The organisation is ‘The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. I am sure there must be one in Singapore, and you must be knowing about it. A non-governmental Organisation, its Headquarters is found in Mount Abu, Rajasthan India.

        The administrative head in every country is a Sister, The University teaches Raja Yoga, through meditation, spirituality, and encourages , people to live by their highest values,and vision. All the services are provided free of charge. The BKWSU IS NOT A RELIGIOUS ENTITY, and is opened to every one.

        I am not a BK myself, but I have have been very much impressed by the work they. To give you just one example. I had a problem of insomnia. They helped me. Not only do I sleep well but, I’ve got rid of all those negativeness that assail a man in modern society.

        Warm regards.

        • Celes

          Thanks for sharing Sonah! I thought perhaps it would be helpful for you to share so others can learn about the organization and check it up if they are interested to learn more. I appreciate you giving all the details about their work and your experience with them. If any reader is interested to learn more, feel free to check it up in your own space. Thanks! :D

  • wanxuan

    My heart, mind and soul goes out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I decided to donate to Red Cross via PayPal. Daily Mail, a British newsource reports that 2.5 million people in New York and New Jersey are still without power/running water after six months. :( Hope my small donation can help victims towards regaining their normal lives back.

    • Celes

      Wanxuan, I’m so proud of you for your donation. :hug: You are such a great lady with a big heart, thinking of the people in Hurricane Sandy even though you don’t live in US/NY. I’m blessed to be able to acquaint with you by way of PE and I’m so blessed to have your continuous ongoing support. :hug:

  • Dolly Yeo

    I had a glimpse of the word donation for today’s task, did not read the whole message as I had to do an important errand. When I reach my destination, I used the public washroom, put 20 cents, the lady in charge was about to give me the change of 10cents, I said its ok. Although it was a very small amount, her tired face immediately broke into a smile. she was happy. On my way out of the washroom I thought why not give her more? I asked her whether she would be the one keeping the daily collection, she said she had to leave $5.00 behind and sometimes she don’t have much to bring home. I then took some notes from my wallet and donated to her collection. She was v happy and asked whether I live nearby. I don’t. I am happy small acts of kindness can be spontaneous for people in need. Will think about what else I could do on my way home now.

  • ASLO

    We make our choices and then our choices make us …am glad that I made the choice of getting connected to this amazing movement :heart: PE :heart: am even more overwhelmed with the beauty and simplicity of how am getting touched by this movement….

    For today’s challenge I donated a few clothing items to my house help, being the festive season the poor lady is much overworked….it was much touching to see the gratefulness in her eyes….sometimes such little acts to more to you than they actually mean to the other…. :)

    • Celes

      Beautiful, simply beautiful. ASLO, you are truly giving your all to this challenge (as you always do to all challenges) and I’m so proud to have you aboard with us. Thank you for being you. :hug: I’m really happy that the lady appreciated your clothing donation and she will probably find more use/value in them than you would have if you kept those items. I love it when the simple transfer of items from one hands onto another hands can result in positive increase in well-being and value in life.

  • Deborah

    My 5 year old son and I donated to Hurricane Sandy relief. His school`s 2nd grade class is collecting money for their class project. Little kids… big hearts.

    • Celes

      Thank you for your donation (and your son’s donation), Deborah. I hope everyone who has been impacted by Hurricane Sandy will be in a safe place soon and get to resume their normal lives. Someone told me about it at an event today (he has a friend in NY whom he hasn’t been able to reach) and it seems like the damage is pretty bad with electricity cut all over.

  • Sharon

    Must have had my precognition switched on this morning… as I seem to have pre-empted the challenge today …. on the way to work I donated some goods to the charity shop, chatted to a homeless person in the street and bought him a coffee – which was what he wanted!!

    I also took in some Sci Fi DVD’s for a colleague that I know he will appreciate.

    So for may challenge today… I have contacted the Blood Donor Online to register and sign up to regularly give blood again.

    Other things I am planning is to raise money for BBC TV Children In Need by getting family friends and colleagues to sponsor me to go ‘Bear’ faced on Friday 9th November – (the charity mascot is a bear called Pudsey) this means not wearing any make -up (which for me will be a big deal), luckily to show support for the charity they suggest that I can paint my own take on Pudsey’s pawprint on my face – a “beauty spot”-like paw in eyeliner, a Pudsey pawprint tattoo or diamante spots – that will be so much fun to create… anyone else in the UK going ‘Bear- faced’?

  • Hetal_S

    My Mom Dad is with me on this :dance:

    Have Kept aside the amount for donation for a charitable cause :) :)

    • Celes

      Hi Hetal! What cause are you intending to donate to?

      • Hetal_S

        Education of underprivileged girls in India :)

        • Celes

          Aw that’s beautiful Hetal. :( I think that’s such a worthy cause. Is there a foundation for this cause which you are planning to donate to?

          • Hetal_S

            Yes Celes, “Mission Shakti: Empowering The Girl Child”

  • Elton

    I donated to World Vision, an organization that does better world for children when they do an exhibition in Kuala Lumpur before I left, basically pay RM 20 to buy their CD, where the songs of children choir are compiled and people buy them as donation.

    I find this more meaningful as I can listen and play in front during my training session, and hopefully more people understand the vision and mission of the organization through its songs.

    • Celes

      That definitely sounds like a very meaningful purchase which is at the same time a donation to a worthy cause, Elton. And what a way to remember them by than to listen their songs AND to play them to your participants during your training sessions. Truly powerful. Thanks so much for sharing this with us Elton. :hug:

  • Celes

    Hey, I just want to say some of you guys really blew me away with your responses for today’s task. In all honesty, I was actually expecting no one to be posting any results because the nature of donation (having to give away money) does tend to result in resistances, but you guys… seriously. Thank you so much for being you. I’m simply speechless.

  • Ana-Maria

    I gave a 50 local currency to an old lady at the tube selling handkerchiefs and the poor woman was so happy that she actually filled my bag with packs of handckerchiefs. Old people really fill my eyes with tears ;(

  • Desiree Garcia

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am VERY charitable. I give blood 4 times a year. I volunteer EVERY single week. I do kids ministries every week. I work in non-profit so I absolutely love doing that kind of stuff. Well last week my non-profit had our annual fundraiser and we had items and certificates left. So instead of letting them go to waste I decided to make a purchase and donate more money back to my cause. Does that count? Ha! I absolutely believe in what we do and would give everything to help others!

  • Bette

    I attended a small meditative gathering and was happy to contribute a love donation. Contributing love donations are totally voluntary. Such gatherings are meaningful to me and I love to support the person who leads the gathering at his home. So channeling my energy in the way of appreciation and gratitude and dollars gives me a good feeling. :D

    When I go to someone’s house for a visit or to share a meal, i always love to bring along a homemade dish or a carefully selected store-bought treat. Perhaps I will opt for flowers, or special herb tea, or lovely candle or votive candle holder, or incense, or a crystal or mineral or beautiful rock from my wonderful collection……SOMEthing that speaks from my heart. It is such a warm feeling to contribute something to a good friend as well as to a friend that I am just meeting. :D :heart:

    Then there is the challenge of finding ways to contribute to those who I most likely will never meet. Like there is a fund-raiser at a center here in NC that is raising money for a young leukemia patient. This is but one of countless ways to channel dollars from all of us who are desirous of giving our funds and ourselves to an actual person or family/ to worthwhile causes. :heart:

    Also, I like to think of creative, out-of-the-box ways to contribute. Since time is, in some ways, money, I donate my time to those who just plain and simple need a listening ear, those who need consult with someone who has my certain knowledge or experience, or who has need of my special services, talents,/abilities i.e., my abilities effecting healing energies/doing therapeutic massage/craniosacral therapy, or my skills in writing/editing. :heart:

    I have also donated my space for special art exhibits and offered my space to those who needed temporary space. Very rewarding. A whole world of new people, new perspectives, and new opportunity opens up when I open up. :D

    Now that I am thinking about this topic, I see how the list could go on and on, like all the clothing, books, household items that I have donated, or of time I have freely given, say to watch over others’ children or babies or furry creatures. :D

    Sometimes someone just needs some dollars to help out. I have learned that when i give money in that way, it is not a loan, it is just a love donation. I have learned that I receive so much when I give with the right intention, and receiving comes to me from all kinds of sources, not necessarily from the one to whom I give. ;)

  • JadePenguin

    In England, you can’t just go and give blood on the day, so I’ll be completing this task a little later (I actually signed up for an appointment some days ago but the confirmation email came today). I do donate at least twice a year – can’t do it too often or my hgb level goes down too much.

    I’m very low on money right now, so I can’t do anything extra. I did buy a charity cupcake some weeks ago (even that seemed like a big thing…) and I’m thinking of going to a charity shop for clothes this week if that counts!

  • Fufu

    Since I’m under aged I don’t have my own money to donate but I do know of a method called Click-to-donate. FreeRice caught my attention since the website advertisers will donate 10 grains of rice for every answer you get right. After clicking a bunch of websites which I wasn’t even sure were trustworthy I decided to stick with FreeRice and played each game till I donated 100 grains of rice. In total donated 2,270 grains of rice. :D

    Tomorrow I’m going to donate a novel that nobody uses at my house to the school library and I might be able to donate to a charity that for every $1.00 you give they will buy a book for children’s education. Another thing I did (but which I’m not sure if it counts as donating) is leave food for the birds in my backyard to eat. At first I was scared they wouldn’t like it but when I returned 1-2 hours later all the bird food was gone and there were 2 birds with food in their mouth! :sweat:

    How did you feel when making the donation?

    It felt tiring clicking and answering so much questions but I know that somewhere a person in need will benefit from that effort I made today. I also felt worried that maybe the organizations weren’t reliable but in general it felt good and made me feel like a better person.

    If anybody’s interested on reading my lessons today and my full experience you can read more at my blog:

    • Hetal_S

      Just Loved it the way you interpreted the task :p

    • Celes

      Fufu, I love how you have found a way to donate to others despite not having the means to donate monetary. :clap: It shows that as long as we have the intention to help others, we will find a way to do so. There may be a billion and one reasons (which are really excuses) if one doesn’t have the heart to do something, but when one DOES have the intention, nothing will stand in his/her way.

      I’m so proud of you darling. :hug: :hug:

      • Fufu

        Thank yo so much for your kind words Hetal_S and Celes! :D It’s true what you say Celes that as long as we have the intention and desire anything is possible. I forgot to update on time but I was able to donate the book the next day :) The librarian didn’t express much so I’m not sure if she liked it or not but I’m happy I donated the book. As for the $1.00 for buying books for children in need, I wasn’t able to get the money and the library wasn’t collecting money for that anymore :/ and about the birds it was funny because when I checked on them 1-2 hours ALL the bird food I left for them, literally, disappeared and there were 2 birds with food on their mouth. :lol: .

  • Ken

    So today a lunch I bought a $20 gift card at a local restaurant for the veterans. And when i got back to my office, I remembered something I have had in my closet. I had kept my glasses from the past 12 years. But I had lasik done last year, and I don’t need them. So I’m taking all 8 frames and lenses and donating them.

    I completely forgot about that. I remember my ex didn’t want me to get rid of them because they said they remind her of how I use to look. But I think someone else could use those more, and I don’t want to remind my ex about how we use to be anyway. So it’s another purging process for me at home.

  • Max

    I just donated $40 to Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation which strives mostly to give shelter, nurture, and to release the ones that are ready to the wild again. With the current rate of deforestation that is happening in Borneo, which is 4.3 million acres annualy, Orangutan is expected to extinct in 1 or 2 decades, and it will likely to happen should there be no serious action to prevent it. In addition, this organization is also involved in a lot of reforestation project. Borneo, also commonly known as “lungs of the world”, is also in a great danger due to the plantation of palm tree in order to support the big demand from western countries.

    This organization was founded by Willie Smits, and has reported some success. Not only they helped sheltering thousands of Orangutan due to the illegal logging and trade, but to date, they have also planted more than 1 million trees!

    I believe if we want to create a sustainable world, forest will be very crucial. But even better, if we can lower the demand by consuming less so that those illegal loggers won’t have any incentives to cut down those trees!

  • boon

    Donated to NCCS. Will be going to Run For Hope 2012. =)

    • Celes

      Aw that’s simply lovely boon. Great to hear that you’ll be going to Run For Hope at the end of this month! I’ve not signed up for the run but have donated to NCCS as well. Hope my donation helps, even if a little, toward cancer research.

  • Ngee Key

    I have made a donation to a association of a Children’s Society Fund.
    It’s always great to do something back to the society, to do good is what I believe in it :)

    • Celes

      Good for you Ngee Key. I’m so proud of you for making the donation to them; you have always been such a generous person and seeing you make a donation in response to today’s task just further solidified to me your generosity as a person (not just in terms of physical actions, but also emotionally). Thank you for being you! :D

  • Qin Tang

    Every year, I make a donation to my favorite radio Faith Radio and/or other radio programs. But I haven’t done it this year. Today’s task gave me a needed push to complete something I wanted to do.

    Every day I listen to Faith Radio, on my way to work or home, while I am working at the desk or cooking in the kitchen. My radio is set on this station. I love listening to Bible teaching, author interviews and all kinds of inspirational talks that Faith Radio has to offer.

    Monetary donation is only one form of donation. Donation can come in different shapes and forms – time, talents and skills, items, etc.

    Tonight I had a neighbor over for dinner. She has been a very helpful neighbor to me. I always wanted to invite her for dinner to show my appreciation and also to show her how to cook Chinese food as she was interested in learning.

    Sharing time and meal together, showing hospitality, is another form of kindness.