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

  • Martin Tsachev

    Donated to wikipedia which frankly feels more like an investment in my future education and the education of the generations to come than a donation.

    • Martin Tsachev

      They have a very nice thank you letter:

      Dear Martin,

      You are amazing, thank you so much for donating to the Wikimedia Foundation!

      This is how we pay our bills — it’s people like you, giving five dollars, twenty dollars, a hundred dollars. My favourite donation last year was five pounds from a little girl in England, who had persuaded her parents to let her donate her allowance. It’s people like you, joining with that girl, who make it possible for Wikipedia to continue providing free, easy access to unbiased information, for everyone around the world. For everyone who helps pay for it, and for those who can’t afford to help. Thank you so much.

      I know it’s easy to ignore our appeals, and I’m glad that you didn’t. From me, and from the tens of thousands of volunteers who write Wikipedia: thank you for helping us make the world a better place. We will use your money carefully, and I thank you for your trust in us.

      Sue Gardner
      Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director

      • wanxuan

        Wow, I benefitted so much from Wikipedia in my university days and I admit I used to take these free information for granted. Thousands of volunteers must have worked tirelessly towards this tremendous abundance of knowledge. You have a beautiful heart of gratitude! Your kindness act has inspired me too :) I will hop over to send my gratitude and donation to them :)

  • hendro

    Hmm, a meaningful task but I did not manage to complete it on the day.. I was at the library with my course mate for almost whole day on Wednesday. Anyway, the place I always give a small monetary donation whenever I reach that place is the Kwan Im Temple . It is the place which it brings a peace of mind not only to me but also to my mom. :D She would always ask me to bring her along there whenever she come to Singapore. I just made a donation last Sunday when I went together with her :p Hope everyone of you is making meaningful donation in many ways.

  • Miss Elf

    Hey :)
    I donated 15 EUR to Society for the Protection of Animals. I have their wall calendar for 2012 with pictures of dogs and in the right corner is written their bank account. I have thougt about donating for a while now, but never really did it. So todays challenge was perfect for that. After donating I felt happy cause I finally did it :)

  • Netta

    I seen this challenge and I was thinking along the lines that I donate clothing to the Goodwill stores in my area. I also am the type of person that will drop change in donation cans, whether it be at McDonald’s or at Walmart.
    So I dug a little deeper. It turns out that the church in my small town, The Parrott Church of God, is taking up donations for victims of hurricane Sandy. I live in a small town in Southwest Virginia and we had strong winds and some damage due to the hurricane but thankfully we had no major damage or destruction. I found the flyer in the Post Office today and I picked it up so I will know the drop off times.
    Now my goal is to gather any items I can and hopefully an amount of money and donate to a very good cause.
    Thank you Celes!

  • Faby

    I will put together some items my family and i no longer use to donate to an organization that helps Vietnam veterans. The items will be picked up later in the month though so my donation is late and my post, sorry about that. I have an extremely bad habit of procrastination. :(

  • Claire R

    Hi Celes and everybody !

    We started a wonderful donation idea and not too hard on the budget .At church we started a ” Clean out your Medicine Cabinet ” drive. There is always some left from antibiotics, if doctor has changed your prescription. Such a waste. We even take those that are expired. These go to a free clinic opened by the soup kitchen.Then there are splints, braces, diapers and so much more that might just get thrown away.

    This weekend I promise to distribute among the street people I know and see always some pants and
    shirts before taking the rest to the soup kitchen. Some friends are boxing books to donate to the local
    library-5 of us.
    It is a very powerful thing to go from, but what can I do ? to finding little things, small ways to share.
    :clap: to all of you!

  • Bryan

    Thanks to what happened on the east coast and hurricane sandy I’ve been hearing a lot of news about the damage occurring. Yesterday when I went out to purchase a few things at walgreens i was asked if i wanted to donate to the hurricane restoration. Without much thought i agreed to put down a dollar, mostly because i’ve spent needlessly for the past week and wanted to be more frugal. Even with only a dollar i feel like it can make a difference so hopefully next time I’ll donate a little more ;)

  • Robin

    I’m a little behind… but I sent my donation this morning. I donated to a shetland sheepdog rescue group. I have two shelties and love them dearly. I admire what this organization does to help in-need dogs.

  • Angela Brent-Harris

    I gave donations to the victims of hurricane Sandy and to the redcross. :cool:

  • Celes

    Just made another donation today. :heart: This time, it’s for the handicapped kids! It’s good to be able to chip in even a small little way.

  • Vickie

    I was on my way home from work and noticed a man sitting on a guardrail in the cold with a sign saying, “homeless.” I stopped by Wendy’s to get some dinner and bought him one, too. He thanked me, although I should have been thanking him for the opportunity to practice my faith. Funny, I didn’t read this article until tonight. . .