Don't ask customers to fill out paper work or give time or money. For example, with our program for every package of any of our products bought in a community, our consumer (through their purchase) and we at U-Be-Livin-Smart feed a needy individual in that community through a nearby food bank. All the consumer has to do is make the decision to purchase.
The question we hear most frequently from people ready to make a difference is: "Where do I begin?" In our contributions to Impact, we'll tackle some of these questions, using our experience working with communities in Canada and all regions of the world, and in the context of news that's happening right now. This new online community has the potential to bring us together and start making the news instead of just reading it.
Aid and development are deeply complex and there are no easy answers. The physical donations of goods, be it food or clothes, often have negative impacts on the local economy. It would be far better for aid organizations to buy products locally. Aid shouldn't be about making North Americans comfortable with a culture of mass consumption and waste. It has to be actually making the lives of people in the recipient country better.
Quite a few of my colleagues are eager volunteers who often collect charitable donations. I value their contributions to our community but my spouse was told, right after the holiday break, that his position would be abolished. What is the appropriate way of declining all of the upcoming requests?