Two Thousand Seventeen

I think that giving money away is an important thing to do. For me, it’s mostly a way of putting my Christianity into practice. Giving money away means that I have hopefully created some good in the world that the same amount of consumption wouldn’t have. Giving money away reminds me that everything I have is a gift, that’s it’s not mine forever, and that it’s not the most important thing in my life. Giving money away leaves me with less, so that I spend less on random stuff that I don’t really need.

I don’t like to talk about it, generally, because it would be really easy to slip into self-righteousness. I’d rather not let my left hand know what my right hand is doing. I rarely add up how much money we give away. However, I’m talking about it now because, this year and last year, I see my donations as being a small act of resistance, and that this will be enhanced by talking about it.

So, without further ado, here’s where my family gave money to mark the end of 2017.

First up is the Hispanic Federation. I wanted to give to someone who was doing relief work in Puerto Rico. The devastation there demands a big response. I found Hispanic Federation by looking at lists like this one.

Next is Trout Unlimited’s Save Bristol Bay fund. You probably haven’t heard of this one. There’s a large copper and gold deposit in Alaska. And so, of course, someone wants to mine it. The deposit is upstream from Bristol Bay, “the world’s last great salmon fishery.” In 2014, the EPA concluded that this mine “would cause irreversible and unacceptable damage to the Bristol Bay salmon ecosystem.” In 2017, the EPA reversed its decision without justification. I would not prefer to make America great again like it was when our current president was in his 20s and the Cuyahoga River was on fire. I would prefer instead to make America beautiful, with spacious skies and amber waves of grain.

Finally, we donated to a charity that helps out people who share a disability with my nephew.