Fight “COVID Fatigue” with Generosity

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Back in March, the sudden arrival of COVID-19 brought out the best in us as people made grocery and pharmacy runs for elderly neighbours, lined up to clap for health care workers, and wrote messages of hope on windows and sidewalks.  Now we’re entering the eighth month of this pandemic, and it’s no wonder we are all starting to feel fatigued [1]. With so much energy devoted to safely navigating our daily lives, it’s easy to let our thoughts turn inwards and to let acts of generosity, especially charitable giving, fall by the wayside. But we can guard against this attrition by building giving into our new normal.

Prioritize and Plan Your Charitable Giving 

A few weeks ago, a grade six teacher asked her class to consider the ways the pandemic has changed their lives and then name the positive impacts resulting from those changes. Almost all of the children said that their schedules had changed drastically, but that this change had freed up more time to spend with their families. Amidst COVID restrictions, family dinners and board game nights made a comeback. Even as kids returned to school and parent transitioned to working outside the home again, many families have continued to prioritize this time together and plan it into their family routine. Charitable giving works the same way.

Planning your charitable giving helps you to prioritize generosity and makes supporting your favourite charities part of your everyday lifestyle. As you regularly practice giving your time and money to help others, it changes your thinking. Charity becomes a habit. Then, when you encounter challenges and unexpected surprises, charitable giving stays on your priority list.

A Generosity Plan™ Takes the Stress Out of Giving 

An American acquaintance of mine, we’ll call him ‘John’ – has taken this approach to charitable giving for a while now. At the beginning of each year, he looks over his finances, determines approximately how much he wants to give to charity over the next twelve months, and sets those funds aside in what he calls his ‘donation fund’. Throughout the year he distributes the funds to a variety of charities at his own pace.

John enjoys the freedom of knowing he can say “yes” to requests for support and join in on spontaneous charity projects without stressing. He says, “I love doing it this way. The money is already set aside”. Like all of us, John feels fatigued by the ongoing public health crisis, but his charitable giving has not been interrupted, and the joy of giving has helped him to stay positive in these uncertain times. 

The events of 2020 have made it abundantly clear that we can’t plan for every eventuality, but with a plan in place, we can hold tight to the joy of giving and weather life’s storms with our generosity intact.

What’s your plan?

Contributed by Darren Pries-Klassen

  • [1] A recent Ipsos poll (Oct 23-26, 2020) found that while a vast majority of Canadians agree that we must continue to be vigilant about protecting ourselves and our neighbours from coronavirus, following all the shifting public health recommendations and rules is taking its toll.

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