US Catholic Faith in Real Life

How do you give?

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Every year I resolve to spread my financial charity out over the year, giving a certain amount every month, with the hope that I'd be cultivating a spirit of generosity. Unfortunately, life gets in the way, and I end up doing all my years' giving, like many, in December.

Financial planners would tell you to decide how much money you are going to give away and then determine where the money goes. My method is a bit more random. Whenever I learn of an organization I like, I want to give them so support, even if it's small.

How do you plan (or not plan) your charity and where do you direct your money?

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services: Our interview with Caritas head Lesley-Anne Knight convinced me of the power and reach of the Catholic Church to respond to crises around the world. Our country's economic crisis also makes me want to support efforts to relieve poverty at home. I also like to support my local food pantry.

Cross International Catholic Outreach has been a favorite since traveling with them to Kenya last year. I like their model of funding programs on the ground rather bringing in outsiders to run programs.

I just met more college students brought to the United States by the Iraqi Student Project at a reception this weekend. This organization, started by Catholics, is helping train the future leaders of Iraq.

I have a few because of personal connections, such as my volunteer organization, Amate House, and my alma mater, Northwestern

You can also support us! Because we are supported by the Claretians, you can support U.S. Catholic  by supporting them: Donate here.

My list could go on with Catholic and non-Catholic organizations. Plug your favorites here. I might just add some new organizations to my always growing list!