Time Vs. Money
After arriving home I was reflecting on all of the situations I witnessed this week from my travels. I thought about the hospital and all of the kids there. I thought about the schools and free clinics we observed. I started to wonder what the people really feel. The reason I was thinking about that was because based on your own situation, you aren’t aware of what you are missing when it doesn’t exist in your life.
For example, do the children at the school know what other kids have at a school they do not attend? Probably not. We all want to help them improve their lives but right now things are good for them based upon what they have. The school has an additional floor to it and they never had that before so that alone is thrilling for the kids. If they don’t have pens or pencils, they must adapt to make it work. As I was thinking about all of this, I was curious to know if giving them supplies helps or if it is wasteful because they have no need for certain items. It made me think about past lottery winners who have encountered great amounts of money. Statistics show that many end up spending all of the money within a year or two because they never had that much and have no idea how to balance it.
When we donate items in huge quantities, do the people on the other end know how to make use of the supplies or it is overwhelming to them and they distribute it quickly rather balance it over time? I know it is kind of strange thought to cross my mind but I kept wondering if the gift of time or money is better though out my entire journey. I’ve experienced both but for this journey it was the gift of time.
Which one works for groups of people? Which one works for you?
Here is an example: Last year the student council at my school and I tried to figure out if we could give as much time as we did money. We had raised $15,000 together as a school, in just three weeks. We were very proud to donate such a chunk. A month later we took the amount of money, divided it by minimum wage and the number of kids in the school. The number was around 4.5 hours. We then challenged everyone in the school to give that many hours of time. We allowed several months for this to happen. In the end, we raised about 2000 hours which was very low compared to what we gave in dollars. However we didn’t look at it as a failed attempt or anything. We looked at it as we were better at raising money because obviously that is where the passion for giving is in this particular community. If I went to a different school, we might have raised a greater number of hours but less money.
I have been processing this entire thing for quite some time. Time vs. Money…which one is more important and I can’t seem to come up with a conclusion. Both are necessary for a non-profit to thrive. Some people prefer to give time while others prefer to give money. I think they are equally as important.
After being in Peru for the past 8 days, I discovered that my time here is very necessary in the giving back process. The surgeons times is also very necessary. However we wouldn’t have gotten here without the donations of equipment and supplies for the surgeries or teddy bears for the clowns to hand out. I guess my point is, for the past few years people have been saying to me “You inspire me to get involved ” but many people don’t know where to begin. Most people think they have to physically go out and do something while others think it has to be money. Reverse your thinking. Doing more, started for me when I found my passion for volunteering through a camp for children with HIV/AIDS. That experience has led me to volunteer at camps all over the country. However I wouldn’t have been able to start doing at all of the camp without the proper experience and money to get there.
Whether it is time or whether it is money, giving back is giving back and together it makes incredible non-profits such as these two Komedy plast and Caring Clowns International, thrive. I encourage you to find your passion for what you believe in and find a way to use your talents and help. What are you waiting for? Take your next step. It all begins with you!