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No contest when it comes to holiday giving

As the holidays approach, there is no shortage of charitable giving opportunities. The spirit of the season brings out a desire in all of us to give gifts to our families and friends. Many nonprofits are hopeful that we will also pause and reflect on those who do not have a holiday celebration in the works, and will be moved to help change that.

At a recent networking meeting, I shared the dates and details for upcoming fundraisers and food drives being held to benefit Good Shepherd Food Bank. In turn, other members plugged their own charitable causes and mentioned additional events that were also encouraging folks to frantically trek, trot or toss a turkey before Thanksgiving arrives. A friend leaned over and whispered, “Looks like you have some competition”.

I knew what she meant – it can be confusing, especially with so many organizations requesting similar support. Donor fatigue has to be among the highest ranking stressors of the season. But when it comes to addressing hunger – there is no such thing as competition. With the need for food at an all time high, what looks like competition is actually collaboration.    

Good Shepherd’s network of partner agencies are all hard at work to make the most of this seasonal support. We have a short window to capture the holiday spirit, for we know we will have to make these gifts stretch throughout the tough winter ahead. As a donor, it can be difficult to know the best way to help.

Allison Keef from Bangor recently wrote to us and shared how much she appreciates the benefits of giving to Good Shepherd. Allison shares, “my husband and I are long-time retirees and we live on a fixed income”. In order to do the most good, she relays that “Ralph and I look for ways to leverage our small gifts and whenever possible, we look for tax-deductible ways so that we can give more. For that reason, we give to Good Shepherd Food-Bank – we are confident that they are good stewards of our gifts”.   

Ending hunger in Maine requires us all to come together – especially this time of year. Whether you prepare a holiday meal for a neighbor, contribute to an office food drive or volunteer at a soup kitchen – your gift matters and makes a difference for many hungry Mainers.       

Competition? Not at all. The more you can give will mean… the more the merrier!