It’s that time of year again when everyone wants your money. Brace yourself for more dinnertime phone calls and mailbox solicitations.

In this season of giving, charity seems to be getting an extra jolt because next year the popular tax deduction for donations, for many, will lose a lot of its punch.

Let’s get personal

Fundraisers and requests from charities used to bother me. So did the collection plate at church. I felt guilty because no matter how much money we made there was never enough to give some of it to others. And with all our debt (we had plenty!), how could I be expected to help others when I couldn’t even help myself?

Then our financial house of cards came tumbling down. It was ugly. Losing our business, our income and getting a notice that our home was scheduled to go into foreclosure was a huge wakeup call.

When I was at the darkest point, I made a promise: If I ever see another dollar, I’m going to give some of it away. First. Then I will do the best I can with the rest. And I meant it. Read more