Doing something good every day is hard—at least for me. That’s why I’ve been giving often. As part of this My 100 Days project, I decided to donate twice what I pay in monthly rent to charity in 2017, or about an average homeowner’s monthly mortgage, since I own my house with a buddy I split rent with. This will be about twice as much as I’ve ever given to charity in the past, but it’s still way short of giving back 10% of your income, which my parents always did, even when they were lower-middle income with 5 kids. But, as far as any of us know, I've already donated more than our president has to charity. Someday I hope to get to 10%, but right now this feels like a good level for me.
Interestingly, something has already happened which I had heard might—the more I give, the easier it is to part with money. I’m making deeper connections with the issues, the more I learn about them—refugees, immigration, the environment, etc.—and I’m coming across stories that show the sheer magnitude of need.
So today, in honor of Valentine's Day, love, reunification with family, and all that, I donated to the International Institute of Minnesota, which helps new Americans achieve self-sufficiency and full membership in American life in my home state, Minnesota. You can donate money or spend time helping refugees with everything from learning finance to learning how to ride the bus!
Part of the reason I did so was because of this moving story which puts a human face on the refugee travel ban. The story of Ahmed — a 28-year-old Minneapolis resident from Somalia who applied for an immigrant visa for her mother in 2015. Ahmed’s mother, who she hadn’t seen in 12 years, also from Somalia, was set to depart from Kenya to the U.S. Jan. 28, two days before her visa would expire. Then the executive order was signed.