Avoid Temptation to Eat Out by Donating to a Good Cause

>> Thursday, January 21, 2010

A few days ago on the Go Green without Going Broke group on Facebook, I wrote:

Thought I'd check in and see how people are doing with this month's extreme challenge: Stop Eating Out for a Month. I've been doing great, but I just learned that several of my favorite restaurants in Raleigh are donating all profits on Tuesday to relief efforts in Haiti. I think that might warrant going out to eat. What do you all think?

Almost immediately after I posted it, I came to my senses. If I'd already been planning to eat out on Tuesday, then choosing one of those restaurants would have been a great plan. But since I'm choosing not to eat out this month, going to a restaurant just to help Haiti is kind of backward. Instead, why not skip the restaurant and go straight to helping Haiti?

So that's what I did. I estimated how much I would have spent eating out at a restaurant and donated that amount to the Red Cross.

Why Did I Choose the Red Cross?

There are numerous ways to donate both money and other goods to Haiti. One Green Generation has a decent round-up of ways to help, and Cheri at Renaissance Garden (who has been blogging about Haiti long before the earthquake) makes a good argument for not donating to the Red Cross.

But as I kept seeing mention of the Red Cross and Haiti in the news, it reminded me of a day seven and a half years ago when I came home from work to find police cars and fire trucks surrounding my apartment building and yellow caution tape all around the front of my own apartment. The apartment above ours had caught fire, and though very few of our belongings were lost (thank you so much, amazing firemen!), the apartment itself was completely ruined due to water damage. We weren't even allowed to enter the apartment to grab a toothbrush or a change of clothes.

Enter the Red Cross, which set us up for the night in a motel along with a bag of toiletries and food.

That minor crisis in our life was a drop in the bucket compared to what the Haitians are facing, but I know from personal experience that the Red Cross does good work in times of need, and I'm actually embarrassed that it's taken me this long to pay them back.

How Can You Donate?

If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross's Haiti relief efforts, simply text "Haiti" to 90999. $10 will automatically be charged to your phone bill. (Please note that your phone company takes no money from the transaction.)

If you want to donate more than $10 or if you don't have free texting, you can also donate through the American Red Cross' website.


Melinda January 23, 2010 at 12:39 PM  

AWESOME idea. I've been making decisions based on this lately, too: I could buy that cup of coffee, or I could give the money I would have spent to really help someone else. It really puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

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