Giving to nonprofits and charitable organizations can hurt, especially if a person donates in lump sums.
To ease the pain, the chair of the Kenai Peninsula United Way's 2004-05 campaign suggested giving a little each week.
"It's easier to give $10 a week than $500 at the end of the year. It's painless when you spread it out over the year," said David Gilbreath at Tuesday's meeting of the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce.
The best way to make regular giving easy and practical is through payroll deduction, he said.
The United Way supports 26 peninsula-based agencies like the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs and The Salvation Army. Last year's campaign collected more than $565,000, exceeding its goal by more than $15,000. The goal for this year's campaign has been increased to $600,000.
To reach that goal, Gilbreath said it's important to get a lot of people to give a little instead of relying on a few people or businesses to give a lot.
In addition to payroll deduction, a person can give a little on a regular basis by having their credit card charged monthly or they can even be billed directly, he said.
Those in attendance shouldn't be shy about asking their friends, co-workers and employees to donate, since most people like to give, they just have to be asked, Gilbreath said.
"People want to give, it makes them feel good. We're doing them a favor," he said.
Linda Swarner, director of the food bank, illustrated how far a dollar donated to the United Way can go.
Swarner said the food bank serves about 2,000 meals a month, 315 of those to children, through its soup kitchen.
The cash donations received through the United Way go a long way to support the food bank's soup kitchen and other meal programs. For every dollar received, the food bank can buy 10 pounds of food of all kinds through the Food Bank of Alaska, Swarner said.
The food bank accepts donations of fresh produce, fish, or even moose and caribou, although bear meat and shellfish cannot be accepted. However, those who would rather donate cash are encouraged to do so. The food bank and other United Way member agencies definitely will put the funds to use, she said.
"We have people already standing in line (for lunch) when we open at 11:30," Swarner said.
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