When You Cannot See The Need

“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It’s that they can’t see the problem.”

–G. K. Chesterton

Sitting out front of our house, I noticed that the door on my neighbor’s van was open. I waited. After about 15 minutes, I went up and closed it. From experience, I know that an open van door, or light left on, can drain a battery pretty quickly. My neighbors will probably never know. They’re nice people who work hard and didn’t deserve to have to deal with a non-functional vehicle this morning.

Some needs are easy to see – a door left open, trash in the street, a homeless person, a stalled car, newspapers forgotten on the driveway during vacation, and on and on.

The needs that are harder to see are at our local non-profits and charities. Sitting on my front swing, I can’t see the needs of a charity that I don’t know about. Even a charity that I’m familiar with, I probably can’t see everything they lack because I’m not involved in the day-to-day operations.

Donor’s Resource.
Let them help you see the need.

That’s where Donor’s Resource comes in. Operating in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a non-profit that connects other non-profits with donors.

It’s a simple idea. A household or business can list the supplies they have to give away and non-profits can find that stuff and come and get it. Donor’s Resource is like the eyes the donor can’t have. They can help us see the need.

Last weekend, during our great garage cleanup (photo here), we emptied three large professional-grade storage crates. I didn’t want to just throw them away. Rather than just Goodwill’ing them, I wanted to see if a local charity had a need. I tried the Good Neighbor Center, but they couldn’t use something that big. So I listed them on Donor’s Resource.

Regardless of whether anyone needs it, there’s a better chance that a non-profit with a real need will find the crates. Rather than the crates finding a dump.

When you can’t see the need, let Donor’s Resource be your eyes.

Yesterday’s gift of time … Saw a need and shut a van door … Didn’t see a need, but hopefully will still be able to help a non-profit through Donor’s Resource.

Hat tip to my friend Linda Cohen, of 1000 Mitzvahs, who told me about this organization several months ago.

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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