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16 Reasons to Contribute to SOS

As the end of The Motley Fool's second annual holiday charity drive draws near, some Fool staffers wanted to share why we're taking the time to contribute to Share Our Strength (SOS), and why we hope you will, too.

Barbara Eisner Bayer (Customer Service, TMFVenus@aol.com) says...

Donating to SOS means: Good Karma.

Yi-Hsin Chang (Scribe, TMFPuck@aol.com) says...

I usually refrain from giving money to panhandlers for fear of a scam or that the money will be squandered on a bottle of cheap booze. I support SOS because it is helping people help themselves. The group's long-term mission of fostering economic independence mirrors the Fool's goal of promoting financial independence.

David Forrest (Community Coordinator, TMFBogey@aol.com) says...

Why do I give to SOS? How can I not give? Hell, I'm sitting here trying to decide whether to order a pizza for dinner or cook up that steak in the freezer. It's ridiculous. There are people out there who are actually hungry. That's unimaginable to me and probably everyone reading this. Giving money to charity is the biggest no-brainer, slam-dunk decision in my entire year, bar none.

David Gardner (Big Cheese, DavidG@fool.com) says...

I am giving to Share Our Strength because I have a lot of respect for Billy Shore, its visionary founder, and for the organization itself. In our two-year partnership, I have been nothing but impressed with the quality of SOS, which means I am confident they are making beneficial and efficient use of the money I'm entrusting to them.

Chris Hill (Media Relations, TMFWizard@aol.com) says...

Why should you donate some money to SOS? I'll tell ya why... because you're just like me: you waste money. Admit it. You throw money away on things you don't need. I'm not talking about big things. We waste money on small things, and it adds up. I buy overpriced lattes, bags of chocolate, and I rent at least one terrible video a week. It adds up, people. So buy a regular cup of java, skip the afternoon sugar buzz, turn off the VCR, and give the savings to SOS. That way you won't waste the money -- and you can be sure SOS won't, either.

Gary Hill (CFO, TMFChill@aol.com) says...

I realize that there are over 1,000 points in my life where I've received assistance or donations that have allowed me to be where I am today. The help has been in the form of college scholarships, job referrals, educational conversations, directions on the highway from a good Samaritan, internships, inspirational books, car loans... or a job offer from a high school friend who started a company called The Motley Fool. :) Sometimes people don't think of those types of things as gifts or as equivalent to receiving charity, but I do. So I consider it an obligation to give, because so much has been given to me. I particularly value donating time and money to those charities that assist those in need of receiving the necessities of food, shelter, and/or clothing but that also make the additional investment in helping people learn skills so that they may help themselves and, in the future, complete the cycle and help others. That is why I am donating to SOS.

Bruce Hunter (Ad Fool, TMFBruce@aol.com) says...

To me, what's most appealing about SOS is its great vision about how to help individuals improve their lives. Hey, does that sound familiar to Fools? I believe there's tremendous synergy between SOS and the Fool. We're focused on helping others achieve long-term financial security, and they're committed to helping families meet their immediate nutritional needs. Actually, SOS takes it a step further by teaching people how to prepare healthy meals and even helping provide job-training opportunities in the food services industry so that they can rise above their circumstances. This is a worthy mission that deserves consideration from all Fools.

Roy Lewis (Tax Guru, TMFTaxes@aol.com) says...

I went shopping for my nephew the other day. What do you get a guy that has everything? Something else for his nice home? An addition to his already exceptional wardrobe? A meaningless (but expensive) trinket to add to his collection of other meaningless (but expensive) trinkets? Nope. None of the above. I decided that he'll get a holiday card with an inscription telling him how much I really love him, and a note telling him that a donation has been made in his name to SOS. And that donation may go to give a child a small, inexpensive gift or a turkey dinner that may be the difference between this child having a Christmas not having one at all. I think that he'll understand... and approve.

Peter Lincoln (Customer Service, TMFBalder@aol.com) says...

From a text recently preached about: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:8) While it's totally out of character for me, I'm sending a check along today.

Jean Macaulay (Message Board Stroller, TMFJeanie@aol.com) says...

Like other fortunate Fools, my biggest fear this time of year is of putting on a few extra pounds from all those holiday goodies. Compare that silly concern with the real fears of people who are struggling just to feed their children and I can't think of a better reason for us to share our strength. I love knowing that SOS doesn't just feed people today, but it teaches them to become independent tomorrow. What a Foolish idea!

Selena Maranjian (Writer, TMFSelena@aol.com) says...

When growing up, I was lucky enough to be able to travel around much of the world with my family. We saw wonderful things, like a waterfall in Ethiopia, the Taj Mahal, and Christmas in Kowloon. But we also saw a lot of people struggling mightily with poverty. Children begging. Mothers unable to feed their babies. We couldn't help but realize how lucky we were. In the U.S., poverty is often a lot more discreet. It's easy to assume that most people are OK. They're not. Tens of millions of Americans face poverty and hunger each day. I'm glad that SOS is around to remind me of this, and I'm happy to contribute what I can.

Tony Miller (Message Board Stroller, TMF2Aruba@aol.com) says...

For me, this is an easy call. When I was eight years old, and a mighty fine Cub Scout, I needed to sell tickets for some local performance during a charity drive. I remember I knocked on one house, and an old lady came to the door and listened to my pitch. She went to her bag and gave me money for a ticket, but she wouldn't take the ticket from me. She smiled and said, "Please give the ticket to someone who can't afford to buy one." I did just that. I'll always remember the lesson of giving this lady taught me, and I've been giving whenever I can ever since.

Carl Saffell (Techie Geek, TMFValue@aol.com) says...

I give to SOS so that the less fortunate can have some real food besides all the canned goods people dump off at holiday time because they don't really want to eat them. Like quantum thought goes into that donation -- "Um... guess we can give up these beets." Giving to SOS makes me feel good. If I knew more poor people, I'd give to them directly. Knowing that someone looked into the charity and knows that MOST of the money goes to charity, I feel comfortable giving. Give so you don't feel like a rich slug at Christmas dinner gulping down viands and drinking grapes like Henry VIII while some poor kid's mom who busts her hump all day can only afford to feed her kids spam shaped like a bird wounded in battle.

Tim Thurman (Customer Service, TMFDrT@aol.com) says...

Contributing money gives Fools a way to get rid of excess cash. If your portfolio gets too large, you might start taking investing too seriously! Keep the bills -- they always help under the mattress -- but give away ALL the change. You'll sleep better at night!

Kaiti Trimble (FoolMarter, TMFJedi@aol.com) says...

Donating to SOS means Tax Deductions! :-)

Dale Wettlaufer (Analyst & Curmudgeon, TMFRalegh@aol.com) says...

I'm giving to SOS because they have the right idea about how empowerment works. Empowerment is not just a word, it's doing something tangible. I don't give to many charities, but I like to make a significant commitment to the ones I do support, and this one's on the list.

We hope these thoughts have inspired you to give in whatever way you can to SOS and to encourage others to do the same. After you've taken a few minutes to contribute, we invite you to go to the SOS message board and tell us why you gave. Remember, it's easy to contribute online, by phone, by fax, or by snail mail. And you can donate appreciated stock and enjoy the tax benefits. Thanks for taking the time to share your strength and for making a difference in the fight against hunger and poverty.