The ReaperTrades 2011 Red Kettle Challenge

I ask you to join me in raising money for The Salvation Army; the money will be used in Detroit, a city that needs not just money but also love. I will match any gifts through my donation link 100% through December 15th, up to a maximum of $10,000. So if readers of this blog donate $8,000 by December 1st using my link, I will match that with my own $8,000 gift. So if you have benefited from this blog, please consider donating some of the money I have either saved you or helped you make.

Donate Now

I am far from the greatest trader or the richest trader in the world. But I still make much more money than I need, even after accounting for the absurd sums I sometimes spend on fancy restaurants. I do not feel that I need to apologize for my success. I do not feel like I took from anyone so I do not owe anyone anything. That being said, I have compassion for those who truly need and those who truly suffer, the poorest among us. If I cannot find it within myself to give out of my abundance, then I certainly do not love others.

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Why the Salvation Army? I am familiar with their work and have given to them in the past and I know they are an effective organization helping some of the neediest people in the United States and throughout the world. For further details of why to give to the Salvation Army I defer to my favorite personal finance blogger, FreeMoneyFinance, whose $5k red kettle challenge was the inspiration for mine:

I’ve worked with and gotten to know Salvation Army people and organizations all across America. I’ve talked to the people who are part of the organization and the people they are helping (and I’m talking about real-life “needy” people on the streets of Grand Rapids, Atlanta, Detroit, and so on). So I know they are making a HUGE difference. Because I’ve seen their work first-hand, the Salvation Army is an organization I know I can fully support.

Now some of you will object to the fact that the Salvation Army is a Christian-based organization. If your personal convictions make you want to not give for those reasons, I respect that and I hope you give generously to the charity of your choice. But if you’ve read FMF for more than two seconds I think it’s pretty apparent that I have no problem giving to a charity that’s Christian-based. Plus the fact that I’ve seen their work in person makes the Salvation Army a no-brainer choice for me.

Others may be concerned that the Salvation Army spends the bulk (or even a large part) of their money on proselytizing people or only on those of their faith. I can say with 100% certainty that this is not the case. Yes, it’s because of their faith that they help others, but they do not push their beliefs or force recipients to become Christians to get aid. They simply want to “do the most good” (their slogan) and that in and of itself is their reward. And as I’ve said, I’ve talked to many people they’ve helped and know they are doing good, selfless work to those who need the help most.

Others may wonder about the Salvation Army’s impact as an organization. Charity Watch gives them an “A-“, a pretty good grade (FYI, St. Jude’s and the Susan G. Komen Search for the Cure get B+, MDA and Livestrong get an A-). Again, I have no problems giving to them based on this measure either.

Disclaimer: Much of the above description of The Salvation Army was taken from the FreeMoneyFinance blog post on his kettle challenge and I found it better written than I could do on short notice. This blog has a terms of use that is incorporated by reference into this post; you can find all my disclaimers and disclosures there as well.

7 thoughts on “The ReaperTrades 2011 Red Kettle Challenge”

  1. That is unfortunate, Jamal. If you email me a copy of a check or statement of your gift to your local Salvation Army (or if you just tell me you did–I trust you despite you living across the pond) I’ll go ahead and match that.

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