11 March 2013

So here we are a little more than two months in to my year of giving and I have a story to share. 

When I started this blog, I wrote about how I’m a bit of a cheapskate. While giving away $3,650 wouldn’t put me in a financial bind where I would have to chose between paying rent or eating and giving away the money (unless something dire happened), it was a big sum to commit to at the beginning of the year, especially since, as a freelancer, I don’t have the same amount of money coming in every week that I can count on. And, sure enough, I’ve made certain decisions based on the fact that I know I have this chunk of change that I’m donating this year and I can’t spend it elsewhere. 

My sister gives away a lot of money. I don’t know exactly how much, but I know she takes her philanthropy very seriously and considers it a part of her stewardship, the rent she pays for being here on earth.  Her job ended in September and she’s transitioning into a new field. She casually mentioned to me that she had not decreased her giving even though she didn’t have a steady paycheck right now. She really believed that by continuing to provide for those less fortunate that she would be taken care of. This was a theory that had borne itself out over and over throughout her life.  I like and respect it and it also plays into the freedom from financial fear that I’m trying to achieve by giving money away. 

I also consider this year an exercise in faith that I will be taken care of no matter what develops, but I won't necessarily know what that looks like and it may look very different than how I envisioned it. When I find myself getting anxious and I go through a rare bout of anxiety, usually triggered by something that's happened to someone else and I'm scared will happen to me, I try to just breathe through it and realize that at this exact moment I am fine and that's all I have control over.

At the beginning of the year, I got a notice that my health insurance premium was increasing again. Since I became self-employed, like many people, I have an individual policy. I’ve never hit my deductible in the six years I’ve had the policy. I have no complaints about my care, which has been excellent. My concern has been that my premium has gone up so much that I was becoming worried about how I was going to continue to pay it if it kept increasing at the same percentage. But I started the blog and the giving anyway. 

A few weeks ago, I got a notice out of the blue from my insurance broker, who suggested a way to lower my premium. I filled out some paper work, and a few days later, I heard back that my monthly deductible has dropped by $293 a month. If you take $293 and multiply that by 12, you get $3,516. My commitment to giving for the year for this project is $3,650.  Coincidence? Maybe, but I think not..... The universe is always listening. 

Today’s $10 goes to the Venice Family Clinic here in Los Angeles. Founded in 1970 as a single location, The Venice Family Clinic now operates seven sites throughout the west side. Of the nearly 25,000 people treated at the clinic annually, almost 75% are uninsured. More than 500 physicians donate their time to the clinic. The Venice Family Clinic is a crown jewel in Los Angeles. 

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70 down, 295 to go!

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