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So I have to admit: I play the Super Mega Uber Lottery every once in a while, but only on my birthday or if the prize is over a hundred million dollars.  Yes, I know the odds are better that I’ll get hit by lightning then they are of me winning, but the couple minutes of joy I get imagining what I will do with the tremendous amount of cash (roughly 38 cents on the dollar for lump sum, plus the assumption that I would have to split it, meaning $100million would give me about $19million, still enough to do whatever I want) are totally worth it.

I drugstore get a few minutes of joy thinking about establishing trusts for my kids that will pay totally for their education and allow them to have a car in college (not a sports car, but something reliable and not ten years old).  I think of the local investments  I can make to grow local start-up businesses, thus helping the local economy.  I think of the season tickets at Yankees Stadium (hey, if you are worth more than a baseball player makes in a year you are entitled to splurge a bit!).  This couple of minutes of dreaming is worth one dollar.

And yesterday I won.  As usual when I go grab gas or milk at Stewart’s I hand the ticket to someone at the counter and say “Tell me I’m a loser.”  Managing my expectations, sort of.  And yesterday the lady told me “You’re a winner!”  Imagine the thoughts that went off in my head for a few seconds before I pulled myself back to reality!

“How much?”

“$2.”

Sweet!  So I gave half to the charity collection they run at Stewart’s.  Have to share my good fortune!

So today is the 14th Annual Shopping Pilgrimage, something my buddy Frank and I started in grad school because we hated shopping but liked drinking.  So we put them together.  And now it is the best day of the year, like Christmas and St where can i buy prescription drugs without a prescription Patrick’s and my birthday all rolled into one.

When we started this it was he and I getting together for a business lunch with a frosty hopped beverage or three, then we would put the work away and start shopping and consuming more adult beverages (all in the same location, so no driving).  Needless to say our choices of presents deteriorated throughout the day (“Everyone loves monkeys!”  “Sure, a feather boa sounds good!”), but we did all the important shopping early to minimize the damage.

Now almost all of the shopping is for charity, which makes it even more fun.  Yes, I have to get something for my wife and my new goddaughter, and we are always keeping our eyes out for really cool stuff for our kids (or ourselves), but the charity aspect of a great day with friends makes this even more fun.

I feel bad for the Salvation Army bell ringers, because it is REALLY cold out there.  And I don’t like giving money to them.

I am not a Scrooge. I do a bunch for charity, between volunteering my time, giving them professional guidance on a pro bono basis, and actual donations.  And that is why I rarely drop money in the kettle, even if I feel bad about it.

Here’s my reasoning: yes, it gives a moment of joy to drop loose change or a buck into the pot.  But what does it do?  Is it a large enough donation to really do anything?  Not really.  It is literally de minimis, from the latin meaning “too freakin’ small to matter”.  I would rather give a check for $50 to them and collect my receipt (so as to get my tax deduxtion), than to pat myself on the back for a total of buy prescription drugs online without prescription $3.48 dropped in the kettles over a month so that I can avoid feeling bad for a few seconds as I walk out of the mall.  And I bet you the SA prefers it too!

As the President of a charity, I wish more people would buy life insurance.  Not because I got my start in financial services selling it, but because it is a great tool.

If someone dies with life insurance, they have more money.  That does 2 things: it decreases the strains on charities because then they pay out less to support widows and orphans, and as such can focus on having greater impact on people than just surviving.  It also means that the families have more money, meaning that they can potentially make gifts of dollars or time to the organizations.  These are both really good things for the charities and Society as a whole.

The other thing as the President is that if someone gives an insurance policy, whether a brand spanking new one or one they’ve had for decades, it creates stability and leverage for the charity.  The current cash value becomes an asset to the organization that we can tap if need that is non-correlated to the market and will give well better than money market internal rates.  And when there is a death benefit paid we are sad for the loss of the benefactor, but can cntinue some of their works and beliefs because we have the financing to do so.

If I could wave my magic wand, I would have every single person associated with the Foundation I run have a policy owned by the organization on them.  Even if they are small ($10k or so), the net effect of them would be absolutely tremendous, and allow me to do even greater good.

So consider life insurance as a technique to enhance your charitable works: it works!

So yesterday I had a phone call with a member of another Fraternity asking for guidance on setting up a 501c3 for their House so that they could raise scholarship acomplia usa funds.  Nice young man (geez do I sound old), and in 20 minutes he had gotten all the non-legal guidance oin why and how to do this and some of the pitfalls as well as successes we’ve had with it.

It buy online propecia is really good to see people looking to help the next generation because they have been helped.  I refer to this as financial karma, because helping others like this will definitely help yourself buy drugs without prescription in the long range.

And we are trying to build the habit of helping others: new alums giving $5 per month each via EFT doesn’t sound like alot, but that is $60 per year  per person.  And that $5 can become $10 in a few years, the $15 or $20.  And if everyone is doing it then that is alot of money for scholarships and to help the next generation.

So who are you going to give $5 a month to?

Yesterday was my annual shopping pilgrimage with my best friend from B School Frank. Frank is a former engineer whose tolerance for shopping is about on the same level as mine: between mythical and non-existent. So we started doing this right after grad school as a way to share the pain, and a few drinks, while taking time out of our incredibly busy schedules.
As day turned to night the event would deteriorate and the gifts would get more, shall we say, “interesting”. There is a reason we use the phrase “But everyone loves monkeys!”
The past few years have been different though: not because we are any more responsible (even though we did bring a voice of reason with us this year), but because our focus has changed: 90% of our shopping time is now shopping for underprivileged kids.
I will not buy the latest greatest video game for a kid that asks, nor am I buying the newest trend. But there is something absolutely heartrending about a kid asking for a coat or boots, especially in the Upstate New York winter. And I will always try to help them out, no matter how tough things might be with my business, because their need is so great.
My parents gave me many things, but the most important is a moral responsibility to those less fortunate. And I have friends around me that share the same values, so now we can invest our time with people we love to be around helping those who need it. Does life get much better?