The new year usually results in a lot of bad moods. It's understandable -- this is the time of year when most folks begin diets, quit smoking, give up alcohol, return to the grind of the day job, see the balance on their credit cards soar, hear all the dismal economic news, start worrying about filing their taxes and so on. I can't think of a month I like less than January.
Things are a bit worse all the way around this year, thanks to the recession, the stock market crisis and soaring unemployment. I've been getting flooded with public and private charity requests. There are a lot of people in need out there, there always are, but I expect it will escalate very rapidly in the months ahead.
I had to turn down a lot of folks this month who asked for donations or for me to post solicitations for donations here at PBW. I wish I could help everyone, but no one has unlimited resources, not even me. In the past I've used PBW a few times to promote causes I felt were deserving, but I really have to stop that now. People are getting upset with me for not automatically giving my support. They don't understand that if I did that, this place would eventually turn into Paperback Writer's Charity Blog.
I'm going back to the way I used to handle publishing charity-related/fund-raising activities, which was privately or anonymously. I've worked with a few of you out there on projects like that in the past, and I think you'll agree it's the best way for me to stay actively involved without raising unrealistic expectations or causing hurt feelings.
As my final charity request here at the blog, I'd like to remind everyone that although it's January, and everyone is in a bad mood, and many of you are also being flooded with requests, please don't let that to stop you from helping others. Doing your part doesn't have to be a big huge deal. If you have a couple of extra bucks in your Paypal account, donate it to someone in need. If money is tight, clean out your closets or your pantry and donate what you aren't using to a family shelter or a food bank. If you have a free afternoon, volunteer your time at a local school or library or hospital. But do what you can when you can, and stay involved.