Giving Thanks

It’s easy to find a multitude of things to be thankful for, and I like that the US has a holiday for reflecting on how lucky we’ve been. Today we’ve been hanging out with friends and cooking up a vegetarian/vegan feast, including a tofurducken:

Mad and I had our five-year wedding anniversary last month; last year we decided to donate N% of our joint gross yearly income to effective charities each year for our anniversary, where N is the number of years we’ve been married, so we’re up to 5% this year. We decided to publish the list of charities we’ve chosen, both to show which charities we like donating to and to encourage others to consider doing something similar. My choices this year are:

Oxfam has an excellent reputation for fighting poverty in developing countries.

Givewell is a non-profit attempting to apply quantitative rigor to measuring how effective charities are, and VillageReach is in their #1 spot; they’ve proven themselves reliably able to save the lives of infants for under $1000 per child.

PSI works on global health, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and family planning.

The Fistula Foundation and ReSurge (formerly Interplast) treat health problems that we don’t see much of ourselves because they’re far more common in the developing world — a fistula operation, for example, is clearly life-transforming, and can be funded for $450.

The EFF and Tor Project fall under the banner of helping people to use technology to demand better government and uncensored access to information.


  1. The N% of your joint gross yearly income is a very aggresive policy. I hope it won’t become a cause of divorce in 50 years or so 🙂

  2. > I hope it won’t become a cause of divorce in 50 years or so 🙂

    I guess there are two answers here:

    * Well, in fifty years we’ll be 80, so I would expect *income* to be low at that point, even though savings will hopefully be high.
    * That said, I think you’re making the general point that life circumstances change and maybe we won’t be able to do this forever, and I agree — maybe we won’t be able to keep this up once we have kids, for example. I still think it’s the right thing to do now, though, and hope to be able to keep it going. 🙂

  3. Nice sentiment. My wife and I do something similar, though we are more of a flat rate kind of plan. 🙂

    God Bless this holiday season.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *