According to a public radio report I heard recently, the annual World Giving Index says the people of the U.S. give more to charity than any other nation in the world. That is wonderful. I don’t remember the numbers. It was something like 1.9 percent of our income as a country. Even though it is the most compared to other country, it still seems like a small amount to me.

In qnotes’ Dec. 6-19, 2013 print edition, we published our feature, “Did you do your part?” and our annual Community Assessment Survey of local and regional non-profits. We explored just how little money our local groups receive from individual donors. It really surprised me. I was equally surprised by the 2011 giving reported by the Movement Advancement Project. It noted that only three percent of LGBT folks in the U.S. had given the national organizations it surveyed $35 or more that year. Those results stayed the same for the Project’s recently-released 2012 report.

We can do better!

No matter your religious beliefs, if we take the principle of tithing and give of our income and time, we have done our part. If we all give at least one dollar a day and volunteer one hour a week to an organization or a church of our own choice, just imagine what a difference it would make. The thousands of dollars and thousands of hours would do as much for us individually as for the recipient organizations.

To tithe is to give 10 percent of one’s income. Many do that. If you don’t feel you can do that, it’s alright. Give what you feel like you can. Cut back on something — dinner out, that $6 cup of coffee or that new pair of shows that you don’t have room for anyway. I hope and believe that your gifts of time and finances will grow as you give because you will be the one receiving the blessings through your own gifts.

Bottom line, I am asking each of you to make a commitment to give back to your own community — at least one dollar a day and one hour a week in 2014. Let’s show the world that we can do better than 1.9 percent and the Movement Advancement Project that we can really support our LGBT organizations.

I have no doubt it will mean so much to our organizations and to yourself. Give a blessing and be blessed.

Have a happy and prosperous new year! : :