The war in Ukraine is upsetting to everyone who is paying attention to it. As with other humanitarian disasters, there are calls for donations. I made a donation to an organization I know that helps Ukrainians, having donated to them in the past when a dear friend began volunteering for them.

Did I donate a nice amount? Yes. Could have given more? I think about that kind of thing often because of the book, The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer (no relation). The very first story in the book, explains much of Singer’s argument:

On your way to work, you pass a small pond. On hot days, sometimes children play in the pond, which is only about knee-deep. The weather’s cool today, though, and the hour is early, so you are surprised to see a child splashing about in the pond. As you get closer, you see that it is a very young child, just a toddler, who is flailing about, unable to stay upright or walk out of the pond. You look for the parents or babysitter, but there is no one else around. The child is unable to keep her head above the water for more than a few seconds at a time. If you don’t wade in and pull her out, she seems likely to drown. Wading in is easy and safe, but you will ruin the new shoes you bought only a few days ago, and get your suit wet and muddy. By the time you hand the child over to someone responsible for her and change your clothes, you’ll be late for work. What should you do?

Despite the cost of the shoes, the dry cleaning, etc., when Singer tells that story, of course, everyone responds that they would save the child. Singer goes on to explain many children die every day because of a lack of funds for food, medical treatment, disease prevention, and more, and by donating a relatively small amount of money, much less than the amount any of us would willingly sacrifice by jumping into that pond, you can save a child’s life.

There are many ways we can give: money, blood, food, clothing, our time, and more.

If you want to donate money to organizations that make a tremendous impact, Singer’s organization can help. As they explain on the home page of their website: they make “smart giving simple” by recommending charities that save lives and improve well-being where each dollar goes the furthest. Having done the research already, (they) make it easy for (their) donors to support charities that are proven to be highly impactful. If you would like to read Singer’s book, you can download it free as an eBook or audiobook here.

Every two months or so, I donate blood at the blood donation center nearest where I live. To find the blood donation center closest to where you live, simply Google it.

And if you want to donate your time, just Google “how to donate my time near me,” or ask friends who are already doing that kind of thing

Be well,