Behavioural scientists have long been fascinated with what drives people to donate to charities. Most people support charities in some way or another, but often struggle to make donations or interact with charities as often as we think we should. The good news is that giving is contagious – seeing others give makes an individual more likely to also give, and gentle encouragement from someone in your life can also make a big difference. Giving is a fundamentally social act, and research shows that spending money on others actually makes us happier than spending it on ourselves. This is a huge part of why Phone Credit for Refugees has grown so organically and successfully – not only are we giving to help others, but we’ve also become a close-knit community, and there’s a real joy in that. So, why do you donate?
One of our regular donors, Janice Gluck, tells us her reasons below:
I donate because it’s the right thing to do, and because these people are suffering and need a helping hand.
I also donate for personal reasons: during World War Two, my daughter's family were also refugees. Her grandmother (Marlies) and her parents (Max and Kitty) were living their lives in Holland when Germany invaded and Nazi's came looking for all the Jews to round up for death camps. Brave members of the Dutch underground hid them all, but Marlies was very young and couldn't keep quiet enough when the hiding place was searched. Marlies was sent out into the country to live on a farm. She was about 2 at the time and her hair colour started changing from blonde to brown. Nazi soldiers saw her and started to drag her to town to take her away. She was too slow though (wearing heavy clogs) so they told one of the kids on the farm to bring her to town. Instead, he hid her in a hay stack and ran to tell his parents. Marlies was moved to another place and made it through the war safely.
After she was reunited with her parents. They were stateless refugees for many years until finally coming to the US. If kind strangers had not saved Marlies, Kurt, and Kitty, and provided them with food, shelter, and clothing as refugees, I would not be here in the USA with my wonderful daughter living a good life.
So that is why I donate...because refugees are people just like we are.
Click here to read Marlies' story in her own words.
The Phone Credit for Refugees team