Like most people, I’m hoping to make the world a better place. But without kids of my own or any nieces or nephews, what’s the best way to go about doing so? In today’s post, I’ll talk about what I’m doing today and also ask for your input regarding other ways I can make a positive impact.
A recent post by Steve over at ThinkSaveRetire.com really resonated with me. And I left a lengthy comment saying just that. One thing I failed to mention in that comment was an explanation of exactly why I don’t plan to have kids. Primarily, I’ve always felt that I could have a more positive impact on the world by not having any kids. Being childless has provided me with extra time and money and that’s what I’m using to create my legacy.
Large Scale Impact
I’ve mentioned before that my favorite charity is Donors Choose. I love being able to directly impact a classroom and the kids in it, either in my own community or across the country. This is by far where most of my donations go. I have to admit that it makes me really sad to see teachers asking for money to buy basic supplies. These kids will be running the country one day so I’m a firm believer in ensuring they have a strong educational foundation. This is the same reason why I vote in favor of school bonds. I just don’t understand why we don’t do more for our public schools or at least give teachers the basic supplies they need so they can focus on teaching.
In addition to Donors Choose, I give to various organizations, albeit not as often and not even close dollar-wise. These include ASPCA, Animal Humane Society, Minnesota Public Radio, PBS, Second Harvest Heartland, and my alma mater. There are so many great causes that I care about — I just wish there was more money to go around.
Even though I don’t have any blood-related little kids in my life, I do get to be auntie to my friends’ kids. One of my closest friends has a 5-year-old and 3-year-old. Since I despise buying toys for gifts, I asked her if I could instead set up custodial brokerage accounts for them. She happily agreed so I’ve been putting money into their accounts for each birthday and Christmas gift and the accounts will be theirs when they turn 21. The hope is that we can use these not only as a place to grow money, but as educational tools to help them understand investing and compounding. The accounts are both invested in total stock market index funds and, thankfully, have done quite well.
My hope is that these two methods of creating a legacy can help leave a positive impact on the world. I would love to have a building named after me one day but it’s far less about the recognition and all about the possibility of helping others.
Is there anything you’re doing or plan to do to leave a legacy, especially if you don’t plan to have kids? Is there anything more I can do to make a difference? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.