Finance writer says donations of time as important as money

Today’s troubled economy underlines the importance of giving not only money but also time and talent to a community, a personal finance writer and commentator said during an appearance Friday in Lawrence.

“It’s important to think about who out there can benefit,” Michelle Singletary said as she spoke to more than 100 people who attended the Women Philanthropists for Kansas University luncheon at the Adams Alumni Center.

“There is no excuse for us not to give back,” said Singletary, a nationally syndicated columnist for The Washington Post. Her column, “The Color of Money,” appears in 120 newspapers, including the Journal-World.

Singletary, who also can be heard on National Public Radio’s “Day to Day,” talked about how frugal she is and how her grandmother was her inspiration. Singletary and her four siblings were taken in and raised by her grandmother. A nurse’s assistant, her grandmother never made much money, and her grandfather had a drinking problem.

“Who would take in five grandchildren? That’s giving. That’s my inspiration for giving,” Singletary said.

In response to a question from the audience, Singletary said her family picks a few charities they especially believe in to make contributions.

“It’s equally important to not just give our money but give your time,” she said.

Singletary also talked about the ministry she founded called Prosperity Partners, which matches people who handle money well as mentors to others facing financial challenges. She said the ministry reflects her passion for being frugal and wise with money.