While most college students struggle to pay for tuition and textbooks, 22-year-old Reagan Toal made it her mission to give at least 10% of her earnings to charitable causes this holiday season. It will be no small feat for a college senior who earns just $20,000 per year as a part-time marketing manager. Toal has been donating 2% to 4% of her pay to charity for years. This year, she’s rearranging her entire holiday budget in order to more than double her typical contribution.
“It seems much more worthwhile than buying extravagant gifts at this time,” Toal told MagnifyMoney. “A present doesn't have to be expensive to be meaningful.”
Giving back to the community was ingrained in Toal from an early age and was solidified during her teenage years participating on missions trips to developing nations through her church. She also learned from her grandparents, who donated half their income to charity each year and started a foundation that benefits orphanages and medical centers.
“The experiences I gained from my family consistently volunteering made me resolute about giving every year, whatever I can,” Toal says.
Toal typically chooses a different cause to contribute to each year. This year, she decided to split her roughly $2,000 donation equally between two organizations: charity: water, which builds water wells to combat disease in developing countries, and eMite, a nonprofit that encourages microdonations and provides updates that allow donors to see their donations at work.