This April, I found myself walking on a wet concrete floor, wet and covered with mud and manure, surrounded by cows.The smells might not have been too uncommon, but the scenery was anything but normal for this suburban boy.
Recent reports show that children seem to be falling through the cracks of an otherwise strengthened system nationwide, becoming homeless at an alarming rate and with no immediate relief in sight.
Research shows that children are born ready to learn, but for 16 million children living in poverty in the U.S alone, many families are not set up with the necessary resources to provide their child with a healthy start in life.
It may be counterintuitive and unglamorous in the world of sexy startups and high-stakes buyouts, but it's also my truth: The spirit of giving over the holidays is what led me to the world of investing.
We may be at a place where the Great Recession can move from the forefront and into our rearview mirrors. It could be the year when Santa adds something extra to the bottom line of retailers everywhere. We shall see. Don't forget, today is Giving Tuesday.
But all it takes is simple, small acts of kindness to change a single life for the better. When we all do it together, our collective efforts create real change.
Over the next several weeks -- as we navigate mall parking lots, fill our shopping carts and test our patience in check-out lines -- let's not lose sight of what's behind this excitement. It all comes down to the simple act of giving.
Having books on the shelves of homes, classrooms, libraries, and community centers alone won't solve all our education challenges, but coupled with literacy programs and family engagement, it is one of the first, basic steps we can take to ensure all children are prepared to succeed academically.
We are beginning to see glimmers of hope that this deadly virus can be stopped, but much work remains to be done. It is time now for Americans, as individuals, to step up and show their compassion for the people of West Africa.
Education -- the backbone of these countries' futures -- is not immune to Ebola's insidious reach.
For every four women and every seven men, there is someone who like Teresa is experiencing abuse. With just $20, we can help change that and give hope to someone this holiday season.
Here are a few ideas you can try at your own dinner table to encourage everyone in your family to explore reasons to feel grateful.
Here's a little twist as we celebrate this emerging annual tradition of Giving Tuesday. Instead of using the day to make actual charitable gifts, might we use the day to just take a pause and reconsider the meaning of giving in our lives?
I had taken birthing classes to educate and prepare myself, and avoided reading books that highlighted all the things that could go wrong. It wasn't just an act of self-preservation, it was knowing the sad reality that thousands of pregnant women face daily.
On this Giving Tuesday, where charity is a priority for all of us who have shelter, health and peace, we all must act on behalf of the 51 million.
This Giving Tuesday, let's think twice about our overhead obsession and what it might mean for the very same organizations we're rooting for. And let's give thanks to those who have chosen careers dedicated to solving big problems that affect us all.