This year, my husband and I called a family meeting and put $10,000 on the dining room table. We told the kids, "This money is yours, but it comes with some guidelines. The lump sum will go to charities of your choosing."
Whether it is Hanukkah or Thanksgiving, Christmas or Winter Solstice, New Year's Eve or a festival of light, the human instinct to move closer to the source of light and life intensifies when the world around us grows darker and colder.
Many non-profits can only survive through volunteerism. Your time is a precious commodity to them. If you can't give money, give an hour or one day a month. If you're out of work, you might even find a new passion or connection.
No amount of philanthropic strategy-building or implementation fills my soul nearly as much as just sitting with a friend and letting them unfold. Be heard. Open up. Melt away walls. It's intimacy in its most authentic form.
This holiday season, as our own thoughts turn aspirational for ourselves and those we love, permit to suggest the logic of not just wishing for health and long life, but gifting them. I believe the right approach allows for exactly that.
Homes have been flattened, school yards mangled and businesses blown away. These are things I'd come expecting to see. After a storm like the one on November 8, it's a wonder anything was left standing.
I think about this scripture as we begin to celebrate the forthcoming holidays. How have we shifted the way we show honor? Is it true in spirit, bestowed to those who are deserving or have we become misaligned with the hopes of attaining a false sense of belonging?
When you find yourself caught in the grip of the mental stress of doubt, expectation, or social comparison, you can take a moment of pause and then consciously put your attention on the things (big and small) for which you are grateful.
This year, have you thought about a charitable donation? Not throwing money out into the void, hoping that some good will come of it, but giving to one of the charities that are taking the new "hand-up, not handout" approach to helping.
Living and travelling around the world, I meet many extraordinary grandmothers; women like Nana who represent the selfless heroes of our world. They make extraordinary sacrifices to support their families.
#GivingTuesday, which started as a domestic push to increase charitable donations and volunteering following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, has now gone international, with new countries signing on board for this year.
There's one form of giving that involves few costs, while offering offers dramatic benefits to the people around us. It's the single best way to help someone fall in love, and the most common way that people find a job. It's also the reason that the Beatles and the iPhone came to exist.
Let's turn that trend, and everyone's cameras, around and start taking "UNselfie" pictures. These "UNselfie" pictures could be of people doing good things, of acts of kindness, of compassion in action! Being UNselfish!
Imagine you're among the world's poorest: you've never had enough for your family, let alone to spare. But today, for the first time, you will become a giver, and you will give your neighbor roughly half your wealth.
I spied an endearing act of kindness the other day while picking up a few items at a local store. A young boy standing in the check-out line holding a piggy bank received both a gift and a lifelong lesson when the store manager refused to take the little boy's money to pay for the bank.