My friend commented, "I'm so sick of people bragging about how charitable they are." So what if they brag? Good for them -- as long as it translates to dollars spent on worthy causes. We brag about everything else we do, so why not add charitable giving to that list?
Decorating the tree and shopping just seem so much more joyful when you are doing it with someone by your side. Well, I would like to share a Christmas story with you that just might warm your heart and help you see this season through different eyes.
Great donors to organizations are those who are passionately committed to the cause. And numbers, no matter how "good" they may be, will never inspire the type of passion and commitment that organizations need.
With just a few days to go before Christmas, many Americans will be rushing around completing their Christmas preparations: doing their last minute shopping, finalizing travel plans, figuring out how to deal with awkward family dynamics.
I was one whiff of B.O. away from some serious lid-flippage when suddenly a strong notion came upon me. I tried to quiet the voice in my head, but it continued to compel me to do something that I had no desire to do. "Give her the toys."
It was the realization that this man -- who lived day to day, in the cold, hard landscape of Manhattan, without knowing where he would sleep next, or where his next meal would come from -- was, in that moment, offering me half of all he had.
Daily giving has brought me closer to my family and to my community. It has enriched and blessed my life. The initial impulse to be more connected to and engaged in my giving -- has resulted in me receiving so much more than I've given.
When his aunt's blood pressure spiked, doctors knew Anthony Brown's aunt could not be a candidate to donate a kidney. He watched my mom go home from the hospital that day so dejected. At that point, he knew he 'kind of had to man up.'
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.