Trump is in The White House. The stock market is up. Everyone feels good about the future. What about start giving and sharing your love?
Every year, I get the impression that most people don’t even know why they are shopping anymore. They feel that if they don’t jump on the opportunity of a good sale, they would be losing something, and the consequences can extend to feeling like a less smart or competent individual.
I have always been inspired by the book “The Art of Giving” by Stuart E. Jacobson, a superb illustrated coffee-table book of stories about gift giving. Each story is by a famous figure, such as Cole Porter, Pierre Cardin, Halston, Salvador Dali, Rock Hudson, Rudolf Nureyev, Karl Lagerfeld, Vivien Leigh, Cecil Beaton and Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis among others, and details how they exchange and share gifts. The stories describe different types of gifts: the romantic gift, the gift for any occasion, the gift of appreciation, the gift of friendship, and the gift of largesse are just a few examples of how these well-known personalities have expressed love and admiration for their loved ones. Though the stories are grand, the true sentiment behind each one resonates.
Wealthy or not, when giving a gift, what is important is the message that it carries, that someone is being thought of, that we took time from our busy lives to look for something that represents our gratitude, which is harder to do during other parts of the year. The holiday season is a time when we are more inclined to give, and to give correctly is an art form. It is also a time to spend with family and friends, which should serve to remind us how blessed we are to be healthy and surrounded by loved ones, and to think of those who aren’t in the same position, those who fell victim to life’s bigger challenges.
Almost everywhere we go, we can find a box or jar for collecting funds for some charity to help people in need, but nothing is more upsetting than when you give to a charity and then months later it’s featured on a CNN segment and Anderson Cooper is exposing what the charity really did with the millions of dollars that people donated. With that in mind, I have selected a few legitimate charities worth giving to below. Let them be a reminder that the spirit of giving should include giving to the less fortunate:
World Vision: By sponsoring a child, you can help to transform their community.
curePC: By supporting curePC, you will help The Lustgarten Foundation get closer to finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.
The Malala Fund: This fund aims to give every girl the means to reach her true potential through education.
Donors Choose: This is a dynamic way of helping public teachers give their students what they need.
Bags4Kids: You can provide comfort bags for misplaced children who are victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Topsy Foundation: Play an important part in helping someone relive their most important moments.
Aid For AIDS: Help prevent homelessness and hunger to low-income people living with HIV and AIDS.
Susan G. Komen: Her legacy is remembered every day though this foundation, which became the world’s largest breast cancer organization.
Limbs For Life: A global organization that provides fully functional prosthetic care for those who cannot afford it.
Donate Life America: Register as an organ donor, because after all, the best gift is the gift of life.