Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Giving Thanks. Giving Back.

I am not a religious person in terms of adhering to a strict institutional approach to spirituality, but do feel "religious" and particularly can get behind the concept of tithing as an important way of contributing to one's community and beyond. I made a commitment to myself that I would donate a portion of the proceeds from my work to targeted non-profit organization at year's end. While I wish I could do more..I feel like even my small gifts have an impact and "keep me in shape" for future giving.
I think people feel like they cannot donate until they have a lot more money or because they do not have "enough" to give.  If everyone gave what they could--even if just a little--it would all add up for the organization in need.
This year, my kids have also decided to give to groups that do things they care about. They have saved money from gifts as well as from selling lemonade and handmade jewelry (my daughter is a budding designer!) My son: Grass Roots Soccer--an organization in South Africa that he visited this summer that is teaching township kids soccer and life skills.  My daughter: San Francisco SPCA.
As for me--I am donating to some dynamic local organizations:  Meritus Fund--provides financial assistance and mentoring to at-risk high school kids interested in attending college; Bernal Height Neighborhood Association--a stable force of low income housing development in San Francisco; San Francisco Food Bank; SF ARTS ED--places artists in the public schools in San Francisco to create art programming.
So give what you can this year and if you cannot give any financial help--give some of your time to help a local organization.