I’m a giver. I give time as a volunteer. I give money to my causes of choice. But it wasn’t until this year that I gave everything quite so freely. Then again, never in my adult life have these organizations needed my support so desperately.
This year, I’m giving to a broader array of organizations, some that I’ve never given to before, specifically because my friends and family are participating in various events — bike rides, races, walks, swims and triathlons. If they’re willing to make the commitment of time and energy to participate in these special events, the least I can do is ease some of their fundraising burden.
One friend committed to walk 39 miles in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in July to support her best friend, a survivor. Training, as you might imagine, was a bit brutal. And yet the thing that worried her most was meeting her $1,800 fundraising commitment in this economy. In spite of my editorial annoyance at the name (why is it the walk FOR breast cancer instead of AGAINST breast cancer?), I didn’t even hesitate before contributing.
The same holds true with other friends and colleagues. Swimming the San Francisco Bay to raise money for kids with cancer? Done. The Komen 5k in Philadelphia? Done. Team in Training century ride in Tahoe? Done. March for Babies? Done. If they’re willing to make the commitment, I’m willing to back them up. Period.
And of course, I continue to donate to the organization that has been near to my heart ever since childhood: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
I’m also making an added commitment of time. In addition to the annual report writing that I did for Asante Africa Foundation earlier in the year, I’m also involved in a branding project for Junior Achievement of Silicon Valley and Monterey through a Taproot Foundation grant. I’ll admit that sometimes it all feels a little bit overwhelming, but if my little bit of support can help keep a worthy cause going, then it’s worth the effort.