What do Matt Damon, Michael J. Fox, Andre Agassi, and Bette Midler have in common?
They all have created charities. Matt Damon co-created Water.org, Michael J. Fox the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Andre Agassi has the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, and Bette Midler the New York Restoration Project.
It reminds me of when I was a very young child and I was taught to tithe, giving 10% of my allowance in the Sunday collection plate. (I was the preacher’s daughter).
Beyond that the teaching encourages us to give offerings in addition to the 10% tithe. Something I’ve always admired about my parents is that though we were poor, they modeled for me how both tithes and offerings are important in giving. So beginning with my allowance when I was 7, to my paper route earnings when I was 10, to my tips as a waitress in high school and college, my tithes and offerings have been something I have taken seriously.
I’ve been one of the lucky ones in this world. All it takes is a glance through the newspaper or a look at CNN headlines to know that while my income has gone through some lean years, it was never as bad as what 85% of the world’s population experiences.
While I may no longer direct all of my giving to a church, to me it feels obvious that having received so much, I have a responsibility to share.
This year I set a goal that NICABM would donate $100,000 to charity.
So how did we do? Well, take a look:
- $37,500 – Doctors without Borders
- $36,500 – Save the Children
- $15,000 – Smile Train
- $12,435 – Barre Centre for Buddhist Studies
- $5,000 – CT Public Broadcasting
- $5,500 – Windham Hospital Foundation in Windham, CT
- $4,000 – Amnesty International
- $2,000 – WAIM (a local ministry to help the poor)
- $2,000 – FINCA
- $2,000 – AmeriCares
- $2,000 – Covenant Soup Kitchen
- $1,000 – The Salvation Army
- $1,000 – Amherst NPR Station
- $1,000 – Hurlock Family Fund (for a local family)
- $1,000 – Oxfam
- $1,000 – Habitat for Humanity
- $1,000 – Democracy Now
- $1,000 – World Vision
- $1,000 – International Justice Mission
- $1,000 – Open Windows Foundation
- $1,000 – Perception Programs
- $500 – CT Audubon Society
- $500 – Insight Meditation
- $500 – ASPCA
- $200 – The Mansfield Holiday Fund in Mansfield, CT
- $100 – Windham Textile Museum
There’s always more that can be done and so we are looking ahead to next year.
Soon we will be discounting one of our programs and offering it as the Holiday Special 2011. Not only will there be a significantly reduced price, but we will be giving half of the sales to charity.
Which charity? That’s something the staff gets to choose, so I’ll let you know in my next blog post.
Where do you feel most compelled to give, whether it be money, time, or services? Please leave a comment below.