I’m so sorry for the dead air on here. First it was the holidays, then I fell deathly sick with the flu (it got me bad) and after being away for so long, it’s so hard to figure out where to begin. I felt like my birthday might be most appropriate :).
First, thank you all for the tweets, texts, calls, fb messages on my birthday. I’m always overwhelmed and so touched by the people who reach out and make the day more special. Whereas last year, I had similar reflections but felt like I embraced my birthday in a very different way, I wanted to make this one count in a more selfless way. On a serious note, there was so much negativity going on in this world towards the end of the year — the shootings, the rapes, the violence — that I started reflecting on how I can do something on my birthday to ‘give back’ in whatever little way. Mostly because I was feeling grateful…when normally it’s so easy to get caught up in what’s not going right to ignore all that you have, I was feeling spoiled. There are so many tremendous people in my life, all thanks to God…this was a time I didn’t want to lose sight of all of those things.
A couple weeks before my birthday, I came up with an idea to use my wall of the normal ‘happy birthday’ facebook posts and translate that to how much I’d donate to charity. It’s a small gesture, but the point was every single person is in my life for a reason and every single person i come across inspires me in some way. I wanted some sort of measured way to show how grateful I am. And quite simply, fb was just the easiest place to track where people come together so that’s why I decided to go that route.
Anyway, I started researching charities to donate to and was overwhelmed. What makes once cause more significant than the other? I know there’s no answer to that, but maybe there was a way to donate to several causes. I put out that thought on Twitter, and I was pointed to 1:Face Watch by my friend Mufti. I thought it was a really cool concept: you can buy their watches and based on the color you purchase, you are donating to a specific cause: Hunger, Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Environment, Water.
I decided this could work in two folds: I buy a bunch of watches to help these causes, and then distribute the watches to friends to help raise awareness for each. But I’m also wondering if it’s better to donate directly to a charity instead. Or do half and half? Either way, I’d love to get some feedback on what you think would be the most effective way to give back, or even a charity you think would be a good place to donate to.
Thanks so much for your help, and again, thanks for making this birthday so special :).