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New Years Eve

New Years Eve, Harry met sally

It seems that there are two types of people, those that love New Years Eve and those that don’t. It is one of those holidays that comes with expectations and the inevitable question from all, “What are you doing for New Years Eve?” Once upon a time, that question came with the need to find THE best plans…..perhaps the pressure had something to do with growing up in Pasadena, a West Coast epi-center of New Years with the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl Game and all the parties that go with it.

Don’t get me wrong, we will still be going to parties, walking the parade route at midnight to see the floats come out and celebrating with friends. Yet, something has changed….New Years Eve conjours up different feelings. There is no need for plan approval, to please or to attend THE party…whatever or wherever that may be.

New Years Eve is a time to say goodbye to last year, put it behind, celebrate all that was good and look ahead. More importantly, New Year begins the process of gratitude and reflection. What did we do last year that made someone else’s life better? What did we do that made our own life better? And, what are we going to do in the New Year? These are the questions that make New Years Eve a worthy holiday…..

So, rather than asking what are you doing for New Years Eve, perhaps the question we should all be asking is what are you doing?

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

Charity Matters.

 

 

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Years End

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”

Hal Borland

years end, packing up holidays

As we begin taking down the decorations and packing another holiday season away, the rituals that we complain about trigger  an innate reaction in each of us. Packing away the ornaments and decorations becomes a metaphor for packing away another year. We put away the old, we begin cleaning out not just closets but thoughts in our head.

What will you be happy to pack away this year? What wonderful memories will you cherish and keep high on the stack? We all have things to clean out, put away and new items to display. What are those moments you just can’t pack up yet?

This week brings packing, fun and reflection. Take time for all the rituals and realize that each step leads you closer to your New Year.

Charity Matters.

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The Morning After

The morning after Norman-Rockwell

Another Christmas has come and gone and it is the morning after. Today, is really one of my favorite days of the year. There is no pressure to please, no need for a perfect house, gift or outfit. Today is a day when we stay in our robes, sip our coffee slower, wade through piles of wrapping paper and assess the aftermath of Christmas.

More than that, it is the day that the pace is slowed, the memories cherished and the stomach and heart are full.

There is simply nothing more glorious than the morning after…

Charity Matters

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We Wish You a Merry Christmas

“May Peace “be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!”

 Author Unknown

christmas-eve

It’s here! Christmas Eve is here!

Tonight is the night we put out our cookies and milk and wait for Santa.

It is a night of hope, joy, wonder and family.

It is one of my favorite nights of the year.

I hope you have  the very Merriest Christmas.

Charity Matters.

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Last minute gift ideas

“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”
 

Oren Arnold

last minute gift ideas

Calling all last-minute shoppers……which I am one of!

There is not a sweater, a box big enough or a gift better than the ones above.

This year think about giving the gift of  forgiveness, tolerance, heart, service, charity and respect.

The greatest gifts of all for everyone on your list, especially for you.

Happy Shopping!

Charity Matters.

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Charity Matters Quotes: Love in Action

“Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”

“Dale Evans Rogers

More than 6,000 Santa Claus run in the 5.5k race in Madrid

I love this photo and if anything depicts love in action, it is thousands of Santa’s running for a charity race in Spain. The spirit of the season is everywhere, all around our world. We all have so much to do and so little time, which all the more reason to slow down our run and just observe the wonder of the season.

Christmas is love in action.

Its time to focus on the love.

Charity Matters.

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Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

With the millions of non-profits just in the United States, I often feel like my job is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To make the search easier, I have tried to keep the focus on people helping people in the United States. I have also tried to avoid politics and religion,  for the same obvious reasons that you don’t discuss them at holiday parties either. When searching for a holiday non-profit that shares the joy of the season and spreads the message of Christmas, I found myself breaking most of my rules this week.

The reason was because of a cause called Operation Christmas Child, which is part of a larger non-profit called  Samaritans purse. Their mission is to help the poor and suffering of the world, and yes there is a little religion mixed into the formula. However, once I saw the faces of these children and how easy it is to bring Christmas joy….I needed to share.

One of the ways they accomplish this mission is to have people put together a shoe box for a child with toys, school supplies, tooth paste, a handwritten note and a picture of the sender which are delivered all over the world to the neediest children.  The beauty is in the simplicity and the sheer joy of giving.

If  you are looking for a simple way to spread the love of Christmas for a few dollars, or looking for a project to do with your children creating a Christmas box  is simple. That is why 113 million of these have been sent since 1993. That is a huge amount of Christmas, joy and love.  At the end of the day, Christmas isn’t about rules it is about spreading love to all…

 

Charity Matters.

 

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It is better to give….

it is better to give...westjet14

You have heard me time and again talk about cause marketing, you know, using goodness to promote your brand. If there is one company that has done this so right and brings tears to my eyes each year it is this one…..

Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you are selling and just as the video says,” It is simply better to give than to receive.”

 

Charity Matters.

 

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Charity Matter Quotes: Christmas

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. “

Charles Dickens

CM quotes- Christmas dickens

Thirteen days and counting….thirteen days to enjoy the beauty, the lights, the wonder and joy that is the holiday season.

Be present, don’t worry about presents.

Be in the moment, for it will slip away if you are not.

Be grateful for all you have.

Be patient…

Be aware that time is a gift to savor with those that you love.

Charity Matters.

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The Last Noel

the first and last noel

Last night was my last Christmas pageant. I’m not sure how this happened? It seems that from the moment we utter our first words, we are dressed up and put in front of  crowds to sing holiday songs. Before we know it, we are the parents and are at our own children’s’ performances, waving, standing up, trying to get the picture.

Then in a flash, just like all those that were not supposed to go off tonight, it is over. Done. Those little voices become big, deep and squeaky. All the drama that went into getting the family looking festive for the pageant, (when in reality, festive is not really how anyone is feeling) is miraculously gone…again in that flash that wasn’t supposed to go off.

As we sat surrounded by parents of toddlers, it seemed almost impossible remembering that we were once those people ….. You know the ones with a screaming baby and a toddler climbing all over everyone? Yet, as I looked back at the young faces (parents and children) I felt a bit like I was looking in a mirror. I was that mother, who was so worried about upsetting everyone around her, rather than worrying about her child.

What would I tell my young self if I met her today? I would tell her to relax, it is all going to be ok. I would tell her that your children will not walk down the aisle sucking their thumbs, clean cloths really are not that important, and being in the moment when your child waves at you from the stage or sings at the top of their lungs with glee is what really matters.

More than anything I would say, it all goes by in a flash….. so enjoy every crazy precious moment.

 

Charity Matters.

 

 

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What a difference a # makes

difference a hashtag makes givingtuesday

I love all these days of giving that have been created in the past few years. More importantly, I find myself wondering what came from all the effort? Just because celebrities tweeted “unselfies” holding signs of causes they care about…was something actually accomplished more than a social media whirl and many a #hashtag ? I am happy to report that the answer is yes, there was much accomplished last #GivingTuesday and much giving done.

The numbers of giving were up 64 percent! That equates to non profits raising nearly $46 million dollars in donations, compared to last years $28 million,  according to early estimates from Indiana University’s Lily Family School of Philanthropy.

What I think is even more fantastic was the volunteering efforts that went along with the day. Last Tuesday, volunteers had clothing drives, tutoring projects and a wide range of activities aimed at helping local non-profits across the country. Almost 18,000 charity, corporate and civic partners registered to officially be a part of Giving Tuesday this year.

Sheila Herring from the Case Foundation was quoted as saying,”The biggest thing for us is that Giving Tuesday directly challenges Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where you have analysts lining up to look at the numbers as a gauge of the health of our economy. What if, as a nation, we focused that kind of attention on giving and we wanted that to be our identity?”

If a #hashtag and a celebrity “unselfie” is what it takes to get us thinking, acting and giving then #allforhashtages, #givewithmeaning, #makingadifference and of course my favorite #charitymatters.

 

Charity Matters.

 

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Charity Matters Quotes: Giving

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

St. Francis of Assisi

CM-giving ChristmasVacation

Its Friday and the Christmas season is here! This weekend many of us will get our trees, begin to pull out the boxes of decorations, order our holiday cards or start some Christmas shopping.  All of these are acts of giving.

We decorate to give our families and neighbors a sense of our holiday joy, those Christmas lights are for them. The cards that we agonized over and spend late nights addressing are gifts we are sending to those that we love.

The shopping, is no different. We do this because it is more fun to give than to receive.

This holiday season think about the act of giving as you complete each one of these tasks. My guess is that rather than feeling like a chore, it will bring you joy in knowing that you have made someone else’s day, view or holiday a little bit brighter because you gave.

Charity Matters.

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#GivingTuesday

Giving tuesday 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is now ready to jump into the season. It is the most wonderful time of the year and it is December 1st today, so the holiday season has officially arrived. I know that the stores have been telling us since before Halloween that Christmas and the holidays were coming but we all know that this season is really about, love and giving.

Just like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, we now have an offical day to give called Giving Tuesday.  Giving Tuesday  was created to promote the simple act of giving to a cause you care about. This day and now movement began as something to counter Black friday and Cyber monday, It was started by New York’s 92nd Street Y, which has 139 years of fundraising experience. They reached out to the United Nations Foundation and joined as partners. Soon after, big corporations and non-profits signed on to help spread the word and the rest is history, as they say.

As you sit down this week to make out your Christmas list, think about adding the causes you care about to your list. Or perhaps, giving a donation in someone’s name to their favorite cause?  Think about how you feel when you give and what is important to you?  Giving Tuesday is a beautiful reminder of what is  important every day of the year, not just tomorrow.  If you do decide to give, there is no time like the present.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.