Writing a check to a charitable organization is honorable but if you can raise the bar with charitable giving by showing up to fundraising events, that is even sweeter.
When I was in my twenties, I read how one multi-millionaire, Jon Huntsman Sr., got in the habit long before he was a multi-millionaire, of making charitable giving a lifelong habit. When he was first starting out, when there wasn’t much money to spare, he and his wife would set aside $5.00 each month to give to a worthy cause. They knew there was a great need to lift and help others and they wanted to make a difference. Their humble, selfless priority made a huge impact on me. That’s why I decided long ago, that no matter how much money I made, I would always find some way to regularly give back through charitable giving.
Charity Café says, “The power of giving comes from a selfless act – where you simply give from your heart. This act of charitable giving is not tied to any special event, holiday or celebration – it is merely a time when you give from the heart because you want to share what you have, show your appreciation and you give because you truly care. There should not be any other motive behind it. You don’t give so that you can get something in return. You give because you want to.”
Through the years, I mostly did my charitable giving by writing checks to help fight things like cancer, heart disease, lymphoma, and human trafficking. But now in midlife, with more time and resources, I’ve found that I can raise the bar with my charitable giving by showing up and supporting worthwhile causes.Enhance your #Midlife. Take advantage of opportunities to raise the bar with charitable giving and make a difference Click To Tweet
Recently, I was at a networking meeting where I met Dana and Bruce Atlas. They were there to talk about their non-profit, Marcus’ Heart Foundation and their upcoming fundraiser, the 8th Annual Laugh Out Loud Comedy Show and Scholarship Fundraiser.
I listened compassionately as they shared the story of their son—and hero—Marcus A. Tynes. After graduating from high school, Marcus enlisted in the United States Army. His long-term goal was to attend college while serving in the Army, earn a criminal justice degree, become a police officer, transition to the SWAT team and ultimately become a detective. Unfortunately, he was not able to see his plans to completion because PFC Marcus Tynes lost his life in combat at age 19 while on patrol with his fellow officer. Their Humvee drove over an IED in Zabul, Afghanistan only a few months after Marcus had arrived in the country.
To honor his memory, Dana and Bruce started the foundation. Money raised provides support to graduating high school seniors that have been accepted to academic institutions of higher learning. The foundation also helps soldiers during challenging times as they transition back to civilian life. Their main fundraiser is the Laugh Out Loud event: dinner, silent auction, gift baskets, and clean comedian entertainment because Marcus loved to smile, laugh and tell jokes.
After hearing Dana and Bruce’s presentation, I knew in my heart that my husband and I needed to go to the fundraiser and support this great cause. When I told my husband about it, he appreciated the story but he wasn’t too keen on going at first for a couple of reasons. One, he didn’t know the family, the foundation or another soul that would be attending. And two, we just have never done anything like this before. Writing a check is a whole lot easier than paying for and showing up at an event. I spent some time helping him get used to the idea. After all, I said, what is there not to want to support: grieving parents, young scholars starting on their path, the military, our country, and clean comedy. After the initial trepidation, he agreed and I purchased the tickets. And boy, were we glad we did!!
We met new and interesting people at our table that came to the event from different places. One couple knew Bruce and provided the gift basket from Southwest Airlines. Another couple’s son was Marcus’ high school friend and the husband was Marcus’ football coach. A cute little family (mom, dad, and 6-year-old son) came because they too had heard Marcus’ story.
The scholarship winners were inspiring.
There was dancing.
And the comedians were hysterical.
At the end of the night, we were filled with joy. We did something out of our regular routine, we experienced how to raise the bar with our charitable giving, and it was wonderful.
Of course, it’s always a good thing to support your children and grandchildren’s fundraisers or to write a check to a good cause. It’s a whole different experience to raise the bar with charitable giving and show up. A most gratifying experience indeed.
Are there special charitable giving events that you can or do support?