Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday giving

One of the things I really appreciate about being back in the US is the opportunity to volunteer again, to be able to help those less fortunate than I am. It's not that the French don't care about that kind of stuff, it's that they haven't ever really had to - the government is expected to fill that role. Sure, there are a few things like Restos du Coeur or the Secours Catholique, but it's not anywhere near as prevalent as it is in the US.

But so I'm happy to be here, helping out in my own small way. By dropping my change in the salvation army kettle, by picking up an extra box of pasta for the food shelf, buying a small present for Toys for Tots or by helping serve a holiday meal at the soup kitchen. Sure I'm helping others out, but I'm also helping myself - it's such a good reminder to be thankful and appreciative of what I do have, especially given the current economic situation. Which is why I was inspired this year to write on my Christmas list - "Merry Christmas everyone. Despite everything that's happened this year, I'm very lucky to have a job I enjoy, a great family and a whole crew of wonderful new friends. I really don't need anything else. So please take any money that you would've spent on a Christmas present for me and donate it to a good cause instead (I listed a couple of charities I support here). There are millions of other people out there who are less fortunate than I am, and that extra 10, 20, or 50 dollars will go a lot farther for them than it will for me."

I don't mean to be on my soap box here, but thought I'd post about this quick. If it incites even one person to give a little, I'll be a happy camper. When times get tough, donations are the first thing up on the chopping block, but yet now is the time when they're needed the most. In the same way that I believe every vote counts, I also think every dollar counts. So even if you think you can't give much, just give what you can. United Way is doing a campaign now asking young people to give $5 each, and then to send the message on to their friends. Just think about - you go without your latte for one day, and so do five of your friends and so do five of each of their friends and on and on - it's a snowball effect, and pretty soon it all adds up. If everybody just gave a little, it would go a long way.

It's something to think about anyways as Christmas approaches....

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

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Blogger Justin said...

Thanks Sam for the reminder. I plan on giving when I get home anyway I can. The economy has hit some in my family hard as well and I definitely feel fortunate with everything I have here. Merry Christmas.

December 18, 2008 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

oh wow, did you post this before i sent out that email? our brains are in the same place... :)

December 18, 2008 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Alisa said...

Hi everyone! With great timing, I just sent KSam this email this morning, and she asked me to share it with you all. I'm working on an AIDS relief project in Chicago at the moment, and we mostly do work in Africa. I got this email from my co-worker yesterday and thought I would pass it on. It's a great cause!

Greetings Family and Friends!

Happy Holidays! If you have not yet made a holiday contribution to a charity this year, I would like you to look at a new project that I have been working on:

Tura Galgalo is one of my favorite people in the world. He is a Technical Advisor for CDC-Kenya in Nairobi and we have been working together for the last 2 years.

Tura grew up in the Marsabit area of Kenya and is of the Gabra tribe. Due to the perseverance of his family, he was afforded opportunities that many of his tribe are not. He went to primary and secondary school, and now has a Masters degree in Field Epidemiology.

Tura is dedicated to providing quality education to the children of the Gabra community and I am trying to help him. We have established a non-profit organization called the "Gabra Education Initiative." Please look at our website and make a donation:

Please forward this information to your friends, family and colleagues. If you know of any organizations that would like to sponsor a fundraiser for the GEI, let me know. If in the Chicago area, I can give a presentation to describe the initiative.

Thank you for considering this project . This is very important to me, and I hope it will be important to you too!

December 18, 2008 at 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

merry christmas (mercycorps women's small business kit) -- you're sharing it with a few others.

December 19, 2008 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Purejuice - that's so cool, thanks! What a fantastic cause!

December 20, 2008 at 6:49 PM  

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