“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”
(William Arthur Ward)
Financial Fitness is being financially responsible for yourself and others. It includes providing basic necessities and also involves the freedom to do what you want with your money. Like financial fitness, compassion is a daily practice. Compassion begins with love and care for oneself, and it grows by loving and caring for others. One outcome of financial fitness and compassion is giving to those in need.
Today is Tax Day, which symbolizes financial fitness as US citizens settle their financial responsibilities with the government. To mark the occasion, we are starting a new tradition at Happy Living! Every year on Tax Day, we will feature a charitable organization and ask those in our community to give what they can, when they can.
Our first featured charity is DonorsChoose.org.
“This is exactly the kind of social innovation we should be encouraging,” said the First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, when speaking about DonorsChoose.org.
Innovation, creativity, and greatness come from seeing what everyone else sees (the status quo) but thinking a different thought. Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org had such a vision when he imagined a great idea while talking with his colleagues in a teacher’s lounge. His website is a simple platform that connects donors with public school teachers and classroom projects, allowing the donor to select what they most want to support.
“It’s such a simple, wonderful idea”, says Stephen Colbert, Comedian and Board Member, “It connects individual donors with individual classrooms and individual teachers and individual projects.”
When Oprah featured DonorsChoose.org on the Oprah Winfrey Show, she said, “I love it because I like to give, and know that I have a connection.”
Michelle Obama offers this advice, “Let’s not under-estimate the power each of us has to change the world for someone.”
I like how DonorsChoose.org makes it easy to provide a bit of unexpected kindness to the class that my wife and I choose to support.
Here’s how it works:
You can choose any project by location, subject, keyword or other filters. You can donate any amount. Once the project reaches its funding goal, DonorsChoose.org orders and delivers the materials to the school.
Then you get photos of the project, a thank you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. When you donate $50 or more, you’ll get hand-written thank-you letter from the students.
I searched for a school in my city and found a project from my daughter’s elementary school.
In minutes, I learned that my donation would help a Pre-K through 2nd grade teacher get her students more engaged in writing. She said her students needed, “a sturdy easel that will allow us to do interactive writing and create shared anchor charts without having to move the chart around or the stand falling over.”
The day I made the donation, I received an email from the very grateful teacher.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Gersper for your generous donation! I am so excited about our new easel, and more importantly, the kids are excited. When I told them we were finally getting our new easel, they jumped up and down and cheered! Thank you again!!
My wife and I will be making plans to visit the classroom and see the very real impact of our modest support on the lives of enthusiastic, young students. What fun!!
Take a look and see if there is a project that inspires you! When you find one, simply give what you can and help us change the world, one student at a time.
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