Monday, April 25, 2005

Charity Begins With Me

I am grateful for the grace of charity. This month I had the opportunity to donate skills to two exceptional non-profit organizations. On April 14 I attended a fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society held at Lucky Strike Lanes in Hollywood. The month previous to the event I'd worked with the Society to publish the sponsor's journal that was given to each attendee. I'd accepted the gig because my grandmother died of lymphoma 15 years ago. The world is full of irony, however, as a week after I began putting the journal together, my father-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia. The reality of blood cancers hit home again.

Last week I attended a wine-tasting fundraiser thrown by the Jordan Property Group, a major real estate and mortgage corporation in Orange County, CA. Beneficiaries of the event were Outreach to Africa and Fields of Life, two non-profit organizations dedicated to building schools, providing shelter, food and AIDS education in Africa. Eric Rigler, the piper of Braveheart, Titanic and Million Dollar Baby regaled the attendees on the Irish pipes. My friend and colleague, Kathi Winter of Global Incentives, invited me to the event, anxious to share her passion for AIDS/HIV education. Attending events like these are grounding experiences. Not everyone can work the mission field, live on a non-profit's salary, or produce charity events. But we can donate our time, our talents, and even a buck or twenty. And it feels so good when you do.

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