Who knew a TV show would kick me into gear on something that keeps falling to the bottom of my “to-do” list?

In my business, I have donated a little bit of money here and there – some to help 3rd world budding entrepreneurs, and some for inner city classroom supplies – both meaningful causes to me.  However, I have been random, not systematic in my approach.  Mainly because it hasn’t made the top of my priority list and, honestly, somewhat because I keep thinking I’ll someday have much more to give.  THIS GOES AGAINST EVERYTHING I THINK ABOUT AND BELIEVE!  We must start NOW!  (Check out my newsletter article this week about planned giving and the Law of Compensation).

I am requesting your help!  Help me pick an organization to support for this holiday season and throughout 2011.

First, let me tell you about the TV show I saw.  In it one of the characters, a waitress, gave money to a guy who was down on his luck.  He was down on his luck because he’d been completely irresponsible and essentially a jerk, and had even been a jerk to her.  And rather than get mad (or after she got mad), she actually gave this man her entire day’s tips.  I was seriously moved to tears.

Not only was I blown away by this woman’s generosity, and the faith with which she gave to someone who may or may not have “deserved it,” but I also began to think about how fortunate I am to have had access to the resource I’ve had, the education I’ve had, and the luxury of being able to explore my passion in life.  Now, I’ve worked hard for it, to be clear, and I have made countless courageous moves (no one in my family had gone to college or earned over $50K or gotten a corporate job or started a business).  Yet, I could have been born in some other situation where the awareness of this life could have never existed, and I am so grateful.

SO, I am committing to start my giving plan, NOW, before Christmas.  Where should I give? Will you help me decide?

I know I don’t want to start a program, I want to trust the leadership of an inspired and visionary organization or program.  I am looking for all of the following attributes:

  • The organization is, well, inspired and visionary.
  • The organization gives tangible, practicle resources.
  • The organization helps people who are not currently aware of the tools they need to have success on their terms.  They either were born into a family that did not value education, or they have had a dramatic circumstance that has put them into a place from which they can no longer see the other side.
  • The organization does not ONLY give stuff, but also educates the recipients of the stuff (i.e. Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him to fish, he eats for a lifetime philosophy.)
  • The organization has had an increased need for its services or money due to the current state of panic in our economy.
  • The organization primarily helps people in the United States.

Ideally, I’d like to support either a local, Cincinnati, organization, or a national organization, but I am open to learning about groups in other cities that are in need.

I’d like to make my first gift by 12/13, so please submit ideas here!  Thank you so much – I have been so busy building for myself that I have not been volunteering in recent years, so your knowledge and ideas are greatly appreciated.

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