Imagine a birthday where the gifts go to you and everyone else. This article focuses on Los Angeles, but it doesn’t matter where you live-your celebration could stretch across the globe and bring life saving necessities to adults and children alike.
The next time you have an occasion to celebrate, instead of adding items to your regifting closet-come on, you know you have one-why not bring joy to an impoverished village, hungry family or disadvantaged mother?
The following tips are merely suggestions of Los Angeles charities-a starting off point, if you will-to bring more love, community, support and, therefore, happiness to your, already full life.
Baby Shower-If this is your second or third child or beyond, take a tip from an incredibly generous friend of mine and have a shower for a mother in need. Choose a local shelter or group home such as Harvest Home in Santa Monica, CA and call ahead of time. You can either choose a specific mother or have the guests buy gender-neutral baby gifts. Have the hostess of the shower deliver the gifts and revel in the knowledge that someone truly in need will get help. Personalize your gift by writing a card to your recipient and having your whole shower sign it.
Birthday-Another philanthropic friend hosted a “Favorite Charity” luncheon to celebrate her trip around the sun. Guests were encouraged to contribute a gift in any amount to the charity of his or her choice. We still enjoyed the same salad, sandwiches and-of course-birthday cake, in her home. However, when it came time to open the gifts, she proudly announced the charity and read about each one. A wonderful charity Los Angeles based charity is Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Anniversary-When my husband and I celebrated a milestone anniversary, my mother gave a donation in our name to our daughter’s school arts program. She wrote a letter and sent us a copy. Because of the sorry state of Los Angeles School Art and Music programs, this was especially timely and thoughtful. The Los Angeles Unified School District has a fund raising page specifically for Arts Education Donate Now.
Seasonal Event-Heal the Bay hosts an annual beach clean up the third Saturday in September and has done so since 1985. This year, the cleanup will be changed to the fourth Saturday, because of Yom Kippur. This is a great way to get children involved in helping the environment and volunteerism.
Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukah-Instead of the typical holiday mayhem, host a volunteer dinner. Have friends and family meet in the morning at a local food bank, soup-kitchen or mission like the LA Mission and then meet later for a dinner at your house. Guaranteed the conversation will be much different than previous years!
By creating a tradition of sharing your special day-and the gifts received-with others, you can increase the joy and fun exponentially and enrich the lives of everyone involved!