My birthday is this month, and Facebook keeps asking me if I want to raise funds on the day. Rebel that I am, I don’t plan to raise money for a charity on Social Media for my birthday. Yes, I do support charitable giving. I’m just more of a grassroots kind of girl. I believe a better world starts with ordinary people in local communities. So, if you want to celebrate the day I graced the world with my presence, instead of a donation, please consider:
- Spending time with the Vets at your local VA Hospital. I’m the proud granddaughter (and high school sweetheart) of career military.
- Donating those books you’ll never read again to your local library. Libraries are the foundation of our communities. Over the years, books have opened whole new worlds to me, and proved an invaluable resource in teaching me to write.
- Becoming an organ donor. Just check that box on your license or license renewal. An organ donor saved the life of the friend who introduced me to Leading Man #2.
- Supporting your local EMT and Volunteer Fire Departments. These people put themselves on the line for you at a moment’s notice. I have friends in two NJ towns who serve in both.
- Volunteering in your Community. Local organizations thrive on local volunteers. Choose a community group in your town. Offer to assist at events. This can be as simple as baking cookies for a bake sale or staffing a table at a bazaar. Become an EMT or volunteer firefighter.
- Attending a town meeting. Learn what your town is about. Get out and vote for your local leaders. Don’t sit back and let laws be made for you. Be a part of making them. I’m a firm believer in a quote from The American President: America is advanced citizenship. Be an advanced citizen.
- Supporting Your Local School District. Contribute a couple dollars to that kid collecting for his graduation ball. Thank your kid’s teachers. Yes, we demand a lot from our schools, and our children’s teachers. Ask them what you can do to support them in return. I owe a whole lot to my son’s school and his teachers, past and present.
- STOP Being Offended. Folks, it’s a big world, and it’s filled with approximately 7.7 billion unique individuals in 195 countries. We can’t all be the same. Times do change. Baby It’s Cold Outside was written when the late George HW was just 20. We can only thrive by exchanging ideas and traditions. Celebrate humanity’s melting pot and enjoy your holiday music. Learn from the past, but choose carefully which parts of it to address in the present. A trite holiday tune is just that.
- Practicing Acceptance Without Batting an Eye. In the end, regardless of the color of our skin, our religion, our faith, how we speak, our profession, sexual orientation, neurochemistry, brain functioning, or physiology, we are all essentially water and carbon. No one should have to raise awareness for acceptance. By now it should be a no-brainer.
- Being Kind To Each Other. It’s just that simple.