You know what really bugs me about the holiday season? That we wait until it’s “the season of giving” to give a damn. Non-profits who serve the needy know that over the next few weeks they will suddenly see more interest in their work than at any other time of the year. They also know that if they don’t get into the limelight they might not get what they need to survive the rest of the year when they are mostly forgotten.
Shame on us. Giving and helping others shouldn’t be a seasonal thing but a part of our day–to–day lives. Something we instill in our children and is as natural as breathing. Somehow that just doesn’t happen. Then around the holidays we start to feel guilty about all that we have and so we give. Bah humbug!
Of course this year is no different than any other year. Recession or not, there are people who need help and some of us have enough to be able to give a little. Our family supports a fair number of causes though, so we are not going to miss the opportunity to play off your guilt and your social capital to help a worthy cause. So here goes.
For the last couple of years we’ve participated in Tweetsgiving here in the Silicon Valley, and it was our great pleasure to meet the inspiration for Tweetsgiving–Mama Lucy Kamptoni and the founders of Epic Change, Stacey Monk and Sanjay Patel and share some of their passion for the wonderful kids at Shepherd’s Junior School and the impact the school has had on it’s community.More than 400 students are served at the school and in just a few years it is ranked #2 out of 123 schools in the region. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Now there’s a new issue with the school. Primary education ends at grade 7 in Tanzania and next year the kids will finish their final year at Mama Lucy’s and if they test well the government will place them in available spots in new schools. Many public secondary schools are severely lacking in Tanzania and to take these kids from a great program and drop them into a school lacking in teachers and teaching materials could cut their promise short. The school needs to add classrooms so the children can continue their educations in the quality and supportive environment they need to reach their potential.
So I ask you once again to chip in a little and help Mama Lucy continue to see these kids through their education. Donate to Epic Change to help. Use your social capital to help spread the word. Make sure your networks know what the folks at Epic Change are doing. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and their blog to learn more about the other change makers they are supporting this year too.
Oh, and once you’ve done that? Pat yourself on the back and make a promise to keep on finding ways to make change in the world. You have so much power in an email, a tweet, forwarding a donation request or making a monthly contribution of time or money to a cause you believe in. Don’t stop just because it’s not the “season of giving”.