Once again, I am hosting the family for Hanukkah* this year, and I wanted to share with you one of my favorite traditions that we have on my mom’s side of the family. Every person describes an organization that they care about and why, and then we pick one out of a hat that we all then donate to. To me, this is a great time to learn more about what is currently important to each person, and also to really appreciate the breadth of amazing work that is being done by so many different entities. Further, I like that we are all sincerely thrilled to get behind whatever cause is picked and to learn more about it. There’s also something wonderful about mixing in charitable giving with more ‘traditional’ gifts, and consequentially about thinking about gift giving from different angles.
I am having a hard time picking my organization this year – so much and yet so little has changed since last year’s selection – but it’s an interesting personal process to sort through what I want to bring to the table. It’s a fun opportunity to share one of the new organizations I’ve come into contact with or to remind everyone of an organization that has mattered to me in the longterm. It is also an opportunity to research an organization that might be doing work that I have placed added emphasis on this year. Deciding if I ultimately care more about the impact of our collective gift or about the experience of sharing is also a factor, because there are different goals accomplished and organizations represented with each framework. Sigh… so much (wonderfulness!) to think about! Inspired giving is always a good thing, so at least all of this thinking will probably spur some personal gifts, too!
Feel free to adapt this into your own family and/or share liberally, and if you do, I’d love to hear how it goes!
*my 2012 spelling
[Editor’s Note: We are donating to Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford, which is really awesome and does incredible social services work for all families regardless of background. My uncle has volunteered there for a few years now and has done tremendous work in the financial literacy and planning realm. I nominated StoryCorps because I ultimately wanted to switch it up and nominate an arts organization this year, and I love the unique role they play in capturing all sorts of accounts that would otherwise be lost with time.]