My Grown-Up Christmas List
‘Tis the season, everyone! I just finished writing out my Christmas list; but this year, it’s different. Rather than listing out a bunch of “stuff” that I’d like to receive on Christmas morning, I have decided to make a list of several different organizations that I will be donating to during the holidays. From monetary contributions, to a bunch of toys, to a simple Christmas card, every little bit counts. My past four years in New York City have taught me something – no matter how much I have struggled financially during this time, I am incredibly blessed. And even though I don’t have much, I still have enough to make a positive difference in the lives of people who are less fortunate than I am.
Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee.
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies.
Well, I’m all grown up now,
But still need help somehow.
I’m not a child but my heart still can dream.
So here’s my lifelong wish,
My grown-up Christmas list,
Not for myself, but for a world in need:
No more lives torn apart,
Then wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And every one would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list.
With the world in its current state – and with so much ugliness circulating and running rampant out there – I’ve noticed something. You cannot argue with crazy. Social media debates and talking points only go so far. We must put our words into action, lead by example, and realize that change only comes with doing. In sharing my Christmas list with you lovelies, I only hope to show how even the smallest contributions can make a change; and *GASP* it actually is possible to help others as well as “our own.” Whatever that ridiculous phrase means. So with that, I give you my official list (typed out via Awesome Note, because Chalene Johnson got me hooked on that app).
Click on their “Amazon Smile” link, shop regularly, and a portion of your purchase will go towards supporting this amazing organization. They are also collecting funds to provide impoverished grandparents (who are also raising their grandchildren) with “love packages” this Christmas.
This is probably the easiest way you can put food on someone’s table. Download the app, tap a button, and feed a person in need for only $0.50. As an initiative with the United Nations World Food Programme, donations go towards feeding 80 million people in 80 different countries.
For four years now, the Bowery has been my favorite holiday tradition. Serving NYC’s homeless three meals a day, 365 days a year, the staff is made up of a bunch of angels who work hard to feed, clothe, and rehabilitate men, women, and children around the city. For less than $20, you can provide Christmas meals for 12 people.
This year, about 24,000 children in New York City will be spending their Christmas in a homeless shelter. Visit the Coalition’s Amazon Wish List to purchase toys, which will be handed out during their Holiday Carnival.
I have been a huge supporter of Watanili – a grassroots organization based in Turkey, which provides relief for displaced Syrian children – from the second my friend Kofi introduced me to them. The Watanili team has since built their first learning center, and $20 will sponsor a child’s education for a month. Sold! They are also collecting blankets to keep the little ones warm this winter.
And these easy peasy acts of kindness have already been crossed off my list…
This 8-year-old burn victim survived an arson attack, but lost her family in the fire. What did she want for Christmas? Christmas cards. That’s it. If you have a card you’d like to send her, you can mail it here: Safyre, P.O. Box 6126, Schenectady, New York, 12306.
For every letter written to Santa, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make A Wish Foundation, up to $1 million dollars. It’s free, so get writing. And yes, I believe.
Trust me when I say, giving back and helping others… no matter who they are or where they live… THAT is one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself.