The Giving Gift Alternative!

I love the inspired and positive tweets of one of my editors, Dina Yuen of Asian-Fusion. One thing she mentioned recently is how for many years now instead of buying material presents for her friends and family she makes donations to charities in their name or does some kind of philanthropic/community building activity. Awesome!! When I was in law school I had been interested in doing civil advocacy work and did service activities with my classmates as often as I could and it was a very enriching experience. I know quite a few people in my life who would really love a donation in their name, I bet you do too. Those people are class acts! 🙂 Here’s a rundown of some organizations I support.

The Surfrider Foundation – As a surfer whose caught waves on both American coasts and throughout Latin America I have been a longtime supporter of this great organization.  We could all cynically and lazily give up the fight against environmental pollution and see this world as a lost cause but I quote the great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, “Every child that is born is proof that God has not yet given up on human beings.” I hope my daughter surfs the same spots I did some day.

The American Civil Liberties Union – I interned with them in NYC back in college! You’re either against them or for them, to me the ACLU is imperative to the dialogue.

Global Campaign for Education – Education is a basic human right which when brought to impoverished communities greatly improves the standard of living of all. I love that one of their major objectives is bringing secondary education to girls. I come from more than four generations of college graduates and have seen the benefits and successes of the long-held value of education in our family. An education is singularly the most empowering and defining asset to have.

The Mid-Atlantic Arts Organization – A great organization thoughtfully enriching artists, art education and expanding the role of art in community building projects. “Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation believes that art is essential, that it has the power to transform individuals and communities, and in so doing helps define our society.” – An excellent online resource which helps direct women to shelters, domestic violence clinics and divorce resources. For more information on obsessive exes and how former partners become stalkers visit this site. Batterers threaten and intimidate because they are cowards and often use child custody as a means to continue abuse, stay safe and protect your children!


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