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November 21, 2008

Diversity in giving

Teresa_2 DIVERSITY. What does it mean? Well, Wikipedia defines diversity in several contexts including: Multiculturalism, the ideology of including people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds Diversity (politics), the political and social policy of encouraging tolerance for people of different backgrounds Diversity (business), the business tactic which encourages diversity to better serve a heterogeneous customer base Diversity training, the process of educating employees, students or volunteers to function in a diverse environment To me it means lots of things.  I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and went to a  junior high and high school where they did redistricting to improve diversity.  My high school was DIVERSE.  We had wealthy, upper- and lower-middle class, kids whose parents were probably on government assisted living, Vietnamese gangs, Hispanic, Indian, you name it.   I grew up knowing tid-bits about many cultures and living near Washington, D.C. was good for that.   But what about diversity in giving? 

We are approaching Thanksgiving and other religious holidays. It’s the season of giving. There is diversity in giving, right?

I’ve been thinking about this holiday season, the plethora of families that have suffered or are just experiencing lay-offs. How many people are losing their main source of sustenance? Their main source for getting the bills paid? Their main source for providing a yummy Thanksgiving dinner or a Christmas full of gifts?

This brings me back to the times where my Mom seemed to so badly want something different for our Christmas. She was all about giving. Giving to anyone no matter what their culture or background was. My Mom wanted us to GIVE at Christmas time…part of it I’m sure was the fact that finances were tight for our family of 6 (4 daughters who loved shopping and wanted to keep up with their friends). But the bigger part, I believe, was her natural giving nature. She was just someone who wanted to help others. Mom didn’t care about the material things too much. She cared more about helping those who were truly in need; no questions asked. We never did “adopt a family” at Christmas but I know my Mom did give of her time each and every year and not just at holiday time.

My point is, can we think of the diverse and numerous ways we can give this year?

One organization that really caught my ear recently was Redefine Christmas. The idea behind this site is that there is diversity in giving; one of the numerous charitable organizations will strike a chord with anyone’s interests. I like to think of this site as a non-denominational idea for the holiday season and beyond (who cares if they named it Redefine Christmas; think of the meaning behind the idea). And if you’re about embracing diversity, instilling a value of diversity and giving in your children, consider giving Redefine Christmas (or any other charitable organization close to you for that matter) a chance…and maybe some of your stocking stuffer funds.

This is an original Philly Moms Blog post. Teresa also blogs at Elebelly: Tales from Toddlerdom & Mommyhood and 30b430andbeyond and is a freelance writing & marketing consultant.



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