Today is my birthday. Fortunately for you, I am going to tell you exactly what I would like (being greedy, I am asking for three things):
Request #1: Think about a social or community issue you are passionate about. It could be something like improving quality education access to children in inner-cities, supporting returning veterans, preventing the spread of disease in developing countries, supporting your alma mater, helping natural disaster victims recover… the list goes on and on. Take a few minutes and think about it: an issue, problem, or opportunity that is truly meaningful to you and to your community, however small (your neighborhood) or big (the world). Now go to Charity Navigator, find a nonprofit organization with a high rating and a website, and make a donation to them. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money, just something you feel comfortable with. Note that not every legitimate nonprofit is rated (like the UConn Foundation, for example).
Request #2: Your financial contribution to an important cause is terrific, and I thank you for doing it. No matter how small your donation, you will make a positive difference. There is something else I would like to ask of you. There are many nonprofit organizations close to where you live that are doing some terrific things on both large and small scales. Contact one of those organizations, find out how you can volunteer to help them accomplish their mission, and spend at least an hour in 2014 doing so. One out of the 8,765 hours of 2014; that’s all I’m asking for. The work you do can be immensely helpful, and is possibly even more valuable than a financial contribution. If you can’t find an organization that does something you’re passionate about, just do it yourself!
Request #3: My final wish: share this post. The greater the positive impact we can have, the better birthday I will have!
Thank you for all the birthday wishes. Here’s to a great 2014! As always, feel free to tweet at me and let me know what you are planning to do!