This month the topic is charity and giving.
http://www.care.org/) at an early age. My motive may have been suspect, but I felt good that even my small amounts were helping some unknown kid on the other side of the ocean get their own plate to clear.
During my childhood, my family spent a time being homeless. Today I donate both money and volunteer time to Journey From Pads to Hope, http://www.journeystheroadhome.org/landing/ an organization that provides services to the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless in suburban Cook County. My church is part of a network providing shelter to homeless men and women one night a week during the fall and winter, and I have volunteered to help serve food and care for participants.
My daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at fourteen. As a result, I discovered a kinship with other parents dealing in similar situations. For me, giving to organizations that help families dealing with this almost invisible crisis ranks up there with giving at home.
These days I find that my giving journey has moved in a giant circle. When I was in my twenties I gave to Alzheimer’s organizations. I worried about the possibility of facing that problem in my own future and wanted to give money for research. Now that I’m getting older, I find I’m at the other end of the giving spectrum. My primary charities involve giving to help families of children who have birth defects.
My giving involves more than just money. Being retired means I have time, and having time means I can volunteer. Right now I have volunteered to be a mentor to a young summer intern in the publishing industry. (I think I have her believing my input is valuable!!) Mostly it about giving her business advice, a subject my years as a manager have taught me well.
I am also giving time to and whatever expertise I possess to WeNeedDiverseBooks (http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com/), a group working to increase the number, variety, and quality of books featuring diverse characters, locations and situations. One of my current roles involves helping with the group's first diversity festival. This festival is scheduled for July 2016 and will occur near DC. My role is to organize workshops, demonstrations and other activities for child and teen attendees. A year seems like a long time, but it's an entire conference so I need to finish this and get back into volunteer mode, picking speakers and performers for the big day.