Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I give to change, not charity

I don't give to charity. I give to change. I work for change. I support change. And the most important work in our communities, nation and world. I give to hope for a better world, for the discovery of cures and creativity and aid. I give in thanks for the abundance that my life has afforded me and for the privilege that I walk through this world with. I give in ways that provide funding for causes I believe wholeheartedly in, and I strive to vote with my dollar and put my money where my mouth is. I give because I walk the talk, and because I know I am part of the change we wish to see in the world.

Every day I see something new: what a gift!

As the holiday season approaches, in my mind I hear the death march in the background. The crass commercialism, the attempts to over dominate with one religion all others, and the out of balance beliefs that more equals love and we must go in debt to pay for holiday gifts. All these things grate on my very last nerve.

But after an amazing year, I'm filled with inspiration of the possibility of a country waking up from an oppression by the 1%, and seeing the light bulbs go off over their heads as so many move their money from Big Banks to their local economies. I'm inspired by the countless hours my friends volunteer for causes they passionately believe in, and for the work every one of my clients does to make things better for women, girls, the LGBTQ community, our nation's health, our reproductive health and rights, those who are developmentally disabled, and our libraries. So. Lucky. So lucky I am to live this life, in this world.

And because of these things I give. To change, to hope, to miracles, to hard work, to compassion, to determination, to getting it done. Non profit organizations are here for us this time of year to honor and celebrate our place in the world. I hope you can be inspired by the world around you and give to the organizations you admire and want to see continue.

Need ideas? Here's where we're giving/have given in 2011...
AIDS Life Cycle
Basic Rights Oregon
Destination DIY
Milagro Theater
Mercy Corps
Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp
Oregon Humane Society
PHAME Academy
Planned Parenthood Advocates for Oregon
Portland Women's Crisis Line
Q Center
The Equity Foundation
The National Crittenton Foundation
Urban Gleaners

I hope you'll give—to hope, to change, to others. It's a lot more than "charity."


Steve R. said...

I L-O-V-E the concept of "change, not charity." And I like your list, too. Thanks for putting it into words in a positive way that I haven't been able to articulate very well.

TP said...

Me too! Me too! You've expressed this so well. I'm totally using this and giving you credit :)

Will said...

We've worked together and I can't emphasize how rewarding that has been for me.
But I was talking to somebody the other day about the importance of the label 'friend'. About the the depth of its meaning for me; about the fact that it's not something I use frequently.
I also communicated the idea of familial love. That I could love someone because of the family relations but not really 'like' them. Yet my love for those outside the family is differently earned, experienced and valued.
Well LeAnn, I'm feeling a little conflicted (especially after posts such as this). I truly value our work together, but the actual time we've spent together doesn't really fit into my concept of friend.
Yet at the very same time, I feel the need to express my love for you and your actions.
Anyways, what the hell am I doing trying to use words to express my feelings and thoughts? That's why I'm a photographer.

Thank you for the work you do, the life you lead, and the love you put into this world.

Love & respect,

Stephanie from said...

each year there is an organization that I have worked with that allows people living with addiction to make Christmas wreaths to sell. it's a wonderful "hand up" rather than a "hand out".