Dear Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, Friends, Besties and anyone else who is thinking of a gift for me this holiday:

Recently a post came across my feed from Charity: water, a non-profit organization I have loved and followed for over 10 years now. I’ve continued to follow this particular organization because it holds a very special place in my heart.

I was first intrigued by the founder’s story. Scott Harrison was a regular guy whose band broke up as quickly as it started. He soon realized show promoters made much more money than the actual band members, which kindled his career as a promoter. He began making money hand over fist marketing New York’s top nightclubs and elite fashion events. But a lavish lifestyle, spacious midtown loft and full bank account didn’t satisfy the longing in his heart to do something that mattered, to live a more meaningful existence. Scott knew there was something more to life than making money.

With that, he signed up to volunteer as a ship photojournalist on a floating hospital. Scott’s work and travels allowed him to put faces to global poverty statistics. He spent time with lepers and in remote villages that had no electricity and running water. These experiences instilled in him a drive to help others and to be a conduit for charity that made an impact.

Something about Scott’s story felt relatable to me. I know that most of us cannot change our entire careers to start a fully non-profit organization. But we can all do what Scott did: something. He was an average guy, a very approachable person, who hadn’t lived a perfect life. But he wanted to use his life to make change. I’m sure it was probably challenging, and I’m most certain that it was inconvenient. But to use Scott’s words, it was practical. And necessary.

What I love about Charity: water is that the organization uses 100% of all donations for water projects, which doesn’t necessarily happen with all charities. Private donors fund office operations, so people who contribute can know that all of what they send is used solely to fund clean water projects. This has allowed Charity: water to create over 24,000 clean water projects in 24 countries, and help over 7 million people get access to have local, clean water supplies. That simply makes my heart smile.

So to my family and friends who have me on their holiday gift list: first, thank you for wanting to give me a gift this holiday. I love that I matter to you in that way. I would never want to take away your ability or desire to give to me. Whatever you thought of giving, be that some new gadget, a beautiful scarf or gift cards, it would bring me much more spiritual joy and happiness if you would consider giving that amount of money to Charity: Water. As much as I love a nice gift or gift card, I sincerely don’t need anything.

But there are so many people around the world who do.

My life is rich and full simply because you are in it, and I truly mean that. When things are good and when they’re bad, I’m blessed. I have clean, running water to use whenever I want. The fact that so many people on this planet don’t have that basic life essential is mind-boggling to me. But I have and will continue to do something about that.

During this holiday season when we are all reaching down into our pockets to show others how much we love them, I’d prefer any portion for me to go toward helping others who need it so much more.

Thank you.


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