The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become #GivingTuesday in a campaign to encourage folks to donate to charitable causes at the beginning of the holiday season. It’s a wonderful tradition to make sure people stop in the hectic pace of our lives to think about others. When my father died, I found a stack of envelopes on his desk for the various charitable organizations he supported waiting for him to send a check. Upon further investigation I discovered when he paid bills every month, he also would send in at least one donation. The organizations varied from local police to environmental groups to a school for Native Americans in Montana. I found out this had been his practice for a long time, even when money was tight for our family and he was also paying three tuitions for myself and my siblings.
It was one of the many things I made a part of my life as a way to honor my father. However, seeing as sitting down to write checks once a month to pay bills is no longer the norm, I don’t always make donations on a regular basis. Which means that Giving Tuesday is a great check point for me to see if I’ve missed any organizations during the year that I want to support. A funny thing has happened to my list in the past decade, it has been greatly influenced by the annual raffle at the Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo.
If you are not familiar with our raffle, it is one of the highlights of our event. We name a charity each year to be the beneficiary of a donation that is strictly from our sponsors and attendees purchasing tickets. Often the charity is a local organization in the city the Symposium is taking place or tied to one of our presenters. Since 2005, we have donated over $159,000 to fourteen organizations. That is a remarkable feat for a group of people who come together just 3 days every year. Some of these organizations are smaller charities that have greatly benefited from our donation. And I have continued to support them because I’ve been moved by their mission. Just a few of these are the Rick Hansen Foundation, Bring Change2Mind, Roger Pepper Adventure Camp for Teenage Burn Survivors and most recently Home Base.
My wish for you this holiday season is that you have quality time with those you love, enjoy wonderful food with your family and friends and take time to make donations to the charitable organizations who support those individuals or causes that are of importance to you.
Happy Holidays & a Healthy New Year!
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo
P.S. Have a thought about the Symposium? Please feel free to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.