Giving: Why we do and why we should
You'll Feel Good
By Phyllis Seaman
Here we are in December. Where did the year go?
As Campaign Chair, this is crunch time for me – one month to reach our million dollar goal for the 2013 Campaign year. This is always a tough time of year, closing out one campaign, while planning the next.
As Uncle Sam would say, "We need you and your support," to achieve our goal.
I'd like you to stop and think for a moment why you give to a particular charitable organization or why you don't.
Some of us give because we believe in the institution, what it stands for and what its goals and commitments are. Some, because our families gave to those same charities and they are part of our lives, backgrounds and traditions. Some give because they feel good supporting something that helps others. Then, there are those who give for all of these reasons. I personally fit into all three categories.
Recently there was an article in The Wall Street Journal titled "Hard-Wired For Giving," adapted from the book What Makes a Hero? The Surprising Science of Selflessness. The article stated that most people believe the Darwinian Principle "the survival of the fittest," and to get ahead you need to look out for number one. However, the latest science shows we are also hard-wired to be generous.
Scientists found the brain churns out a pleasurable response when we engage in charitable giving and it's inherently rewarding. Also, giving isn't purely selfless. It was found that most people will give because they expect some tangible reward – if not a monetary one, then a social one. The study also found the pleasurable response people had when they donated on their own was stronger than when they were required to donate.
I want you to have a pleasurable response and feel good for helping people in our community, our country and overseas with your generous donation to Federation.
Here are some of the many responses to needs our Federation has supported this year:
• A grant of $230,000 to Jewish Family & Community Services, serving the needs of our most vulnerable Collier County residents
• Neve Michael in Israel, a home and school for children in crisis
• Yad LaKashish, a sheltered workshop for disabled and elderly in Jerusalem
• Temple Shalom religious school and preschool, Beth Tikvah, Chabad preschool and Camp Gan
• Jewish Congregation of Marco Island Jewish Film Festival and Saul Stern Cultural Series programs
• Naples BBYO with AZA and BBG Chapters; there are dozens of middle school kids in BBYO Connect, in the pipeline to join BBYO when they become teenagers
• Florida Gulf Coast University Hillel and the Center for Judaic, Holocaust & Genocide Studies
• ORT School Transportation Project in Odessa, Ukraine
• Hurricane Sandy relief
• The Greater Naples YMCA for their recent fire and flood
• Taglit-Birthright Israel – We have supported this international initiative, now in its 14th year. We encourage all 18- to 26-year-olds to sign-up for this “trip of a lifetime.”
• Camp scholarships to nine children to attend Jewish Summer camp programs – we’ve been providing scholarships for more than 20 years
• This past summer, two of our teens represented the U.S. and our community in the Maccabiah Games in Israel and one in the Maccabi Games USA in California.
I hope I have touched you in some way to consider giving if you haven't, and raising your gift or pledge if you have. Maybe it’s time to think about what is really important. At this time of year, shouldn’t your heart guide your giving? You'll feel so good!
No gift touches more lives. Please consider a 10-20% increase in a past gift or what you may have thought about giving. We could make our goal and help so many more people. The needs are great and we need your help to be successful.
Remember, we are THE STRENGTH OF A PEOPLE, THE POWER OF COMMUNITY.