Introduction to the Giving Blog

Dear Friends,

There’s no dearth of things to write and talk about on a blog like “Giving.” What we call “giving” – philanthropy is, perhaps, too narrow a term – affects so many people in so many ways that our range of topics is as potentially broad as the human condition.

Giving is not just a simple volitional act. There’s art and science to how donors pick causes to support, and how recipients demonstrate merit. And, there are moral and practical lessons to be learned from every act of giving. We welcome discussion of any examples that provide such lessons.

We encourage all your contributions to “Giving,” including contributions from totally disinterested observers. After all, giving affects the world in which we all live.

Your Vote Matters

On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving women one of the greatest rights of the modern century – the right to vote. Voting is the vehicle of which many important rights are secured and the way our country makes important decisions on leadership, laws, and set standards not only for our country, but for the watching world. [Read more…]

Revolutionizing the Health Care Industry: UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases

Science is constantly changing and adapting. New technology is being created and developed that is heavily influencing how we live our lives. Specifically, health care innovations are improving substantially and are dramatically influencing patient care and scientific development for the better. The grandeur of the impact these new technologies bring compelled me to partner with the UCLA Division of Digestive Diseases to aid them in enhancing their technology and scientific research. [Read more…]

Opportunities to Improve Women’s Rights

“One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” — Sheila Murray Bethel

Some of the best people I know are also the strongest, smartest, and most powerful women I know. We make up more than half of the population of the world and many have paved the way for us to stand where we do today, and we all should be so proud to be women. While things have improved greatly from the days of Cady B. Stanton, women, at times, still have a harder time obtaining high profile jobs or making equal salary to men. [Read more…]

No One Should Suffer From Hunger: The Story of Gleaners Food Bank

I am always awe inspired when I encounter truly dedicated individuals who are making a positive difference in their communities. They are selfless, compassionate people who devote their lives and jobs to making other people’s lives a little bit better. These people motivate me and make me strive to be a better person. These are the kinds of neighbors you find at Gleaners Food Bank.

Gleaners Food Bank is the largest charitable provider of food in Indianapolis, Indiana. They started in 1980 and currently serve 21 counties and 350 agencies. Gleaners is in its 4th generation of service and would not be possible without its donors or volunteers. [Read more…]

A Peaceful Sky Garden for Continuing Recovery

When you or a loved one is ill, the healing process can be daunting whether it is recovering from the common cold or other times when it requires months of medical treatment and patience. For those times when the healing process is extended, patients find themselves under the care of physicians in sterile, clinical environments. While this atmosphere is necessary to the speedy improvement of health, sometimes smelling the crisp morning air, sitting amongst flowers, or watching the birds play in the sky can help with healing all in its own beauty. [Read more…]

Investing in a Child’s Educational Experience

Education has always been a topic that sparks a flame of action in my heart. Taking an interest in education really means taking an interest in our students today. And while they may seem to be only young tots reading picture books or teenagers facing algebra problems at the board, they will one day be the adults tasked with responsibilities for our communities and our world – CEOs, mailmen, doctors, politicians, mothers, volunteers, and neighbors. However, due to a myriad of reasons and circumstances, not all students are provided with equal tools and levels of support needed in order to blossom and grow into educated individuals. [Read more…]

Giving Back to Our Environment

The act and idea of giving can be thought of in a variety of ways. You give a gift to someone when it’s their birthday. Or you make a donation to your religious organization. Or you spend a few hours every Saturday at the local animal shelter. Being a giver in your community is different for different people. However, have you ever thought about giving back to the environment you live in? Developing a lifestyle of being environmentally conscious can be a gift not only to yourself and your neighbors, but for generations to come. [Read more…]

Women’s Equality Day

“There will never be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.”
Susan B. Anthony

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
Maya Angelou

“With passion and courage, women have taught us that when we band together to advocate for our highest ideals, we can advance our common well-being and strengthen the fabric of our nation.”
President Barack Obama

Today, we take a moment to celebrate the adoption of the 19th amendment with National Women’s Equality Day. On the morning of August 26, 1920, the ratified amendment arrived in Washington, D.C. after being passed in the House and Senate in January of 1918 and 1919, respectively. The right to vote was granted to women across the nation once then Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified it. [Read more…]

The Pay It Forward Movement

You may have heard of the term “pay it forward.” Maybe it’s in regard to a line for coffee, in a food drive-thru lane, or even the popular movie starring Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey. But what does it mean to pay something forward? According to this definition it “…is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor.” Today, pay it forward moments often refer to someone paying the bill for the next person in the line behind them, which can lead that person to do the same for the person after them, and so on. [Read more…]

Why Giving Makes Us Happy

While receiving gifts can be exciting, research and experts say that the act of giving could actually make us feel better than receiving.

Studies show that when we get a gift or experience an act of generosity, our bodies release a hormone call oxytocin, which is associated with feelings of love and trust. The presence of this hormone also makes the recipient more likely to also act generously, which could explain the reason for “pay it forward” occurrences. So, it’s no surprise to read then, that numerous studies have shown that spending money on others or making a charitable donation actually makes us happier than when we are on the receiving end.  [Read more…]