Today is #GivingTuesday, founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City as a worldwide social-media campaign to support giving to charities and philanthropic causes. In just three years, the movement has joined together 30,000 partners in 68 countries around the world.
Today would be a good day to make a donation to the PCMA Education Foundation, which funds innovative projects to advance the meetings industry; donors who contribute $30 or more are entered to win registration to Convening Leaders. You can find for more meetings-related CSR ideas on this website.
Below, Convene‘s editors shared a few thoughts about their own favorite causes they’d like to bring attention to today:
Michelle Russell: This charity came to my attention by way of Gregory Deininger, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, and a former PCMA board member. Greg has been helping his younger sister turn her grassroots horse-rescue operation in Medina, Ohio, into a nonprofit — Forever Amber Acres Animal Sanctuary (FAAAS). FAAAS provides refuge, rehabilitation, and permanent retirement for horses and other animals that have been abused or neglected, and sheds a light on a sad aspect of the horse-racing industry: the exploitation, abandonment, and slaughter of thousands of horses past their prime. To date, the organization has rescued 39 horses from neglect or slaughter, and is currently the permanent home of four horses, five cats, and one dog — all with special needs. Once healthy, these animals also give back to their communities by helping wounded vets rehabilitate and visiting nursing homes. FAAAS is embarking on its first national fundraising campaign with a modest goal of raising $5,000.
Barbara Palmer: I have a soft spot in my heart for nonprofit community-development organizations, and count myself lucky to have formerly worked for World Neighbors, founded to help alleviate hunger, poverty, and disease in rural Africa, Asia, and Latin America. These days, I am always ready to talk about my admiration and support for Partners in Health. Its founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, has taken the determination to care for others to remarkable places, building hospitals in Haiti and Rwanda, treating TB patients in Russian prisons, and going on the front lines to aid the sick and dying during the Ebola crisis last year.
Kate Mulcrone: The end of the calendar year is the traditional time to give gifts to charities as well as friends and family, so why not do both at once? UNICEF is one of the most visible international aid organizations in the world, and its UNICEF Market is an ambitious expansion of the online and catalog shop the charity has run for many years. The market was established just last year in partnership with NOVICA, an organization that provides the infrastructure for artisans in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to ship handmade goods directly to international consumers. The UNICEF Market sells greeting cards, clothing and accessories, and one-of-a-kind housewares from all over the world. And, of course, a portion of each purchase is donated to help UNICEF save and protect children.
Corin Hirsch: Despite our cultural celebration of parenting, abused and neglected children are never in short supply. Children who end up in foster care also must navigate the labyrinth of the court system, and are often unable to speak for themselves. Volunteer court-appointed special advocates (CASAs) are extensively trained to look out for the best interests of these vulnerable children and help shepherd them towards better futures. CASA for Children exists on both the national and state levels, and can always use both time and monetary donations.
Chris Durso: The Paul Ambrose Trail for Health (PATH) in Huntington, West Virginia, is named for Paul Ambrose, M.D., who was on the plane that was flown into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. A fellow working in the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, Paul was on his way to a conference on adolescent obesity in Los Angeles when he died. PATH is a beautiful and growing system of pedestrian and bike trails in Huntington, Paul’s hometown and the home of Marshall University, where he received his undergraduate and medical degrees. Paul was one of my best friends, and I can’t think of a better way to remember and honor his interest in the health and fitness of his community than by contributing to PATH.