‘Tis the Season for Giving
It is the season for giving despite the shameful TV commercial that coined the term “thanksgetting”. I love the stories of paying it forward, not only at this time of year but every day. I have a good friend who has an annual pre-thanksgiving party and the ticket to entry is a bottle of wine for the party and a gift card from a grocery store for an adopted family in need. They raise thousands of dollars every year and their young girls learn that giving is getting.
About 10 years ago we hosted our first open house to showcase the Van Dyke Laser & Skin office and to offer our patients discounts and door prizes. It was a roaring success. Then it occurred to me that this would be a great opportunity to give back to the community that has supported us since 1985. The next open house we held included a silent auction for the benefit of the Susan G Komen Foundation to fight breast cancer. Our vendors covered the cost of skin care products and laser treatments and VDLS took care of the professional fees. Together we raised over $10,000 to benefit Susan G Komen.
Our staff was so engaged that we formed a team for “Race for the Cure” and put a few extra dollars towards a good cause.
We chose Susan G Komen because the majority of our patients are women and we wanted to support women’s health. Over time we branched out and allied ourselves with the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women campaign to combat heart disease in women. The whole staff went to the downtown fund raiser for “Go Red “. I gave a talk on skin conditions. Crystal, our aesthetician strutted her stuff in the red dress fashion show. It was a wonderful experience and more money was raised for women’s health.
At our next open house we again held a silent auction and again over $10,000 was raised, this time for support and prevention of heart disease in women.
Then something happened in my life that caused me to refocus my giving. Up until then the charity had been theoretical. I had no personal connection to the causes we supported but I knew there was a huge amount good that we were doing. My youngest son, Brian, was in San Francisco for a summer job during college break. He texted me and was not well. He was losing weight, felt sugar cravings all of the time and had an insatiable thirst. I flew him home that night and the next day and at the doctors he had a blood sugar 4 times normal. He had his first insulin shot that day, he had type one diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes)..
From that day to this he has to monitor his blood sugars and balance food with insulin. There is no cure.
For the last few years the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has been the beneficiary of our silent auctions, our walks and our support of charity dinners.
This is the season for giving so if you have a personal connection, I applaud you for your giving. If you are lucky enough to have not experienced a reason to give and give anyway…. I honor you.
Happy Holidays and here is to a very Happy New Year!