Selfless acts for Christmas, birthdays or other milestones

Snip20141211_1A birthday reminder? Indeed, my birthday is just around the corner. It’s 5 January. On 5 December I received an email reminder about my own birthday and a terrific suggestion by Crowdrise, an online fundraising Website.

In this email reminder, Crowdrise suggested I set up a page for charity and ask friends to give in my honour to the charity. I thought this was a terrific idea and one many may implement.

MaryRoseThe email reminded me of someone from Boston. A young woman named MaryRose Mazzola with whom I became acquainted with when she was just a young girl. MaryRose asked family and friends to give a donation to Lahey Clinic in lieu of gifts for herself on her 12th birthday. When Lahey Clinic was notified, I remember being amazed that someone so young would act in such a way. Motivated by an illness her beloved Grandmother (Nana) had, she wanted to make a difference as a 12 year old. I am not sure most adults would act in such a way, but MaryRose set a good example for all of us.

This last week, I was at a client site and learned about a 9 year old boy who is giving the money which would have been spent on his Christmas gifts to this particular charity. This story reminded me of MaryRose and the others who take such selfless acts to make a difference. Not only are people like MaryRose and this boy raising needed funds, but they are also attracting new donors to these charities who may otherwise have not donated to their charity of choice (or donated at all).

MaryRose, now attending Harvard University Law School, recently reported she has raised $100,000 to date in donations in tribute to her Nana. This is truly remarkable.

fundraisingThis holiday season, I hope you will think about what you can do. And, perhaps, you will set up a giving page in lieu of your birthday, anniversary, or some other milestone event. Organisations like GoFundraise, Everyday Hero, JustGiving and others are set up specifically to aid you in such efforts. As individuals we can do what GoFundraise call Do It Yourself (DIY) fundraise and get started now. As charities, we can promote such activity as party of our gifts in honour/gifts in memory program.

MaryRose Mazzola set a good example for each of us to follow and now it’s our turn.