Hope and Charity from the Inside Out

We're exploring HOPE this month at Scrapbooking from the Inside Out...here's one of this month's prompts:

Basic human goodness and some religious traditions teach and encourage giving of your time, money and spirit to help bring relief to those in need. What do you do in your day to day life to provide HOPE for others? What traditions did you learn from your family of origin, and which do you intend to pass on to the next generation? What causes, beliefs and beings do you support by bringing them HOPE, and how?

My parents chose to share an important Jewish tradition with my sister and myself. We put money in a 'tzedakah' (charity) box frequently, and most often made a point of doing it each Friday night before we lit the Sabbath candles. One of my best memories of my childhood was sitting with my dad twice a year, counting the money in the box and deciding as a family where we'd like to send the money. It made us partners in giving, and empowered us to clarify our goals and express our core values.

And I guess it worked! In my day job, I am Vice President of a large charity in Los Angeles which raises $50 million a year in support of social services here and overseas. Our agencies provide low-cost day care, afterschool programs, mammograms, drug treatment, and elder care, among other things. I am proud of playing even a small part in making people's lives better by providing HOPE and the tools for change.

I also deeply love animals, and a few years ago, found Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. They are a sanctuary of last resort for animals of all types who might be euthanized in other shelters becase of age, temperament or sickness. Their work is amazing...and now you can see their efforts up close and personal on National Geographic Network's 'Dogtown'. The show follows the stories of dogs, many of whom are considered by others impossible to rehabilitate, and how they return to physical and mental health, often to be adopted into loving forever homes. This includes puppy mill dogs and a number of the dogs held and tortured by Michael Vick...now known at Best Friends as the VICKtory dogs. Go check it out! It will renew your hope in humanity...

What causes mean the most to you? How do you bring HOPE to the world? Go do it, and scrap it...



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