|Posted by Team Charity on December 22, 2010 at 9:07 AM|
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, which can sometimes be filled with frustration and annoyance, I am lucky to have found the true spirit of Christmas through Team Charity. I have witnessed a tremendous generosity of spirit through many people, but two people in particular spurred this generosity is so many others and I don't know how to begin to thank them.
The first is Laura Occhipinti of New Jersey Young Professionals. For the second year in a row, Laura dedicated her holiday happy hours to Team Charity. As most of you know, all through the year NJYP Happy Hours are free. But during the holiday season, Laura requests that her members donate $5 to a worthwhile cause. I was lucky enough to be able to attend all three events in New Brunswick, Morristown and Paramus. Not only was everyone happy to donate, but some people donated extra and others happily joined our mailing list. But what was perhaps the most exciting for me was overhearing people sing the praises of Team Charity and explain who we are to newbies. You see, Team Charity's mission is to make philanthropy a part of the young professional's culture. So to hear our message being spread, completely unprompted, well it warms my heart and makes what can seem like a second full-time job (albeit one I love) seem very worthwhile. So thank you, Laura, for being the catalyst of spreading Team Charity's message and helping us to raise $1045!!!
The second person I want to thank is Todd Brogan. Among many other things (including a new father to a beautiful baby girl that he and his wife Heather had four months ago), Todd is a DJ at McCarthys Bar & Grill in Bridgewater, NJ. For the past seven years, Todd has thrown an event called "Drunken Santa" where he DJs the party dressed as Santa and well...gets drunk. But every year he picks a different charity to benefit from this event and people donate all night. I have never seen someone work a crowd the way Todd did. He constantly reminded people of the awesome door prizes available to those who donate, he let people "pay to play" song requests and he even called people out in the crowd to make sure they had contributed. We all had a blast and in one night, we raised $743!!!! Thank you, Todd!
This has been a month filled with fantastic fundraisers and we are so grateful for all of the support! Unfortunately, with everything going on this month, we had fewer volunteer events than usual. Last night, however, we had our monthly visit to the Hoboken Shelter. If I am being completely honest with you, I was dreading it all day. It's been an exhausting week, Hoboken is so hard for me to get to by 6, parking is atrocious and I have about a million things I need to do before Christmas. As it turns out, this is exactly what I needed to do before Christmas. The Hoboken Shelter kitchen was packed with 6 of us from Team Charity and about 5 others as well. The dining hall was packed as well. After we prepared and cooked the meal, I hung back in the kitchen and let people who hadn't served before have that experience. I could see in their faces that they "got" Team Charity's message too. And of course, the true spirit of Christmas. My advice to you is, if you can, stop your shopping and wrapping and do something kind for someone else. Maybe it is volunteering, maybe it is donating, maybe it is applying for the Ambassador Grant for your favorite charity (hint, hint) or maybe it is even letting the other car get the parking spot. But whatever it is, I hope you do it, so you can feel as good as I do and you can pass the message along too. Merry Christmas everyone.