Christmas Lists

Dear Santa,

My parents and I recently discussed our Christmas wish lists. It was a short discussion, because all of us said that we have enough stuff already, and we didn't really need or want anything else. Actually, I'm going to ask my mom to mend a few loose buttons on my jacket. It would take me ages, but she's an ace with a needle and thread. That aside, I'll be happy to enjoy a week with my family and friends.

I'll be honest, Santa, my cup of Christmas cheer has seemed half empty lately. With news stories about acid being thrown on schoolgirls in Afghanistan and terrorist attacks in Mumbai, it's easy to get discouraged about the state of the world. Of course, the one in six people living on less than a dollar a day don't even make the headlines. That's not “news” - it's “still happenings”. The Walmart worker getting trampled to death by a consumerism-crazed mob*, now that's news!
(*mob: noun, some regular folks whose enthusiasm for low prices cannot be contained by silly little things like electromagnetically locked doors)

So this year, Santa, I was thinking that it'd be great to leave the sweaters and toy dump trucks in the workshop and focus on some things that will put a smile on people's faces and leave their cup of cheer overflowing! It doesn't take any money to make a positive difference: bake cookies for a neighbour; study a world map with a child; write a handwritten letter; ask someone to teach you a skill they have; even just look a homeless person in the eyes as you pass. It doesn't even need to take a lot of time!

Still feel like you should spend some money on someone anyway? One of my friends wrote a blog a few days ago that really got me thinking...

Try making a charitable donation in someone's honour. It'd be a phenomenal gift! There are so many organizations doing such great work. Choose your cause: Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Heath, Environment, Poverty... the list is huge!

In fact, Santa, I discussed this idea with a friend of mine. And unlike me, he has his dream job of speaking to and inspiring people; he also has enough time to make an online wishlist and set an ambitious goal of raising $1000 from 50 donors to support my three wishes:
1.Canadian youth become engaged global citizens, committed to fighting poverty.
2.Canada's government becomes a global leader in the fight against poverty (instead of riding out a reputation of past good deeds).
3.Fair Trade products become a common consumer option for all Canadians, allowing people to support farmers from the developing world with their daily actions.

Obama's inspiring democratization of fundraising made it obvious that every donation counts. Whether it's $1, $10, $20, $100 or more, I'm asking YOU to be one of the 50 people who give the gift of opportunity. I'm kicking off the effort by donating $100 myself (Any gift of $20 or more is tax deductible).

Visit The Gift of Opportunity for more info on how you can help make wishes come true. And please, pass this letter on to your friends, family and colleagues. There's simply no better gift!

Thanks Santa, and have a safe and happy holiday!



Although it'd be nice to take credit for all the work, it's really my friend Joel Hilchey who's organizing all of the amazing efforts. I'm just trying to help spread the word. This letter was originally in my newspaper, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt to post it online either. I'm not going to lie, I totally forgot that not everyone online is Canadian, but I'm hoping that this will raise awareness. With the state of the global economy right now, charities are suffering, even though the need is increasing. Even if you can't donate to The Gift of Opportunity, just take a look at your local charities and see what you can do.
This is just my attempt at making a difference...Wow, I hope that doesn't sound as cliche as I think it does.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this! Happy Holidsays <3
December 23rd, 2008 at 06:15am