In the middle of long chains of emails titled “Thanksgiving menu,” my aunt Leslie started a new subject: “Holidays”
She wrote, “I was thinking…just a suggestion…that in lieu of gifts for any of these occasions*, we consider making contributions to worthy causes.”
My uncle Michael responded: “My first response is not serious — only if contributions don’t have to be wrapped and they can be designated as last year’s gifts**. Seriously, you have made an excellent suggestion which I would support!”
My aunt Linda added, “The money we are fortunate enough to be able to spend on a wonderful family dinner is plenty. Too many people can’t even afford a turkey.”
And then my mother, “In violent agreement. Many good causes for our donations.”
So, while I’m finishing up tomorrow’s stuffing, I wanted to share a few of the causes that my family cares about and supports.
Michael, Linda, and their son Ben volunteer with the Community Food Bank of NJ.
Every year, we buy Thanksgiving pies through Sharsheret‘s Pies for Prevention Event, organized by my friend Adeena and her sister. I wrote about the organization’s work to raise awareness about ovarian cancer and support research.
The Wounded Warrior Project honors and empowers wounded service members. My grandfather was in the air force.
My sister helped design and build the Lower East Side Girls Club whose goal is to raise the next generation of ethical, environmental, and entrepreneurial leaders. Also, they have the second largest planetarium in New York City, after the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History.
In a day or two, there will be better stuffing photos and the recipe. Today, I’m happy with what I’ve got. And that’s pretty good.
* Today is my cousin Zach’s 21st birthday. Happy birthday, kiddo!
** I don’t think I’ve ever received a present from my family on my actual birthday. The day after? Maybe. Months later? Probably. The day before the next birthday? Yup. And we don’t believe in gift wrapping.