Charity work is so important. James and I do a fair amount of charity work for various causes: HIV/AIDS, autism, animal rights, healthy eating for children, human rights alliances, and homelessness to name a few. The reasons we do it are various. There are the obvious reasons: 1. We are personally connected to the cause. 2. We feel it’s important to give back to organizations that help others when we can. 3. On a completely superficial level, it can sometimes be a smart business opportunity to do charity work.
But on a human level, we do charity work because it is cathartic. When you hear other peoples stories and struggles about what happens in their world, it makes you grateful for what you have in yours. There is something magical about humanity when everyone comes together in the name of a cause and leaves their ego at home. The true human spirit radiates through everyone involved. We might disagree with each other on a different day, but for that one day or moment in time, we are all here for a common and selfless purpose. For James and I, this is an eternally rewarding experience. We are so grateful to take away this unspoken part of humanity with us and find a way to apply it to other areas of our lives. We just finished a concert in Las Vegas called Ribbon of Life produced by Golden Rainbow. It is a charity that was formed in the 1980’s when performers on the strip were dying of AIDS and had no access to healthcare, medications or housing. The performers themselves all got together to found this organization after they learned one of their beloved dancers died in his family’s garage. The dancers family wouldn’t let him live in the house for fear they’d catch something from him. These were also the days when dancers were afraid to touch others in their casts who were positive and would burn their costumes after they died. Heartbreaking. We were thrilled to be a part of an event that was able to announce a private donation of an amount of $275,000. This money came from the estate of now deceased Leona Helmsley. The organization proudly announced that they’d met their million dollar goal to buy a new building and expand their services to those in need in the Las Vegas Valley.
If you’re reading this and you’ve thought to yourself, “I’ve always wanted to get involved with charity work, but never have”—DO IT. Do it for yourself the first time, not even for others. The encounter with humility will change your life forever.