Photograph courtesy of Femi Faoye
On behalf of the D.R.E.A.M. Team, I would like to wish all of our fans, supporters, and avid blog readers a very Happy Holidays. I hope the holiday season has been a joyous time for everyone thus far.
If you have been following our blog, I have provided you with tips to on how to save on your holiday shopping tab, which I hope was helpful. In our recent winter newsletter, we also provided you with 5 holiday gift ideas. Lastly, if you follow our social media pages we have posted vast amounts of articles on consumer spending this holiday season. It’s safe to say that we have fed into the hyper-consumer driven nature of the holidays, which many of us fall victim to. (It’s just SO easy to get sucked in when everything is 25% off!) However, I’m not here to make you feel guilty about shopping and treating loved ones (or yourself) to thoughtful gifts.
On the other end of the spectrum there are those that employ the holiday season as a time of selflessness. Personally, the holiday season is a time where I remember those less fortunate than myself, and do my best to donate my time or finances to those in need. (This should occur all year and not only during the holiday season) The holiday season can be used as a time for hyper-philanthropy instead of hyper-consumerism. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas Day starting at 10 a.m., I alongside my brothers of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., host a community outreach program on 42nd St. and Ninth Avenue in New York City. We serve hot food and beverages to homeless and hungry persons in need of a meal. We also provide clothing to those who may be lacking winter gear during these harsh New York City winters. Additionally, I donate financially to my favorite charities and local community based organizations that make New York City such a great place. These are all mandatory components of my overall holiday experience and I’m often more excited to wake up on Christmas Day and perform community service versus opening gifts.
Some of you may be interested in volunteering or donating after reading this, I got you covered. Here are a few ways to get involved this holiday season:
- Locate your local homeless shelter, church, or community based organization and inquire about their holiday food serving schedules. These organizations are always looking for volunteers to serve food. Here’s a great example of an organization in Los Angeles, California. http://www.foodonfoot.org/.
- For ideas in NYC:
Prospect Park YMCA – call (718) 768-710
God’s Love We Deliver – www.glwd.org
- Participate in a local clothing drive (There are often “drop boxes” located in churches). For New York City residents, click here.
- Research local and national nonprofit organizations and donate, donate, donate! Here is an option.
Want to give a holiday gift to D.R.E.A.M.? Looking for last minute write-offs to lower your tax liability for 2011? Starting today we are initiating a winter fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $3,000 by February 1st, 2012. During this time of holiday joy we ask that you find it in your heart (and wallet) to donate any amount to help us fulfill our mission of empowering the urban youth of New York City. No amount is too big or too small, we are just asking that you help us in any way you can. As little as $1 can help D.R.E.A.M. bring financial literacy to youth in desperate need of this information. To donate now, click here!
I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, and peace and prosperity for the New Year!
About the Author: Femi Faoye is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of D.R.E.A.M. He’s a staunch and passionate financial literacy education advocate.
Notwithstanding any language to the contrary, the views expressed in this post reflect those of the author and do not reflect the views of Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. The contents of this post cannot be redistributed without the explicit written consent of the author and Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. All images in this post owned by Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. may not be used in any advertising, publicity, or otherwise to indicate members' sponsorship or affiliation with any product or service without the prior express written consent of Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. All other images presented not owned by Developing Responsible Economically Advanced Model-Citizens, Inc. are the property of the author, respective company, or photographer. The rights to the images and likeness represented are under explicit ownership of the person(s) aforementioned.