I got to thinking about my post last week, you know the one about Christmas. I do feel more generous this time of year. I also know that a lot of people suffer this time of year. Many people are alone, hungry, or otherwise in need. So I got to thinking that if you are anything like me, you find it hard to figure out how to help. Living in a big city, I see things all the time that I wish I knew how to fix. It can feel even more overwhelming when you turn your attention to the broader world. At some of my lower points, I've tried to think of how I could adopt ALL the kids that need adopting, and make food for EVERYONE who is hungry, and cure all the disease in the world, especially lady diseases that no one talks about, and while I'm at it, teach every person on earth to read, because to me there is no greater pleasure, and nothing more empowering. Alas, most days I smile at the check out person at the grocery store, and don't hurl expletives at the old lady in front of me writing a check, and chalk that up to my good deed.
So as a little holiday warm up, I thought I'd feature a charitable organization once a week. Maybe you've been thinking of how you can help? Or wishing there was something you could do? Looking for a clever gift for someone, or trying to figure out how to not get another ugly reindeer sweater from your aunt Estelle? I know it's been a tough year for a lot of people. But sometimes the smallest acts of kindness can help a lot. You can put the word out that you'd like a donation to be made in your name, or add it to a registry. You can donate in your family's name. You can volunteer, or spread the word yourself. See? So easy! Oh, and I promise not to post pictures of any children with flies on them or play any creepy Sarah Mclachlan music while you read. PROMISE.
Some of the organizations are near and dear to my heart, and some are groups that I've just heard of. I'd love to hear from you about your favorite charities, and maybe I'll include them in future posts.
I'm going to try to feature a new organization each week, hopefully on the same day each week. But you know, sometimes I wear the same socks for four days straight, so we'll see.
I thought I'd start with something that's not too controversial, and I think most of us have fond memories of. Arts in school. You know, finger painting, recorder lessons, Peter Pan. On a side note, totally unrelated to yesterday's post about eating whole tubs of frosting, I played Wilbur in Charlotte's Web in the 5th grade. Many schools no longer have the funding to pay for the teachers to teach these classes, and so kids do without. As an actor and a photographer, and you know, human being in general, I firmly believe that it is through art that we express our humanity best. Wether it be the written word, a song, or a painting, these expressions of the human spirit are how we remember as a people. How we tell about ourselves for future generations. I don't think that every kid will grow up to be an artist, but how sad would it be to think of a child growing up without art.
On top of that kids who have music education score higher on standardized tests. It's true! Oh, and they have less regrets as adults (I just made that up, but how many of us who quit playing piano, or CELLO, or the alto sax, regret not keeping up with our lessons, after our parents stopped making us go? Just me? Ok, fine I'll get some therapy... GEEZ!)
"VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in American public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. Since 1997, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has provided $45 million worth of new musical instruments to more than 1,700 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of more than 1.4 million public school students."
So there you have it. You can check out there website, dust off your band uniform and call your local music school to spend hundreds on adult lessons that you should have taken advantage of when you were nine years old. Oh... just me again? Sorry.
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