Cookies of the Rising Sun

on in Nonprofit

The bakery on my block is selling “Cookies of the Rising Sun.”  Cookies decorated in the colors of the Japanese flag, their profits dedicated to a fund for the displaced in Japan.

The exercise studio in my neighborhood is running mat classes at which they’re selling “Red Sun Mermaid” t-shirts, with proceeds going to the Japanese Relief Effort.

A group of artisanal breweries is hosting a Brewery bash to help Japanese beer and sake brewers in affected areas.

Giving begins at home.  With who you are, and what you have to offer.  And sometimes, taken from this stance, giving back spurs creativity and results in events far more personal than a straightforward dinner-dance. 

This kind of giving – localized giving, based on who we are and what we do in the world – is collective.  It takes an everyday community, of bakers and munchers…exercisers and trainers… and elevates that activity to a loftier purpose.  It takes our actions dedicated to ourselves, and redirects them to others.

Back in 2008, my kids sold lemonade, along with a number of their classmates, to benefit the Obama campaign.  That’s what kids do – set up lemonade stands.  But here the purpose wasn’t to subsidize yet another Lego set or computer game – it was a higher social good.  So, too, with the brewers, the trainers, and the bakers.

Giving begins with the heart.  What can you extend to the world, and how can you shape it to benefit others?
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