Femurs and Philanthropy: A Legacy of Kindness

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth
~ Muhammad Ali ~

Margaret Mead was a cultural anthropologist born at the turn of the 20th century who, throughout her 77 years on the planet, made remarkable contributions to the understanding of what, and why, we humans do the things we do. She was once asked by an interviewer: “What is the first sign you look for to tell you more about an ancient civilization?” (assuming Mead would suggest a broken pot or a primitive tool).

Her answer was surprising: a healed femur

Ms. Mead elaborated: “When someone breaks a femur, they can’t survive to hunt, fish or escape enemies unless they have help from someone else. Thus, a healed femur indicates that someone else helped that person, rather than abandoning them and saving themselves. Isn’t that what we in philanthropy are all about? Healing femurs of one sort or another?”

You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give
~ Kahlil Gibran ~

People’s time is a precious resource. In 2010, nearly 63 million volunteered their time, at least once, to or through a philanthropic organization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual personal contribution is 52 hours or 3.3 billion total hours, translating to the potential of over $3 trillion of pecuniary value in the US alone.

One organization that is taking the commitment to volunteerism to a new level is the Global Volunteer Network (GVN) whose mission is to connect people with communities in need. Colin Salisbury, who launched the GVN in late 2000, discovered that many volunteer opportunities were often limiting and expensive. Salisbury had witnessed the positive effect that volunteer contributions had on helping local organizations attain their goals and, to date, the GVN provides volunteer programs in 21 countries throughout South America, Africa, and Asia.

Over the past decade, the GVN has placed over 15,000 volunteers and, aligning with the concept of ‘local solutions to local problems’, they have built solid ties with grassroots organizations across the globe. By connecting with local community organizations, international volunteers hit the ground running, providing a wealth of resources and experience and are dedicated to the success of the local partners’ projects. The GVN Foundation has been endorsed by Bill Gates and has Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council.

Eat So They Can: No one Likes to Dine Alone

The perfect storm may very well be the cycle of poverty. Extreme poverty is our number one cause of hunger and malnutrition which result in severely diminished physical health and intellectual acuity. It lowers levels of energy to such degrees that the hungry lose the capacity to learn and to work, thus perpetuating the cycle of poverty. There are 925 million people on the planet who suffer from hunger, many from the most lethal form of malnutrition: Protein-Energy Malnutrition (PEM), essentially a lack of the most basic protein and calories to survive.

According to the World Health Organization, hunger is the single gravest threat to the world’s public health, affecting close to 14% of our global population.

~ Nobody can do Everything. But Everyone Can do Something ~

Eat So They Can is an international fundraiser inviting citizens of the world to one Huge Dinner Party!

Right this minute, somewhere in your town and perhaps in your own home, people are gathering with friends and family to share a meal. Right this minute, these people can be helping to stop poverty. The funds raised from the Eat So They Can campaign will go towards supporting orphaned and vulnerable children and to women’s empowerment projects in Africa, Asia and the Americas. We lose more than six million of our children each year to hunger and we can help them.

In our society of relative affluence, most have never known extreme poverty. Hunger means forgetting your lunch and managing on that granola bar you found in your desk until dinner. The global statistics on poverty may seem daunting and distant; distant facts about people in distance places. It’s time to have dinner in your community; the world is your community.

The smallest action is worth a fortune of intentions ~ good intentions do not feed the hungry. All is takes is for each of us to donate the cost of a dessert or a bottle of wine. You don’t have to do everything; simply, do something. At your next dinner party or get together, open up your laptop and invite your friends and family to make a difference!

Please visit Eat So They Can and share a little of your abundance.

If you think you are too small to be effective,
you have never been in bed with a mosquito
~ Betty Reese ~

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3 Responses to Femurs and Philanthropy: A Legacy of Kindness

  1. Beautiful post; wonderful quotes. Love it, TD. I’ve written and spoken about the value of giving to YOU, let alone to the world and/or the people you help and touch. As I say, you GET more when you GIVE. I also believe it’s our responsibility and as Judaism advocates, we should Tikkun Olam, which means to “Repair the World.” Ask yourself that question now and then – what am I doing to Repair the World. The idea is to do it ONE person at a time. You don’t have to cure cancer to make a difference!

    Tonight at #DadChat we’re taking on the serious subject of our Seniors…and how so many of us are in the Triple Decker Sandwich Generation, where we’re looking after our kids and our seniors, and OFTEN neglecting ourselves. I hope to see you there at 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., PST. #DadChat is one of my ways to try and Repair the World!

  2. Kneale Mann says:

    Hey Tobey, Love this post and more importantly thanks for the reminder for us to DO SOMETHING! We often get caught up in our world of needing a darker shade of read jacket or get angry because the salmon filet is dry while one billion go hungry every single day. Instead of counting our blessings, it’s time for us to share them.

  3. Pingback: Wednesday’s Women: @angelamaiers @ardath421 @LisaPetrilli @tobeydeys @DabneyPorte « The unofficial blog of Stan Faryna

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