On Generosity & Our 2015 Scholarship Event

Diane DiamantisBlog Posts, Non-Profit

I looked up some quotes about Generosity. These are from my favorite quotes website, Brainyquotes.com:

Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate. But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond.
Tom Stoppard

Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, just as you are making yourself, and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style.
Rebecca Solnit

I had been thinking about committing to a certain New Year’s Resolution for 2015. When I heard someone else declare it as theirs, I said to myself – Ok – and I copied it. (Uh, that is not illegal, right?!)  I was watching the end of year/News Years show of The Five on Fox News channel, and I heard co-host Eric Bolling declare his resolution: To be more altruistic this year.

My daughter and I are working very hard to help our first scholarship applicants in 2015. Yes, we are new, and working from the grass roots up and out and beyond as far as we can go. We are passionate about being able to award at least one, if not two to four scholarships this summer to students who have Tourette Syndrome. We want to help these students reach their educational goals – so they can reach their life and career goals. I think about it every day when I wake up, and every day before I go to sleep.

It may sound like my altruism resolution is all about Dollars 4 Tic Scholars. Part of it is. But part of it is even more personal than that. This month of January, as we prepare for our crowdfunding campaign that we will launch on IndieGoGo on February 23, and as we prepare for a special event to kick off the campaign on February 27 – our first official event as a non-profit – I am investing my time observing, and learning, about altruism.

Altruism is innate, but it’s not instinctual. Everybody’s wired for it, but a switch has to be flipped.
David Rakoff

Here is what I am learning. People, and companies, are innately generous. I am humbled as I write, because my trusty volunteers and I have been soliciting raffle prize and silent auction donations for our event. Almost every day for the last month, when our mail comes, there is an envelope with a gift card in it from a local store or restaurant, or tickets to an attraction. I am beyond thrilled that we will be able to display raffle baskets that will attract our event attendees to buy raffle tickets in hopes of winning them- and the raffle ticket money will go toward our scholarships. The generosity of these supporters quiets my soul.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have run events before but never one quite so dear to my heart. And when a donation comes through the door, it makes me stop and say – am I that altruistic at heart? If not, my switch needs to be flipped.

Event Sponsors & Generosity

Our main sponsors for the D4TS Crowdfunding Campaign Kick-off event are two great examples of generosity. I sat recently with the owner of Zorba’s Taverna, the restaurant that will be sponsoring the dinner for our event. As if it were not special enough that he is helping us in February, he asked me – “Are we doing this every year?” I cannot express to you how amazing that felt.

Our other main sponsor, Jack Fleming of Wells Fargo Advisors in Boca Raton, has helped us with securing the event venue, and with the refreshments. That, too, was very special to us – Jack is someone who heard of our organization and jumped forward to help, without being asked.

So as I watch and learn what it feels like to be the recipient of selfless generosity, I not only look forward to passing along the resulting benefits to our scholarship candidates with Tourette Syndrome…I am also taking note, and resolving to watch for opportunities to do more for others in my life when I can. Here’s to flipping the switch!

Diane Diamantis
Dollars 4 Tic Scholars