Monday, November 27, 2023

#GivingTuesday: Fund Intangible Moments That Last A Lifetime


Today is #GivingTuesday. 

BlackFriday, SmallBusinessSaturday, and CyberMonday are all about getting gifts for others or for ourselves. Over those three days of raucous retailing, we focus so much on having the things -- the tangibles. #GivingTuesday is all about, what my mother calls, the intangibles. Giving for the sake of giving, enriching someone else's life because you can. Enjoying small moments of joy with one another.

For instance, I watched my mother experience an intangible moment with her grandchildren on Thanksgiving. The three of them were playing a game, my creative Mom created, which involved putting everyday objects in old breadcrumb cans, and trying to identify the objects in the can without opening them. There was no cost to this adventure. Just whatever was laying around the house, and a bunch of giggles and guesses. Yes, we were in a warm house, after a big meal, and all of that costs money, but the unbridled joy that all three of them had in those moments together are something that will be remembered for the rest of their lives. 

At CCA, we create similar opportunities for individuals and families through our Annual Retreat and Educational Symposium. The Retreat, much like our thanksgiving feast, costs money, but the opportunities for moments, for memories that last a lifetime, are immeasurable. Running around the ballroom with a bunch of new friends that you will grow old with. Tittering in the corner of teen night with new girlfriends about the cute boy across the dance floor. Sharing a meal and an adventure out in the new city CCA descends on every year. These experiences are not quantifiable. Neither are the bonds created that endure across states, countries, and continents. You are never alone again. Never again! 

Friends and family frequently ask what I do for CCA, what is it, and why am I so passionate. I have my usual elevator pitch and personal story, but I thought it would far more meaningful to hear from others in the community this time around. Read and really look for those intangibles. 

"People should donate to CCA because people from all walks of life come together to find support and camaraderie in having a facial difference."

"Having a facial difference, you live every day in a world where you don't know how people will react to you. Nor how you feel about your appearance. Being a part of CCA, you discover the good to having a facial difference. If you never had the opportunity to experience life with a facial difference, then you wouldn't have had the chance to meet all these amazing people that are a part of CCA."

"CCA is such a blessing for me. Life hasn't always treated me well, but CCA is just so wonderful."

People should donate to CCA because it's a safe haven for so many families affected by facial differences. It provides us with a lifelong, ever-growing family that loves and supports one another through life's successes and challenges, especially those unique to living with a facial difference. Also, it's so important to donate to CCA so the organization can continue to do the important work of educating the world about differences and the importance of acceptance, kindness, and inclusion. 

Your donor dollars will last longer than any Apple Watch, or gaming system. Your donations represent hope, promise for a brighter tomorrow, and eradication of the dark clouds overhead. Bright skies and welcoming arms await. Children and individuals will be part of a community that will endure for decades to come. A donation today is an invest in inclusion, friendship, unconditional love, laughter, and a community that is simply second to none. Those are some of the greatest intangibles a human may be so lucky to experience. 

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