The Giving List – 2014 Edition

I thought I would end 2014 with this year’s collection of The Giving List. In the past few years I have found that I love compiling this list and looking back at the ones from the past. In an odd way looking at these lists every year feels like a way of capturing where my mind was, what has moved me, and what was going on in my life and the world around me at that time.

Best wishes for 2015!




All-ways closest in my heart. I was raised in the shadow of these soup pots and surrounded by this community my entire life.

“Martin’s, as it is affectionately known, is a free restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch during the week and brunch on Sundays. Our mission is to serve in the spirit of compassion, understanding and love.”

Note: Quote taken from Martin de Porres Website. See link for more information.


The light for this incredible place still shines so brightly in my memory and in my conscience every day. One of the most remarkable and inspiring places I have experienced.

“Set in Mondul 3, Siem Reap, one of the poorest slum areas in Cambodia. A broken community of army families, karoke/sex workers and displaced men women and children.

New Hope Cambodia’s mission is to restore hope, dignity, and promise to these once proud and prosperous people.”

Note: Quote taken from New Hope Cambodia Website. See link for more information.


This past year Build a School in Burma was fortunate to complete five schools in poor communities in Myanmar.  Their next opportunity is to build their first middle school (most village children have no chance for an education beyond the fourth grade).  I am proud to know Bob and this extraordinary organization.

“Build A School in Burma’s mission is to build schools in underserved areas of Burma (Myanmar) to educate children and give them a chance for a better future. Build a School in Burma built [their] first school during 2011 in Nan Ouw village.”

Note: Quote taken from Build A School In Burma Website. See link for more information.!


I was saddened and horrified by the young girls who were kidnapped in Nigeria this year. It drove home the importance of education in this world for everyone. Education may be along with food and water one of the most vital and important things in life, and young girls and women receiving education has been at the center in my mind for years of what is the very spark of the light that can change our world. Blossom Bus is making education possible for girls in rural Indian Muslim communities.

“The Blossom Bus bridges the chasm between parents’ legitimate concerns for their daughters’ safety and a girl’s right to education. By providing pioneering families with a bus and a parent chaperone to safely deliver their daughters to secondary school”

Note: Quote taken from Lotus Outreach International Website. See link below for information and scroll down for short film.


The Giving List is by far not the only places I support nor is this time of year the only point when I donate, but this list is a representation of  what I have been thinking about this year. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has long been an organization I have admired and supported, but this year especially with the Ebola outbreak I have found myself moved by the courage and selflessness with which so many medical professionals go abroad and risk their safety for the sake of others in need.

“Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.”

Note: Quote taken from Medecins San Frontieres Website. See link below for information:


This was an organization my father introduced me to this year. I find so often that after a short news cycle many places and the people who live in them are ignored when another story comes along. The Winter Duvet Project in Kabul Afghanistan addresses this, in a country still in the middle of conflicts people are dying of not hunger or violence but the cold.

“Two winters ago in Kabul, Afghanistan, the New York Times reported the deaths of at least 22 children in refugee Camps in Kabul : Driven Away by a War, Now Stalked by Winter’s Cold

In the following winter of 2013, the Afghan Peace Volunteers ( APVs ) organized the making and distribution of duvets to poor families in Kabul, including those in refugee camps.  60 Afghan seamstresses were paid wages for sewing a total of 3000 duvets, which were then delivered for free to poor families in Kabul, including to the street kids in the APV street kid program, widows, the visually impaired and the disabled.”

Note: Quote taken from Our Journey To Smile Website. See link below for information:


This is more of a pay it forward moment as opposed to something from 2014, rather this is what I am looking forward to at the start of 2015. I will be in New Orleans in January and my father is going to meet me and we are going to see our friend Jeanne who works here and introduced me to the organization. I am excited to explore this city and to see how this farm is transforming it’s residents.

“The Mission of the Grow Dat Youth Farm is to nurture a diverse group of young leaders through the meaningful work of growing food.

On our farm we work collaboratively to produce healthy food for local residents and to inspire youth and adults to create personal, social and environmental change in their own communities. Grow Dat is a place where people from different backgrounds and disciplines come together in research and practice to support public health, local economies and a sustainable food system in South Louisiana.”

Note: Quote taken from Grow Dat Youth Farm Website. See link below for information:

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