Charity

It is not what we have, but what we give, that defines us.

I remember reading some of Ben Taub's excellent articles about the ongoing political situation in Syria. I couldn't believe that somehow, in today's world, these kinds of things were still happening. I read about parents fleeing with their children, or digging them out from under rubble. These images stuck with me. I'm lucky to have three beautiful, healthy children. What would it have been like if my house was bombed, and I had to walk to another country, in the middle of winter, with my own children?  Worse still, what if I had to leave one buried in the rubble? I couldn't stop thinking about the horrible plight of the 13 million Syrian refugees.

This was something that spoke to me. I had recently been laid off. My wife had just given birth to our third child. It was a bit of a trying time, but I knew it was nothing -- nothing -- in comparison to the trials of so many others. I wanted to help, and I wasn't sure how. I wasn't in a place where we could give monetarily. For a long time, I had thought about starting my own event, and this seemed like a good opportunity. Before we had booked our first event (or even had a website), we had signed a deal with USA for UNHCR to donate 10% of every ticket. That was something I could do. We are proud to donate that 10% before we take out our own expenses or taxes. Even if the event loses money, rest assured that 10% of your ticket is going to USA for UNHCR.

We encourage you to find something that speaks to you, and do something to help. It doesn't have to be money. Sometimes, even more than money, friendship and acceptance is what is needed. Smile at a stranger. Volunteer at a food bank. Adopt a dog. Find whatever it is that makes your light shine, and try and shine a little brighter. I'll leave you with an inscription found on the Statue of Liberty, the "Mother of Exiles,"

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!