12.12.12 ❥ A Celebration of Generosity

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 20, Valley Gives Day

Valley Gives Logo (png)I love this about the little Valley I call home: people care about the larger world and they care about this community. I think volunteerism is something that’s a community value. To wit, my daughter’s preschool—not just the parents—are involved in community service activities. The message, as I understand it, to help others is part of life. Period.

The folks at the Community Foundation apparently think the same and so this year, there’s an initiative Valley Gives to bring lots of energy—and money—to participating organizations across the Valley. Their language: Valley Gives is a “celebration of generosity.” In order to partake in the day—it’s 12.12.12—each non-profit received some training, about using website and email and social media to reach out to their constituencies, and to ride the wave of the larger effort, the 12.12.12 one (is this date lodged in your mind yet?).

Even our preschool is participating.

I’ll be honest; there’s an overwhelm factor to a day like this—for the people doing the asking and for the people being asked, often, if you’re someone like me, known to be a cheerleader and a donor, you are being asked to help loads of organizations on one day and how can you possibly do so?

I’ve been thinking hard about this. Here are my answers:

  1. I am going to take some money that would have gone to holiday gifts and give it out on 12.12.12—and then I’m going to let my family know, as a holiday gift, that I have done so. I will give to organizations that matter not just to me but also to them. It’s not going to do magic for anyone, but it’s a way at this rather expensive time of year to justify giving a little more—and back to the helping is part of life, period sentiment, I’m not going to apologize for the fact that giving is part of life. To give is, in fact, a gift. You probably agree if you’ve read this far.
  2. I am inviting you—if you are involved with or enamored of an organization that’s participating in Valley Gives to leave a comment and let more people know about your favorite organization (click the link on the word, preschool, above, for one of mine). Add a link; tell us why.


Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

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