Making Gratitude Contagious

If you have been with me a while, you know gratitude is something I write about often. It is part of my habit of practicing gratitude, something that didn’t come easily to me. I grew up with scarcity and live in appreciation for all I have now; a loving family, a safe home, a community of friends, and the ability to have an impact. These are just a few of the things I am extremely grateful for.

So, as you know, when I turned 50 at the end of last year, I kicked off my 50 for 50 campaign where I donate $50 each week of my 50th year of life.

In sharing each week, I realized that an attitude of gratitude is contagious. That is the most awesome part of this campaign; seeing the contagion take effect. I actually caught the bug from two friends I admire, Scott Osman and Shari Ciapka. And so many of you have caught the bug and forwarded me their donations to each charity I have selected. One of my dear college friends has emailed me every week, sharing that she is giving, and thanking me for bringing awareness to the organizations doing such important, vital work in the world. If you’ve also been participating in giving–please let me know!

Being kind has the potential to make the world a happier place. According to the mental health foundation, “Acts of kindness can boost feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness, and optimism. They may also encourage others to repeat the good deeds they’ve experienced themselves – contributing to a more positive community.” And who doesn’t want that?

Sharing what is important to you and why enables us to form deeper understanding and connections. And connection is what I am all about!

I started my campaign with a charity that is important to my family, the Lupus Research Alliance. I am incredibly grateful to them for helping us find the right doctors for my son when he was diagnosed last year. So, I am taking this week to highlight them again since I am doing a walk for them this Spring. You can read more about our story, join our walk team, or donate to this amazing organization and our walk team here.

Here is a list of the other organizations that have been part of the 50 for 50 campaign so far:

  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Environmental Defense Fund Charity Water
  • American Red Cross
  • Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Feeding America
  • Relief International
  • World Central Kitchen
  • International Rescue Committee World Union for Progressive Judaism
  • Doctors Without Borders

What causes are important to you or close to your heart? If you have a charity you want to nominate, please don’t be shy. Email back and tell me about your favorite charity. Include the name, website, and why you chose them. I will start including some of your picks in the weeks to come.

Let’s keep the contagion going!

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