The holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to donate time or money to those less fortunate. Many of the members in the Citi Habitats community strongly believe in the importance of giving back, and were kind enough to weigh in on what they do to help others, why acts of generosity are so important to them, and how more people can get involved…
What do you do to give back during the holiday season?
“A friend and I started a charity called Kid-Care, and I’m proud to say we just had our 10th annual holiday toy drive last week. We started off by doing individual fundraisers but decided to join forces to increase our reach. We had a number of ideas as to what issue we should focus on – but decided on helping kids because it’s something everyone can get behind – and kids can’t choose the deck of cards they’re dealt. Our goal is to give at-risk kids opportunities to succeed (and just have fun) they otherwise might not have. Through Kid-Care we sponsor a little league baseball team and hold “job hops” so kids can learn firsthand about different careers. We also sponsor classes at Homes for the Homeless that are focused on teaching guitar, photography, meditation, and yoga – to name just a few. We also host an annual basketball tournament to benefit homeless youth.” – Brian Morgan, Park Avenue South Office
“I am involved in a toy drive in Brownsville, Brooklyn. So many children don’t know a world outside of the radius. It’s my way of showing them that there are opportunities available to them.” – Louna Suberro, Park Avenue South Office
“The Chadwick Team at Citi Habitats is hosting a holiday party on December 18th called “Lit For Lyme,” a benefit to raise funds for The Global Lyme Alliance. It will be held at Surya Indian Restaurant at 154 Bleecker St from 6-8 pm. A percentage of sales will be donated by Surya, and donations up to $250 will be matched by me.” – Michael Chadwick, Greenwich Village Office
Why is it important for you to give back to your community?
“I am a very strong believer in giving back all year but especially during the holiday season, which can often be a painful time for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. It’s why my son Mike and I began coordinating Citi Habitats Cares. Helping others in need often eases and helps one put in perspective their own struggles. Whether it be feeding the poor, hungry, or homeless, providing support to our LGBTQ community, helping seniors remain in their homes with dignity and self-respect, providing a holiday gift for a foster child, helping the visually impaired, or helping provide funds for research and services to kids with cancer. I promise you when the event is completed you will feel better about life itself. We live in probably the most diverse city in the world and there is great wealth and opportunity here for many. Yet, there are still too many whose lives are much more difficult. Offer a hand, take a moment out of your life, its needs and wishes, and assist another human being. We never know when it could be our parents, child, spouse, or ourselves who are in need. Wishing all a happy holiday season and a very healthy and prosperous New Year!” – Ira Schulte, Park Avenue South Office
“We started Kid-Care because we wanted to let “kids be kids.” We want them – at least for a little while – to forget about many of the stresses that children in poverty often face, and give them every opportunity to thrive. I am fortunate to have grown up in a stable environment and given every advantage to achieve success… Not all kids are so lucky.” – Brian Morgan, Park Avenue South Office
“It’s important to give back to my community because we need to be reminded that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. The suffering of the world can begin to end with the relief of the one. We all must do our part. We can’t control the actions of others, but we can control our own.” – Michael Chadwick, Greenwich Village Office
For people who are interested in giving back but are not sure where to start, what would you recommend?
“Think small… You don’t have to save the world, just help one person. Find something you’re passionate about; while it might take some time, with enough thought and effort you’ll eventually find a way you can make a big difference.” – Brian Morgan, Park Avenue South Office
“Start by picking a charity you believe in and invite your friends to donate with you. Or ask on your Facebook page for recommendations from your friends.” – Michael Chadwick, Greenwich Village Office