From the Director’s Desk – November 2017

At the beginning of the most recent, “This American Life” radio show, Ira Glass (host), recounts an impressive experience he had on a cross-country flight. He tells the story of Anne, the pilot, who captivated the passengers’ attention with her comedic routine and whimsical approach to the pre-flight announcements. At the core of her remarks was a sense of true gratitude – for her position, for her passengers, and for their partnership.

The calendar – both Jewish and secular – provides many opportunities for gratitude. Of course, one of the most significant in the secular calendar bares the very language of thanks. At the end of the month, families around the country will gather for turkey, family, and maybe some football (Go Vikings!). Behind the arguments of who has the best pecan pie and what is the best side dish, is an important message of gratitude for how we arrived at this place.

It’s important to note that not everyone may be sitting around a table. Not everyone may have a bed to sleep in. While Thanksgiving should absolutely be a holiday of giving thanks for what we have, it must also serve as a sobering reminder of those who have not. That reminder stimulates thoughts of giving and how each of us can give of ourselves – however small – to support those around us (click here for some awesome resources).

Every year, at this time, Carrie and I sit down to determine which organizations have touched our lives and how we can best support them in their endeavors to create a better world. We seek out those organizations thriving, celebrating successes and impacting the future by creating bright, engaged, young people and serving various aspects of our local, national, and global communities.

One such organization is Capital Camps. Capital Camps has an incredible impact on nearly 1,000 young people every year (see section below for some great links about the impact of camp). Many of those young people would not be able to experience the gift of camp without need-based financial assistance. Nearly 25% of our campers receive some form of need-based financial aid totaling $300,000. The dollars we provide for financial aid come directly from donations made by camp parents, alumni, and other supporters of our organization.

In the coming weeks, you’ll likely receive many emails from a variety of worthy causes and organizations. One of them will most certainly be Capital Camps. We, like others, will encourage you to take advantage of #GivingTuesday (stay tuned for more details). Carrie and I will be ready to express our gratitude and give our share. I invite you to join us.