I have what I call a “10% Solution”: I donate 10% of my earnings from musical performances and author programs to charity. I typically try some new causes each year; and while many seem extremely worthwhile, others seem to exert their greatest energy trying to get more money from me.
I recently ran across The Hunger Site Store in cyberspace. Run by an organization called The Greater Good, it is an online store that, at the very least, donates about two cups of food somewhere in the world it is badly needed for every dollar you spend. Better yet, most of the hundreds of items are custom-made by individual craftsmen or third-world small businesses, and fair traded. The site even runs sales and other specials, like sort of a munificent Macys. I couldn’t resist clicking up a sleigh full of global gifts ranging from Ghanian and Peruvian apparel to herbal goods produced by a battered women’s shelter in Colorado. You can’t beat capitalism for a cause; for your last-minute shopping needs, check out www.thehungersite.greatergood.com
This month also marked my fifth season of performing holiday concerts, mostly at senior venues. This year saw a record 14 holiday shows, beginning on December 6 and ending 21 days later with a final performance at my birthplace, Muscatine Iowa. They’ve become one of my favorite holiday traditions; and as I tell people at the end of each show, I wish you all a belated Happy Hannukah- a Joyous Kwanzaa– a Rockin’ Ramadan to come, and a very Merry Christmas!