In November, we asked our wives, Dawn Lawrence and Carol Hartman (whom many of you met at the conference), to plan a unique company Christmas party and surprise us with it. They delivered! We were suprised and pleased with yesterday’s party.
Dawn and Carol asked for a larger budget than we expected. We couldn’t figure out what they were going to do with it. Maybe a fancy meal or outing. Then, they started making food for the party, and we were really puzzled.
Their plan, it turned out, was to make the party about giving and have fun together in the process. They made the party itself pretty inexpensive, and then picked four charities for most of the budget to go to. We gathered at Richard’s house yesterday afternoon. Dawn and Carol showed us a video about each of the four charities and explained that we’d be going to Dave and Busters with our families to play games, with the number of tickets each person earned representing the share of the giving that person would get to choose how to distribute among the four charities. So, we had fun playing games for a couple hours and then came back to eat dinner together and capture the results for each charity.
They even planned a nice giving twist at Dave and Busters. Instead of spending the tickets we earned on a whoopie cushion or novelty glass, after we totaled up the tickets earned, we then gave them away to random kids to spend.
In case you’re looking for a place to give at the end of the year, here’s an overview of the four charities we’re supporting, along with the videos we saw yesterday…
Living Water International
Almost 800 million people lack access to clean drinking water. This is a root cause for a number of other problems. Living Water International does water, sanitation, and hygiene projects throughout the developing world.
Heifer International has been working for 70 years to end poverty and hunger. They use gifts of animals as the cornerstone of a holistic development program to catalyze positive change in poor communities.
The Recreation Project
Young people in Uganda were born into a 25-year civil war, with over 90% of the population of northern Uganda displaced by the conflict and countless children kidnapped and forced to fight. The Recreation Project uses an experiential learning program with a ropes course and other outdoor adventures to help build trust, self-belief, and hope in Uganda’s youth.
Wounded Warrior Project
Advancements in battlefield medicine and body armor mean thousands of veterans are returning to America with physical and mental injuries. The Wounded Warrior Project helps injured armed service members adjust to and thrive in civilian life after returning from battle.