The myriad of ideas, ways, products, and events that people and organizations are creating as an avenue for goodwill is simply fascinating to me. I recently led the fourth annual Dot2Dot Summit in New York City, which consists of approximately 100 invited visionaries sitting for a weekend to talk about the state of our generation and how we, as a tight-knit community of talented and brilliant individuals, can support each other, love each other, and work together in making the world a better place.
One of the comments that I tweeted from the event was offered by the lovely Nia Batts from Viacom.
When discussing the definition of “cool,” she noted that, in the past, it equated with rock ‘n roll, living recklessly, and with near total abandon. Today, the definition of cool includes tenets of altruism, compassion, and awareness.
To me, that is a sound definition for today, tomorrow, and the road beyond. I think it is captivating to recognize this shift in the global thought pattern, to recognize not only the demand for sustainability and support, but the supply feeding it.
When I was a kid, I used to dream about producing the Grammy Awards. I know it sounds like a boisterous idea—especially for a ten year old—but I always loved music, and the Grammys were the most prestigious event in the industry. The core of my truth is this: I love to bring talented people together under one roof, to see what magic can be created. I stand proud today, connecting leaders in philanthropy, wellness, education, and entertainment, and when I first heard that Chase was holding programs for charities to win two million dollars, my giving soul boomed. How brilliant that they used social media to make a difference, all while making a fun, engaging avenue for everyone to give back!
That said; I am so excited to be in Los Angeles, California, this week as a guest of Chase American Giving Awards.
Even though I am not producing this event, it’s like the Grammys of philanthropy, which I am ecstatic to witness firsthand. You see, I simply can’t live without giving to other people; it’s just my nature. As my late grandfather used to say, “Be a giver, not a taker!” When thinking about it now, it’s as if these crucial foundations are now the instruments making a symphony of difference in the world.
I think Chase did an outstanding job creating the voting platform for the different charities. Twenty five past Chase Community Giving charities will be honored during a beautiful ceremony, and five charities will leave the stage with a share in two million dollars to continue their amazing work.
The Wonderful Organizations in Competition
Architecture for Humanity is a global architecture and construction nonprofit, building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By tapping a network of thousands of building professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, they bring design, construction, and development services where they are most critically needed.
Team Rubicon empowers veterans with a new mission and community through natural disaster and humanitarian crisis response.
Active Minds empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage seeking help. They are changing the culture on campuses and in the community by providing information, leadership opportunities, and advocacy training to the next generation.
One Heartland creates community, offers respite, and builds lifelong skills by providing an accepting environment for children, youth, and their families facing social isolation so that they may lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Timmy Global Health expands access to healthcare and empowers volunteers to tackle global health challenges.
The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (theGSF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing global awareness of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the number one genetic killer of young children.
Surfers Healing seeks to enrich the lives of children with autism and the lives of their families by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing.
An Angel in Queens’ mission is to end hunger in our community by providing food to individuals who feel lost, without income and without a place to call their own.
Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives of orphaned children in China. They provide model programs and caregiver training designed to offer loving, family-like care to children of all ages and abilities.
Samasource’s mission is to connect people living in poverty to dignified work via the internet, building a groundbreaking social business that dramatically reduces poverty for a significant percentage of the world’s population.
Krochet Kids International is a cause-centered accessories brand that is working to eradicate poverty through sustainable economic development programs and unique, one-of-a-kind products.
The Fugees Academy is an independent, community-based school emphasizing academic and character development of refugee student athletes.
She’s the First is committed to sponsoring female education in the world’s poorest countries, helping girls be the first in their families to graduate.
World Reader believes children everywhere should have access to any book they want or need so they can improve their lives—just as we have here in America.
More Than Me is a nonprofit organization that helps girls get off the street and into school in West Point, Liberia.
Sprout Up uses a lens of sustainability to connect the passion of college students to the curiosity of six to eight-year-old public school children and their families, without costing public schools a penny.
Restore NYC’s mission is to end sex trafficking in New York and restore the well-being and independence of foreign-national survivors.
The Tiziano Project provides community members in conflict, post-conflict, and underreported regions with the equipment, training, and affiliations necessary to report their stories and improve their lives.
Youth Service America improves communities by increasing the number and the diversity of young people, ages five to twenty-five, serving in substantive roles. Through campaigns, grant programs, resource development, and training opportunities, YSA promotes a global culture of engaged youth committed to a lifetime of service, learning, leadership, and achievement.
Women Making Movies has transformed the landscape for women directors and producers, bringing the issues facing women worldwide to screens everywhere.
Art Feeds exists to mobilize creative healing and encourage creative development in children.
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School’s mission is to provide out-of-school youth in Philadelphia with the broadest range of tools, supports, and opportunities available to become self-sufficient, responsible, and productive citizens in their community.
Break the Cycle engages, educates, and empowers youth to build lives and communities free from domestic and dating violence.
Together We Rise’s mission is to transform the way youth navigate through the foster care system in America.
It is events like these that make my heart sing. I am so thankful to Chase for giving me special access into this event and to learn about these charities firsthand. Making a difference at the local level is honorable and absolutely essential, but the magnitude of support and exposure that Chase is offering these incredible non-profit organizations is the crucial foundation so many need to impact our culture, our healthcare, our education system, our environment, our veterans, our communities, and our families. My grandfather would be proud.
Make sure you tune into NBC on
Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. EST.
*Photo by Tim Green