Monthly Archives: December 2012
When I was younger, I never believed it when older people told me that the passage of time seems to speed up dramatically as the years go by. Now that I am in my 60s I realize that they were not just right. They actually understated the experience by a lot. It is inconceivable to me that 2013 is right around the corner. Another year has gone and it feels like a month has passed. It really does! I’ve been thinking a lot about what causes this universal phenomenon. I believe that when we accept our own mortality, we also realize that time is a precious commodity. I know that I often feel an overwhelming sense of urgency about getting important projects done, and I sometimes become impatient with delays and obstacles. Filling time with compelling work performed under deadline pressure makes time seem to fly by.
The first time I met Lois Page was in 2008 at Roadrunner Food Bank’s previous home on Baylor. I was in a small office next to the glass door that led to the stair case. Anyone who came up those stairs had to walk by me. I was pretty new on the job, so not too many people knew me. One day, I looked up to see a petite elderly woman standing in front of me. I heard, “I came by to say hello to my friend.” She then proceeded to the next office where I heard warm greetings and laughter. That was Lois Page through and through. Over the years, I’d often find Lois searching the hallways looking for her friend. I don’t think she ever had to look that hard. It was impossible not to like Lois. She was sweet and friendly. She was funny, too. And, obviously, she was a very generous person.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We all are there right now thinking of the holiday preparations, especially gift giving. “Will Aunt Mary like this sweater?” “What was the furry singing toy my niece wanted?” “What in the world do I get my mother-in-law?” Then there is the gift wrapping, decorating, holiday get togethers, shopping, cooking…whew! So much to do! I, like many of you, have been caught up in the seasonal preparations. Not only is it easy to get caught up in the “busy-ness” of the holidays, but it’s also easy to take the season for granted. There are so many people out there who are not worried about gift giving or decorating, but are concerned about putting a simple meal on the table for themselves and their family. They aren’t thinking wrapping or shipping boxes, they are thinking of where the next meal will come from and what it will be. Not only can we give to our family and friends this holiday season, but we can help those whom we do not know. One of the things that I recently learned about Roadrunner Food Bank, which surprised me, was that Roadrunner supplies food to food pantries across New Mexico. I always thought it supported Albuquerque only. In fact, donations that go to Roadrunner help hundreds of people across the state. Because of this, giving to Roadrunner Food Bank this holiday season makes it easy to help many people. I know, I know – you are wondering “When do I have time to go buy things to donate? Between work, shopping, family, friends – there just isn’t time.” Actually, there is an easy way to give: open your cupboards and take a look around. Do you really need those 5 packages of pasta? How did you end up with 7 cans of peaches (and will you really eat them all by the end of the month)? Remember the “soup kick” you were on last month? Well, while soup is good for you – but it’s also a great addition to the Food Bank. Don’t forget that top shelf – that bag of pinto beans, the cake mix, and the black eyed peas will be welcome additions to Roadrunner’s shelves.
When most people think of philanthropy, they think of big-name foundations and corporations as the “heavy hitters.” They assume that the bulk of charitable giving comes from large organizations and businesses. We are all used to seeing corporate logos displayed at fundraising events, on materials, and in annual reports, so it makes sense that we assume this. While giving from these donors is vital for social services, arts and education non-profits, it is individuals donors, by far, who represent most of philanthropy here and abroad. In fact, 73% of all philanthropy nationally is comprised of individual and household donors – donors just like you and I who enjoy supporting causes that are close to our hearts. When organizational and individual donors come together, however, the results can be especially powerful. Many of us, for example, have picked one product at the grocery store over another because we know that company gives some of its profits to a good cause. During the month of December, PNM is matching donor gifts up to $32,000. We think this is a beautiful example of how an organizational donor can complement individual giving. PNM’s match basically doubles the impact of a charitable dollar, and because Roadrunner can distribute five meals for every dollar raised, the impact is even more impressive. To give to Roadrunner Food Bank this month and participate in PNM’s generous match, go to www.rrfb.org/PNM. Thanks to a gift from PNM, your gift will go twice as far. Stephanie Miller is the Director of Development at Roadrunner Food Bank.