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The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself
Elliot Gershenson, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston

November, 2011

The Strength of Shared Beliefs

Tuesday Memo

November 1, 2011

I spent most of last Tuesday on the radio asking folks to support our Houston public radio stations, KUHF and KUHA.  While it is a lot of fun, it is interesting to note that only about 7% of their audience chooses to provide financial support.  What is it that motivates so few people to open their hearts and pocketbooks?
In the midst of all the cajoling and pleading, I found myself wondering why it's a "no-brainer" for me and apparently such a big deal for so many others.  Okay, I do work at a non-profit so I understand why great ones need money.  But am I all that different from everyone else?
Stripping away all of the new research on age demographics and giving, I think we are basically split into two groups:  the ones who believe that giving makes us richer, and the ones who feel the opposite.
Those of us who "live to give" see money as a vehicle to change the world.  It's not that we're nonchalant about money; we feel the same pressures and strains as everyone.  We just see the value of spending a chunk of our money on what I call "tangible intangibles."  We believe that the money we have is a great blessing and that sharing some of it makes our own lives that much more blessed.  So we give to our places of worship, to organizations like IM, to the United Way and to all sorts of arts and educational institutions. We may even tithe since some of us believe that is what our faiths expect of us.
I know that this doesn't resonate with everyone.  But, I will promise you this.  When you've chosen to prioritize your money to do good, you will feel good too.  In a world that is so rocky, feeling good may be the best gift you can give to yourself this year.
Speaking of feeling good, if you haven't yet registered for IM's Annual Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues yet, please do so now.  In a world that too often seems ripped apart by religious strife, the Dinner Dialogues prove that it doesn't have to be so.  Take a step and see for yourself a vision of what the world could look like if we all just sat down together and shared a meal.  We strive to make the experience include as diverse a population as possible.  With that in mind, we need people of all faith traditions to sign up!  They are coming up fast - Thursday, November 17th - so register today!!
  • November 24- Thanksgiving Day Meals on Wheels Delivery- Volunteers are needed to deliver a traditional Thanksgiving meal to home-bound seniors. Sign up here.
  • November 29- For All Humanity Luncheon- Celebrate the work that IM does to help welcome refugees from around the world with Honorees Susan and Dan Boggio, Chairs Sultana Mangalji and Tehmina Masud and Honorary Chairs Lily and Charles Foster. Register for the event here.

Talk to you in two weeks.  


Elliot Gershenson

President and CEO

Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston 


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