What Matters Most – Giving Back

Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 9:48 AM by   

And the world can be a better place…

It’s the end of another holiday season, and while I failed to see one of my favorite holiday movies on TV this year (Trading Places), I did get to see Scrooged. At the end of the movie, Bill Murray gives quite the speech. The full scene is above, by the important parts are transcribed below [starting around 5m 47s in the clip]:

“It’s the one night when we all act a little nicer.
We…we smile a little easier. We…we…share a little more.
For a couple of hours we are the people we always hoped we would be.

And if you give, then it can happen, the miracle can happen to you.
It’s not just the poor and hungry, Everybody’s gotta have this miracle!
It can happen tonight for you all!

It can happen every day! You’ve just got to want that feeling!
And if you like it and you want it, you’ll get greedy for it.
You’ll want it every day of your life! It can happen to you!
I believe in it now.
I believe it’s gonna happen to me, now. I’m ready for it!
And it’s great. It’s a good feeling.
It’s really better than I’ve felt in a long time.
I’m ready.”

What this means to me

As I embark on my third year running a solo-operation and reach my sixteenth year as a wedding DJ and Master of Ceremonies in February, I look back at all the things my wife and I have done to try and make the world a better place. One of those ways is through donations to charity. Spencer Weddings and Entertainment is happy to be a wish granter as part of Wish Upon A Wedding. They granted 13 wishes in their first year – amazing!

However we make sure to donate to other non-profit organizations as well. We generally try to pick ones that mean something to us personally. Having that emotional tie make the money seem like so much more than a donation – it feels like that miracle might happen for someone else. Here are the organizations we pledged to this year:

RAFT – Resource Area for Teaching

RAFT - Resource Area For TeachingRAFT was founded in 1994 here in San Jose, California and believes that hands-on teaching is the best way for our children to learn, so we provide teachers and community groups with creative tools and materials to promote hands-on learning in science, math, technology, and art. As many of you know, my graduate degree was in education media design and technology. The mission of RAFT is very near and dear to my heart, and many of my local friends working in education utilize their services every school year.

VH1 Save The Music Foundation

VH1 Save The Music FoundationThe VH1 Save The Music Foundation’s core mission is to restore instrumental music education programs, ensuring that every child has access to a complete education that includes the benefits of music instruction. Having grown up playing a variety of instruments, I understand the power of how music can connect students to a more authentic learning experience, regardless of the curriculum focus. Rhyming design and musical methods can enhance memory retention of all sorts of topics.


Acterra is one that my wife found while volunteering with with the Taproot Foundation. They are based locally in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are focused on creating innovative local solutions for a healthy planet. One way that you can volunteer your time and become involved is to take part in habitat restoration in a preserve or watershed project.

Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider FoundationI suppose that technically this one belongs to my wife too. She got her start in non-profit while working for ocean conservation, and became good friends with people at Surfrider. The foundation serves to protect our oceans, waves and beaches.

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Dave Thomas Foundation114,550 U.S. children are in foster care, waiting to be adopted. They have been removed from their homes as victims of child abuse, neglect or abandonment and are left without a family. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption works on behalf of these children, because we believe every child deserves a permanent home and loving family. I have a feeling we will be giving to them again, but more on that in a future post.