We know the holiday season can be busy. But its also a time when people think about things outside of themselves. Dirty little secret about the Homefront Heroines production crew: Producer David Staton and Director Kathleen Ryan are addicted to made-for-tv holiday movies. Last night’s entry was Dear Santa, where a young well-to-do woman finds a letter a little girl sent to Santa and as a result begins volunteering at a local soup kitchen. She falls in love with the girl’s father, who runs the soup kitchen, and learns to be a better person from the homeless people they serve.
Yes, it’s silly and not particularly sophisticated, but the movie (and others of its ilk) tap into our spirit of generosity over the holidays.
That spirit has taken a hit in recent years. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that charity giving is down from its pre-recession levels (off by about six percent nationally). Meanwhile, federal and state dollars are also down because of cuts in budgets, meaning that charities (and the people and projects they serve) are even more reliant on those independent donors. That’s one of the reasons our multimedia project turned to Kickstarter for a fundraising campaign and why we have a donor wall where people can back the project, pre-ordering the film, sponsoring web exhibits or even becoming an executive producer on the project (complete with an IMDB credit).
For charities, creativity counts. The International Women’s Air and Space Museum in Ohio is asking people to “adopt” an exhibit for six months to a year, to help keep the museum’s doors open. Our friends at the 1940s-era World War II Ball are holding a Christmas extravaganza complete with reenactments from classic holiday movies, big band music and a holiday feast with turkey, roast beef, pecan pie, chestnuts roasted by an open fire (okay, maybe we added the open fire part) and even vegan options – all to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, the Spirit of Flight Center in Colorado, the Boulder Elks Club and Toys for Tots. The non-profit Public News Service is using crowdfunding to underwrite a story on how some wealthy people are using offshore companies to buy property in Florida (avoiding paying property taxes).
We’ve adopted a family through the ACC House of Denver, buying Christmas presents for three kids who otherwise might not get anything under the tree this holiday season.
So what does this have to do with WAVES? The military has a long history of charitable good works (Toys for Tots is a U.S. Marines program). The women who served in the Navy during World War II also gave of their time to help others, through blood drives, war bond sales or other efforts.
‘Tis the season – please give!