This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which we have an obligation

Last night, I went to a cocktail party honoring Bonnie McElveen-Hunter’s tremendous contribution to the United Way.  I didn’t personally know Bonnie although I did meet her last night.  She was as gracious and charming as you would expect someone who had been the U.S. ambassador to Finland, founder and chief executive of Pace Communications and the current leader of the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross.  What impressed me the most were her sense of humor and her sense of duty.


Bonnie stated, and I’m going to get this all wrong so don’t quote me here, that there are two important moments to everyone’s life.  The first moment is when you’re born but the second moment is when you discover that you matter, that you can make a difference.  I’ve been thinking about that statement ever since because it’s something that I struggle with all the time.


How much obligation to humanity and to the world do you PERSONALLY have?  If you have the ability to make a difference, should you?  Should you get involved in situations, which you normally wouldn’t be involved with, because you might possibly be able to have a positive affect on the situation?


I know these are tough questions that I personally struggle with constantly.  Although many people don’t have the time, energy or financial resources to spend much time doing charity or fund-raising work, I actually do.  And yet, I always find myself on the periphery of these tasks.  Normally what happens is that a friend of mine takes on a giant project and I get sucked into it.


I actually enjoy these short-term projects in that there’s an attainable end and there’s a certain goal.  For instance, right this minute I’m on a committee for a fundraiser to raise awareness of the Women’s Philanthropy Council.  The goal is to show women that you too can contribute, no matter how large or how small.  By actually putting your name out there as a contributor, you’re setting an example for a younger generation of women.


Back in the day, women did most of the charity “work” but most of the fund raising was done by men.  No more.  Women are now on the forefront of many organizations.


Getting back to Bonnie, what she did was remarkable.  Now, of course she had resources that are unavailable to most women but this is what she did.  About 10 years ago, Bonnie decided that she would start a Woman’s Tocqueville Society for the United Way.  She figured that if she could get 100 women in 100 different cities to give $10,000/year for 10 years she would raise 1 billion dollars.  ONE BILLION DOLLARS!


People immediately dismissed the idea as “impossible” but in a true “impossible is nothing” moment, she decided to do it.  And boy did she do it!  At this point Women’s Tocqueville is in over 100 cities in the US and has currently raised over $700,000,000.  It’s a remarkable feat.


Now, I’m not telling you to go out and contribute a ton of money to the United Way although I will tell you that I like the United Way as it is an umbrella organization that truly screens the gifts it hands out.  The women’s initiative focuses on Women’s and Children’s issues such as pre-natal healthcare, education, and other family issues.


What I’m saying is that sometimes you should step out of your comfort zone and see what you too can accomplish with nothing more than a can-do attitude.


I’m just saying…



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  1. Galit Breen
    May 11, 2011

    Lovely, inspiring, IMPORTANT! Loved this one, lady!

    • Lynn
      May 11, 2011

      Thanks…sometimes I’m amazed at what one person can set in motion.

  2. Cathy Procton
    May 11, 2011

    Thanks so much for bringing the idea of sharing our talents and resources to so many this morning. One of my favorite organizations is The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club.
    What an opportunity, something that seems so small to us can actually change one of these kids lives. It is possible to make a difference no matter what your circumstances.

    • Lynn
      May 11, 2011

      Thanks Cathy…great cause you chose!

  3. Lady Estrogen
    May 11, 2011

    I’m all about the short-term as well – it’s futile for me to look further.

    I don’t have any money, so I offer my body instead. Seriously.
    I do design work for organizations. It’s what I can offer… right now, anyway.
    Lady Estrogen recently posted..Bajingos IllustratedMy Profile

    • Lynn
      May 11, 2011

      I know…you remind me of myself so much sometimes. We never want anyone to know that we actually do decent stuff. That’s why i like my Urban Legend so much more than the truth.

      I hate when people realize that i’m actually nicer and more supportive than i come across.

      Love ya

  4. Cathy
    May 11, 2011

    Lynn,……I have always known that you are a very nice, supportive person! ( my ‘sixth sense’ kicks in every now and then)…….but don’t worry, I will not tell anyone!

    I love this post! I am trying hard to channel my free time towards helping out in areas where my passions lie. I loved reading your message this morning………thank you!

    • Lynn
      May 11, 2011

      Hahaha…thanks Cathy. I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Every once in a while i really need to say something of substance. It probably won’t happen again for a while.

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