If you look around you at all the tinsel and commercial trappings of this holiday season and despair, take heart! It may indeed be the season of stressing out over gifts and cards and family gatherings -- but it's also the season of giving.
Just look at a recent issue of BusinessWeek magazine. It devoted many pages to listing the corporations and individuals who have been the most generous. I reviewed its list of the 50 most generous donors this year, as I often do, and was once again surprised to not see my name on it. But then I remembered that the list reflects how much people have actually given, not how much they'd like to give.
To make the list, I would have had to give or pledge more than $120 million from 2001 to 2005 -- that's the amount pledged or given by No. 50 on the list, Analogic
Here are some other impressive folks. William Coleman, co-founder of BEA Systems
We're all familiar with the generosity of Microsoft's
Coming in at third place was none other than Berkshire Hathaway
If you have a few extra dollars in your pocket (it doesn't have to be a billion) and you'd like to share some of your financial good fortune with others who are in great need, we invite you to join with us in supporting some impressive Foolanthropies. Remember that:
- Fully one-fifth of humanity, some 1.3 billion people, struggles to survive on less than $1 per day.
- About 40% of humanity survives on less than $2 per day.
- More than a billion people around the world will go to bed hungry tonight.
- Life expectancy in some 32 countries is less than 40 years.
Your $25 or $50 or even $1,000 may not land you on BusinessWeek's list, but you'll be tops in our book.
And as a small reward for yourself, permit me to suggest that you take advantage of a free trial to one or more of our investing newsletters. At no cost, you'll be able to review long lists of recommended stocks and funds, to peruse all back issues online, and even to interact with our analysts on our discussion boards. I suspect that when you see how well our newsletters' picks have been doing, you may want to keep one or two subscriptions going. If not, you'll have lost nothing and gained some ideas and insights. Hey, you deserve it!
Fools, now is the time to open your hearts and wallets to worthy causes! Please support our five Foolish charities at www.foolanthropy.com.