People often ask what inspires me. The truth is: it probably does not differ from what inspires many of you. If you are reading this on Impatient Optimists, you are likely interested in philanthropy, or in civic engagement, or in various global causes. These are the things that inspire me as well.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have lived here all my life. I am a product of the people, businesses, education, and opportunities around me. I am inspired by the generous work and caring of those I see around me in my community. Like many of you, I want to feel connected to my local community, and I have found that it is possible to do this by giving back.
The Gates Foundation’s Visitor Center is a permanent space in the center of Seattle that seeks to inspire people to get involved in some of the amazing efforts that are being carried out by the foundation’s partners both abroad and at home. During this holiday season, the Visitor Center has partnered with five nonprofits in the Puget Sound area to highlight simple ways for Seattle residents to feel The Give Effect and start 2013 with a philanthropic outlook.
There are many ways to get involved with The Give Effect: Come to the Visitor Center this month to support local children, teens and families through the Giving Tree; bring your family and friends to the Visitor Center on December 29 for Family Day, where visitors of all ages will have the chance to participate in fun activities around giving. I invite you to share your stories and photos of your experience of giving via #TheGiveEffect and look out for other ideas on @GatesVC.
I hope you find a way to give back to your community.