If You Have Nothing to Give, Take Your Pants Off

expat life Pretoria South Africa travelIn other words, there is always something left to give, if I’m willing to make myself uncomfortable.

Okay, so maybe taking my pants off doesn’t make me uncomfortable, and nobody wants to see me take my skivvies off, but you get the meaning. There is always something left to give. And there is no better day than today to give it. At the very least, make me give it.

(Comment below telling me your favorite Pittsburgh charity, and I will choose one to give an extra $25 to today!)

Today is Pittsburgh’s Day of Giving. Last year I went hairy for the month of October, using my waxing money to donate to my favorite organizations. My brother dubbed it Ewoktober. 😉

This year, I gave up something more personal, and more important. And although what that is isn’t what matters here, it has given me the ability to donate again this year.

Remember, this day is SO important to give, because The Pittsburgh Foundation adds money to the donations we make. EVERY LITTLE BIT REALLY DOES COUNT! I’m not living in Pittsburgh these days. In fact, I’m not even on the continent, but wherever I am, this day will always be a day for Pittsburgh.

And this year, I’m going to make it a little more fun for you.


In the meantime, here are the places I’m already giving to today, and why each matters to me:


Venture Outdoors Logo

Venture Outdoors

We’re a local non-profit organization working to make it easy for you to get outside. We offer over 500 Public Programs a year including kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, fishing, cross country skiing, canoeing and geocaching trips. We have activities for all ages and skill levels, and travel to local, city, county and state parks around the region.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: They made me feel less insecure about trying new outdoor activities. Exercise became fun again.

Susan G Komen logo

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is dedicated to combating breast cancer at every front. Up to 75 percent of the Affiliate’s net income goes toward funding grants to community hospitals and organizations that provide breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs for medically underserved women. The remaining net income (a minimum of 25 percent) supports the national Komen Grants Program, which funds groundbreaking breast cancer research, meritorious awards and educational and scientific programs around the world.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: My friend Jean. My aunt Sarah.

Sisters Place Pittsburgh

Sisters Place, Inc.

Sisters Place serves all of Western Pennsylvania and has helped more than 200 families from homelessness into independent living. In 2011 we added five new families to our housing program bringing the total number of families that we are able to serve to 32. Over 90% of our families have transitioned safely into independent housing.

The need is great for housing and we are grateful to be able to help so many.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: Sister Mary Parks.


pittsburgh arts and lecturesPittsburgh Arts & Lectures

The mission of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures is to connect world class authors and their work with the local community and, in doing so, to elevate the quality of civic discourse in Pittsburgh through the presentation and discussion of the universal human values of literature. Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures currently produces three series of literary programs and selected special events, targeted to different audiences, but all with the same objective of encouraging an interest in the literary arts and in the lifelong pursuit of reading.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: As a student I was able to attend incredible lectures for $10 or less. I wanted to give that opportunity to other students.

monessen public library

Monessen Public Library

The mission of the Monessen Public Library is to provide collections, facilities and services to the people of Monessen that will help them fulfill their need for information, research sources, cultural enrichment, and recreation.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: Just 10 minutes from our home in Lover, PA, I’ve researched and written in this library. I think they work very hard to make the community better. I also give to the Charleroi Library, but Washington County is not part of this Day of Giving.

Communities in Schools PittsburghCommunities in Schools, Pittsburgh

Communities In Schools of Pittsburgh-Allegheny County (CIS) is a private, non-profit dropout prevention organization that is an affiliate of the nation’s largest stay-in-school network. The CIS Mission is to help young people successfully learn, stay in school, and prepare for life. We achieve our mission through working in public schools, facilitating after-school programs, and through CIS-operated, state-approved non-traditional alternative educational academies.
CIS believes that every child needs and deserves: 1. A personal one-on-one relationship with a caring adult / 2. A safe place to learn and grow / 3. A Healthy start and a Healthy future / 4. A marketable skill to use upon graduation / 5. A chance to give back to peers and the community

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: I used to work at CISPAC and I saw firsthand the sincerity and intent of the staff.

City of Asylum Pittsburgh

City of Asylum Pittsburgh

City of Asylum/Pittsburgh creates a thriving community for writers, readers, and neighbors. We provide sanctuary to endangered literary writers, so that the writers can continue to write and their voices are not silenced. And we offer a broad range of literary programs in a community setting to encourage cross-cultural exchange. We anchor neighborhood economic development by transforming blighted properties into homes for these programs and energizing public spaces through public art with text-based components.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: I’ve been to readings by writers from around the globe. I’ve never left unchanged.

autumn house pressAutumn House Press

The mission of Autumn House Press is to publish and promote poetry and other fine literature.
Over the past several decades, for-profit publishers and even university presses have significantly reduced publication of literary works, due to economic pressures. Independent nonprofit presses like Autumn House now play a critical role in keeping the American literary tradition alive. Autumn House’s promotional and outreach efforts connect authors with the audiences they deserve — and bring the humanizing power of literature to individuals and to our culture as a whole. As a national press based in Pittsburgh, Autumn House also serves as an ambassador for this region, helping to re-shape its image and to communicate its importance as a center for literary and artistic excellence.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL:  The Working Poet (my favorite book of poetry exercises)


Animal Friends PittsburghAnimal Friends, Inc.

To ensure the well being of companion animals, while ending overpopulation, abuse and unwarranted euthanasia.

WHY IT’S PERSONAL: I think they’re doing more to educate the public and protect animals than any other animal non-profit in Pittsburgh.

Please take 5 minutes and give to YOUR favorite non-profit TODAY, OCTOBER 3, 2013.

It’s really easy. Just click the logo below:

Pittsburgh Gives

10 thoughts on “If You Have Nothing to Give, Take Your Pants Off

  1. Okay, folks. Well it’s about 9pm here in South Africa and that means it’s bedtime.

    Since I had three suggestions by time to sign off, I donated to all three: $25 each to Westmoreland Cleanways, Allegheny Valley School, and Bloomfield-Garfield Corp.

    Good luck with each of your charities and have a wonderful night! 🙂

  2. Bloomfield-Garfield Corp and Oakland Planning and Development Corp are both working hard with limited budgets to serve struggling residents in their neighborhoods. They would both be worthy recipients of your donations. Thanks for considering, and for posting this–it’s great to see such a widespread movement of generosity in the city!

    1. Living in Friendship, very close to the Bloomfield/Garfield part of Penn Ave, I second the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp.

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