Worthy Causes

Last night, my lovely friend Bonnie treated me to a ticket to “Ten Grands,” a fundraising concert at the Schnitzer in Portland for The Snowman Foundation. The Snowman Foundation provides musical instruments, instruction, etc. to underprivileged kids, and is quite an amazingly worthwhile cause.

But the concert! Oh, my! Ten grand pianos on stage with ten world-class pianists (and a couple of surprises), playing everything from Cole Porter to Rachmaninov. I had no idea what I was missing until I heard “Flight of the Bumblebee” played on ten pianos at once.  (Not everything, obviously, was played by ten pianos at once.)

Anyway, the purpose of this post is not only to let people know that this amazing concert will be in Seattle on May 17, but that we should always be on the lookout for worthy causes.

Al and I have our favorite charities, of course, but it seems to me this morning that we write checks to them almost out of habit. Checks are good to write, but there are other things to be done as well. Donating time, for one. I looked around that event–this was the eighth straight annual sold-out performance–and thought about all the time and energy that went into producing, promoting and staging the concert, most all of it provided at cost or donated, and I was quite moved by the generosity of the people who find it important to promote the arts in Oregon.

We all do what we can, I know that. We’re a very generous people. My reflection today is that writing a check somehow seems to salve the conscience, but doesn’t necessarily get the job done.  And by contributing to the same organization out of habit does a disservice to other worthy organizations. 

Food for thought on a nice Sunday, cloudy but with possibilities.

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