Every year my company gives me $2,000 to donate to an organization of my choice as a reward for my volunteer hours from the previous year. Last year, after a lot of debate, I donated to Water.org. One rule I made up is that I won’t donate to an organization that I volunteered for. This year I’ll add that I won’t donate to a Purple State Challenge organization. But I found this year’s choice to be very easy. It’s an organization I’ve long admired, that is very needed right now but also might not be as on the radar as other organizations. It’s an organization that is working to grow the nations empathy and kindness.
I donated $2,000 to Sesame Workshop!
Sesame Workshop’s mission is simple and clear – “to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”
“There’s a method to our magic. Grounded in research and guided by our mission, it plays out daily across countries, cultures, and channels.”
For over 40 years they have produced incredible results and had an effect on so many lives including my own. Their simple and clear mission is approached in a complex, thoughtful, and magical way. They are true innovators in early childhood development. And their results are real and well documented.
Why I choose this group:
Like millions I’ve been effected by their first initiative – Sesame Street. I learned letters and numbers. I learned how to be caring and accepting of diversity. It also sparked my interest to learn additional languages (Spanish and American Sign Language). And the Ladybug Picnic Song still makes me smile. I also have a love of all things Muppet.
I think that education is so important. Sesame Workshop focuses on some of the aspects of education I find most important – literacy, emotional intelligence, and social awareness. Not only do they teach these to everyone they reach but they focus on communities in special need including military families, children dealing with loss, and low income children. Their reach is global and they work to make sure that the content matches the audiences needs. Female muppets are incorporated in shows in Bangladeshi, Nigeria, and Egypt to show girls that there is a place for them to learn too. In South Africa kids are 4x more likely to be aware of HIV/AIDS and Tanzanian children are more aware of how to prevent Malaria transmission. And this just seems to be the start. There are so many great programs that make such a huge measured impact.
But it’s also magical. It’s Snuffleupus and Cookie Monster and hundreds of Muppets around the world. It’s inspiring and memorable to everyone who watches. A much repeated story from my childhood is that while watching Sesame Street the power went out and my brother could not stop crying, thinking that his muppet friends had gone away forever. There is a connection to these characters and stories that goes beyond the scientific data that backs them up. These are our friends, our reflections, our teachers, and our inspirations.
Check them out:
You can learn more and donate here –