I don't believe I've ever referenced my birthday here on this blog during my birthday proper, but this year I'm trying something a little different.
Last year, in thanks to the hundreds of birthday well wishers on Facebook and elsewhere, I expressed my gratitude by making a donation to the Food Bank of New York City
. It's an especially fitting cause for those who know me, as I've spent most of my life in our near NYC, and I've enjoyed quite a few memorably sumptuous feasts (follow my Foodspotting updates
for proof). Yet there are way too many people whose version of food spotting is making sure they can spot enough food around the house (or lack of house thereof) for themselves and their families to function throughout the day.
This year, I'm embracing the whole social media concept. Food Bank of New York City now offers a virtual food drive, and you can visit my own page there to join me in a birthday celebration. Just $1 provides 5 meals for people in need.
To be totally clear, I'm touched by any birthday wishes in their own right; it means a lot to be surrounded physically and virtually by so many thoughtful people. And if you have other ways you prefer to support others, keep doing what you're doing. But if you do want to join me in making this birthday even more meaningful for others, even if it's all of a few bucks to cover a gallon of milk, then I know there are a lot of other people who will be very thankful for what we do together.
Here's one other way you can feel better about this: I always vet charities through Charity Navigator, which provides objective ratings of non-profits. Food Bank for New York City scores four stars out of four – the highest rating, with the vast majority of funds going to its programs rather than administrative and fundraising expenses.
Thanks for at least checking this out, and reading all this. If you wind up taking part in this personal, social experiment, all the better.