My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because it is filled with many things that I personally enjoy including: 1) friends & family, 2) food, 3) nice Pinot Noir, 4) football, and 5) days off work without needing to use vacation time! As I have gotten older, I enjoy this holiday even more because it seems, at least to me, that it stayed off the grid of over-commercialization (Christmas), has remained immune to social pressures of having to stay up past midnight (New Year’s Eve), and has refrained from manufacturing the Hallmark-need to spend a lot of money on a so-so dinner that comes with a side of bad service to show someone they are special (Valentine’s Day).
For whatever reason, Thanksgiving works in reverse than most other holidays in my mind; whereas the inherent nature of many holidays may make me feel like I have to give something, the only requirement of Thanksgiving is to take some time to be thankful; that alone makes me want to give something back in return. For example, as an audiologist, I am extremely thankful for the Member Assistance Program (MAP) established by the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF) that provides funding to audiologists experiencing financial hardship due to health, professional, or other issues so they can attend conferences. While the program was not established at the time of my financial hardship, having been unemployed earlier in my career, I can certainly empathize with the challenges of a limited income. Since 2006, I have donated and will continue to earmark portions of my donations to AAAF specifically to the MAP.
While my personal contributions have been allocated to the MAP, AAAF supports research, education and public awareness of audiology and hearing science. As outlined in the recent 2011-2012 Annual Report, the AAAF supports YOUR profession in many different ways. Be sure to check out the AAAF YouTube Video too! So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, anyone making a general donation to AAAF between now and Wednesday, November 21, 2012 as a result of reading this blog post will have their contribution matched, dollar for dollar, by me (DBA Auban, Inc.) up to $2500. Whether it is 1,000 different audiologists chipping in $2.50 a piece or 100 colleagues throwing in $25 each, give a little back by making a donation to AAAF here. Leave a comment in the Feedback Forum of my blog or by sending me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding the amount of your contribution so I can match it before Thanksgiving. Just my little way of giving back for having such generous colleagues! Happy Thanksgiving!