The Thorn Tree Project – It Takes a Village!

I find holidays delicious because I get to give gifts, even more personally enjoyable than receiving them. And I find that to qualify as a gift, it must always be something given from the heart. It’s never so important what IT is, or how much it costs, but how much love and care I put into it while making the decision to bestow it upon my BFF or my most beloved relative.

That said, my way of thinking is clearly that of a fortunate Haves. The Have-Nots of the world are not able to think about gifts but must concentrate on what to feed their children for those three necessary meals throughout the day, or how to patch up those clothes and shoes to send them off to school. When your priorities are such, it’s hard to think of a gift. Which is why, we as the Haves, must find a way to give gifts to those less fortunate than us.

Did you know that 101 million children throughout the world are not enrolled in school? Their parents don’t even have the luxury to worry about patching up their shoes or finding them some raggedy second-hand clothes to send them off in since those kids – equivalent to nearly a quarter of the entire population of the USA!! – won’t have a school to go to. One such place, where most kids went unschooled until a few years ago, is Northern Kenya. The Samburu, a proud nomadic pastoralist people, lack most of the basic amenities – clean water, roads, transport, pre and post natal care and education. What we take for granted on just one good day in NYC.

GlodaghCares is is a wonderful organization, created by one incredible woman and interior designer named Clodagh, who lists on her website donations that range from $10 for a mosquito net, to $5,000 to provide a well for clean drinking water in a community. If you click on the Thorn Tree Project, which is under the auspices of the Sereolipi Nomanic Ecucation Trust (SENET) created by Jane Newman and the tribal elders of the villages, you will find all the info about the school in Sereolipi, where currently nearly 1,000 students have been enrolled, through two schools.

Of course, we are all going through tough times, so no one is saying you must spend all the money you make on helping others. But sometimes a wonderful journey of a thousand miles does begin with one single step and the great thing about giving is that the universe then finds a way to pay you back for it. In love, friendship, peace of mind or joy. Not to mention, Clodagh organizes some of the most delicious events this side of heaven, and being on her mailing list is always a GOOD thing! I recently tried her divine vegan cooking at an event at the Tucker Robbins Gallery in Manhattan and came away thinking I’d gone on a magical holiday for a couple of hours. And on my arm, the most beautiful beaded bracelets you can imagine, with the money I paid for them going towards feed 2 children breakfast for a year, at Sereolipi’s Primary School.

And if you are like me, giving is indeed the best part of the holidays, so think about sponsoring a child’s education this year for Christmas and buy those Louboutins next year… The education of just one child in this world means one less hopeless, helpless soul on our collective Karma. And in these dire times, we need all the good Karma we can get!

Images courtesy of ClodaghCares

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