Are You a Giver or a Grinch?

Linda Morse, 2016 Finance Chair

Linda Morse, 2016 Finance Chair

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Shoppers hustle and bustle (sounds like a dance craze from my youth) and parking lots are full. Tensions run high when prized gifts are not available and giving gets lost in all the hoopla. Bah, humbug! Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukah or just enjoy the season of giving, here are some tips to make your holiday giving easier.

Some people shop from home because Baby, Its Cold Outside! Maybe the snow is two feet high and you have to wear snowshoes just to get to your car. Maybe you just like shopping in your PJs at 2 am. In any case, AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the American School Health Association  every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, a portion of the purchase price is donated to ASHA!  Imagine that—you shop, you give—all in one click!  All while enjoying that hot cocoa by the fire listening to Sleigh Ride!

Maybe you don’t buy holiday gifts. Perhaps you’ve been told You’e a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!  Guess what? Redemption is at hand! Gather up all that loose change that somehow makes its way into the washing machine (along with golf tees, tissues, and an occasional wad of cash).  Clean out your purses and those cubbies in your car where you throw loose change. Check out your pants and jacket pockets. I’ll bet you’ll find a few dollars in change just laying around waiting to be donated to ASHA. Make a pledge to double or triple what you find and then donate.  You can earmark your donation for scholarships or leadership development or you can simply donate to the general fund.  When you donate to ASHA, your contribution has an immediate impact.

Maybe you’ve told Santa I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. Gifts like that take some real planning, even for Santa and his entourage! End-of-the-year donations take planning too. At our house, we have a holiday piggy bank that sits on a counter in our family room all year long. We feed the piggy every day with loose change and we encourage family and visitors to drop in a dime or two as well. In December, we open the piggy, count all that change (yes, we could take it to a bank but this is half the fun) and then make a pledge to double the amount and donate it to our favorite charities. Over the years, the piggy has gotten fatter and our donations have grown. Some people donate one interest check each year from their investments or earmark the cost of one cup of coffee per week for donations. This year, a lot of my friends made donations to their favorite charity in lieu of snail mail holiday greeting cards. If you think ahead, you too can afford that hippopotamus at the end of the year but who really needs one? Instead, donate to ASHA.

Do You Hear What I Hear? You’re thinking about all the good work ASHA does for children and youth but you wonder if your small donation can really make a difference. Sure, I’m not Michael Bloomberg or Warren Buffet (maybe you are and we just don’t know you well enough—if you are, please call us right away because we need to talk!). Be assured that your donation supports the work we do every day to transform schools into healthy places where students learn and thrive. ASHA strives to keep costs down and we are steadily improving programs and services. ASHA offers student scholarships and supports leadership development through the Future Leaders Academy. ASHA is expanding its awards to recognize outstanding achievement in school health. ASHA publishes the well-respected Journal of School Health. ASHA’s annual conference is top notch too. And remember, as an ASHA member your CEUs are free. Your donation helps these programs grow.

Thinking about Pretty Paper? Give the gift of an ASHA membership! Make it a Holly Jolly Christmas  for a colleague, your school principal or superintendent. It could be a great investment in school health. What better way to show you care!

All I Want for Christmas is You! Sure, I’m not Mariah Carey but I’ll bet you have that song in your head right now. Don’t be a Grinch this season, be a giver. Consider making a donation to ASHA and help us deliver on our promise to improve the health of all kids. It’s hard work and we need your help.

Now, go bake those cookies, wrap those presents, and think happy thoughts! Oh, and don’t forget to send your donation to ASHA—we’re counting on you!  Have a safe and happy holiday season and a healthy new year!

  1. Ty Oehrtman | December 19, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Linda, thank you for reminding us all that part of the joy this time of year is giving! I gave my annual gift to ASHA a couple weeks ago, on Giving Tuesday. My Only Wish This Year is that others will join me. With that task complete, I have nothing hanging over my head as I sit up late on Christmas Eve watching for Santa Baby and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to stop by and say hello.

    1. Linda Morse | December 19, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan (or My Two Front Teeth) and a few nice donations to ASHA. ASHA needs everyone’s support especially in the trying times ahead. Let’s not have a Blue Christmas this year. If we Believe, we can make this a Cool Yule. for our children and youth! Put a Little Holiday in Your Heart and donate a bit of Silver and Gold to help ASHA support healthy schools and healthy kids!

      For ASHA’s retired members, consider donating the difference between the regular professional membership and your current rate (currently that nets ASHA $85). If you are a life member, consider making an annual donation to cover today’s costs. If you can’t attend the annual conference, sponsor a student or novice school health professional to attend and pay the registration fee. Your donation can help sponsor a legislative briefing or pave the way for a new webinar.

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