When Was the Last Time You Donated to a Cultural Center or Activity?
You still remember the birthday party. The high chair sat empty, except for a picture of a chubby faced little girl. She was dressed in a long sleeve shirt and long pants that were surely filled out by more than the little girl’s body. Closer examination indicated that she had a couple of layers of clothes on to keep her warm for her outdoor playtime at the orphanage in China. Although your aunt and uncle, the couple who was adopting the warmly dressed little girl, had expected to have their new family member long before her second birthday, here they sat with just a picture of Anna sitting on the high chair tray.
Anna, who finally made it to America just a few weeks after her second birthday, came to her adoptive family through one of several Asian non profit organizations. This particular agency allowed even older couples to adopt children from China, Korea, and Japan. While other groups cap the combined age that the adoptive parents could be, some Asian non profit organizations set no limits.
These same non profit organizations also set no limits as to the energy they will expend to continue cultural education for these adopted children and their new families. Not distinguishing between what country or part of the world adoptive children are from, they offer a cultural event nearly every week that helps community members become familiar with the cultures of our world.
The non profit community was responsible for adding nearly $906 billion to the U.S. economy just in the year 2013. In fact, these non profits make up more than 5% of America’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to a 2015 study by the Urban Institute. While one reputable non profit organization may spend its energies creating a tea house for local residents to practice the tea ceremony and other Asian traditions, another agency may spend just as much energy and time creating workshops that explain the Russian tradition of nesting dolls. They all, however, have the same goal. To make the diverse people in this country understand a little bit more about a different culture.
Donations of time and money to charities grew in 2014 for the fifth consecutive year, according to Giving USA, 2015. In fact, the average household in America contributes nearly $3,000 to charities a year, according to a 2014 study of The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. While some of these donations are monthly contributions to local churches, many of these gifts are to cultural communities like Asian non profit organizations that encourage and promote American adoptions of children from around the world.
Our world is getting smaller every day. As people from all corners of the Earth learn more and more about the cultures that are important to different groups of people, the hope for a world that will live in peace also increases.