Wednesday, November 15, 2017

#ThankYouMiami How-To: Giving Back On Give Miami Day 2017

Open up your wallets, folks - it's time to give back to our beautiful community! Starting tonight at midnight, Give Miami Day is back. That means 24 hours of donating to your favorite local non-profits, knowing that prizes and matching contributions will multiply the impact of your donation to toward the issues you care about.

Last year, more than 19,000 donors (including yours truly) raised a record $9.1 million for 660+ organizations. The goal for Give Miami Day 2018 is $10 million and there is an abundance of worthwhile organizations vying for our hard earned money. As I do every year, I've recommended 5 that speak to me. They're mostly environmentally-focused because protecting our natural resources is my issue of choice. If these don't appeal to you, here's the full list of participating Give Miami Day organizations so you can find the one(s) that speaks to you.

This relatively small garden is nestled in the concrete jungle of Miami Beach's city center and offers a  literal breathe of fresh air with its abundant vegetation. Unfortunately Hurricane Irma did a number on the property. This is a great opportunity to help the garden get back to its usual gorgeous self.

Not only is Fairchild a gorgeous property entrenched in Miami's history, but it also hosts a myriad of amazing events year-round like the International Mango Festival in July and the Chocolate Festival in January. They're fun, they're educational, and they make our community a more fantastic place to live.

As a diver and beach bum, nothing is more important to me than clean, swimmable waters. The Miami Waterkeeper is the number one champion of water quality in our area, keeping potential polluters accountable through education, conversation and, sometimes, litigation. I support them every year without fail.

I live down the street from The Colony Theatre and for years, it was just a cool Art Deco property that I would pass on my walk to and from work. After watching Our Town a few weeks ago, it is my absolutely new favorite venue to get cultured. Their roster is full of incredible works that are entertaining and bring a little extra Miami flavor. They deserve all of our monies.

5. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas Nature Center (also known as, the Biscayne Nature Center)
One of the environmental education programs that gets me most giddy is the Biscayne Nature Center's marine tours where you can learn about our seagrass beds, our coastal hammocks, our tidal reefs and other ecosystems endemic to South Florida. It is the best way to pick up that marine biology knowledge outside of UM's Rosenstiel School.

What organization or organizations will you be donating to? Send me a tweet @ThankYouMiami or leave a comment below. You never know, you may inspire all of us to champion that cause as well!

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