I don’t remember who said it first, but I truly believe that charity is a selfish act. At least for me, there’s no better feeling then reaching out and lending a helping hand. It took me a long time to admit, that although giving through donations or volunteering does a lot of good for those in need, I mostly do it because it’s an absolutely fantastic high.
After the recent, horrific earthquake in Haiti, I’m guessing many folks around the world are feeling the post donation glow right now. Modern technology made it so easy to donate this time around. Just by texting the word “Haiti” to 90999, we could donate $10 to the Red Cross in just seconds. And the outcome has been amazing! According to CNN: “Donations via text message raised $7 million for the American Red Cross’s Haiti relief efforts as of 11 p.m. Thursday.”
Last night I was in Echo Park attending a fundraiser for Haitian quake victims. I’d never been to (or even heard of) TiGeorges’ Chicken Restaurant before, but when I learned about the event via Twitter, I immediately cancelled dinner reservations elsewhere. After looking over the menu online, I was really looking forward to not just attending the fundraiser, but also eating one of the “Island Combos: The Haitian Experience.”
Since the TiGeorges event was to begin at 5pm, Peter left the office early and we drove together with our friend and neighbor, Nelson. Fellow foodies (and good friends) Charles & Robert planned to meet us at the restaurant. When we arrived onto Glendale Blvd, it was quite the local news event! News vans took up all the parking on the street (which was a good thing!), but it took us another 15 minutes to find a parking spot a few blocks away.
Making our way into the crowded restaurant, the first thing we saw were cameras and microphones everywhere. A few people were passing trays of brownies and other treats, thanking us for coming and supporting their efforts, while owner (and restaurant namesake) TiGeorges LaGuerre was busy juggling interviews.
Straight ahead was a long line to the counter where we could order food, but we soon realized that actually eating at TiGeorges right then wasn’t the best idea. Standing room only with back-to-back news crews was not the Haitian dining experience I was hoping for.
After a quick group chat, we decided to leave cash donations and come back another time for a full meal. But unlike Nelson, Robert and Charles… Peter and I forgot to bring cash (I figured we would add a donation onto our dinner tab). Thankfully, the nice folks behind the counter agreed to charge us for a small coffee, and my sweet husband left the largest tip I’ve ever seen for a cup of joe!
Walking out front, we all felt good, and there was such a moving electricity in the air. So many of the people in the restaurant were Haitians there to support each other, but many were like us… just regular folks stopping by to drop off a few extra bucks. We felt good and had that “do gooder” high I was writing about earlier.
Doing good to FEEL GOOD is nothing to be ashamed of at all. Because in the end, it’s the actual DOING SOMETHING that counts right?
Photos from last night (where over $14,000 was raised!):
Note: A second TiGeorges fundraiser is planned for TOMORROW, January 16th from 2-7pm
TiGeorges’ Chicken Website
309 Glendale Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Red Cross: Text HAITI to 90999 ($10 donation)
Yéle Haiti: Text YELE to 501501 ($5 donation)
United Way: Text HAITI to 864833 ($5 donation)
Intl Medical Corps: Text HAITI to 85944 ($10 donation)
The U.S. State Department has set up a hotline for information on family members who may be in Haiti: (888) 407.4747. This number is for information on U.S. citizens in Haiti only.
Our good friends that joined us last night: