|How do you feel about birthdays? Read about how Jen decided to welcome in her next year. Compassionately.
My birthday was approaching in late May and I wasn’t feeling my typical celebratory self. It wasn’t tied to any one specific thing but I couldn’t shake the turning mid-40’s blahs. I knew I needed to come up with a way for me to get over myself. Pretty quickly I decided that I wanted to use my birthday as a catalyst to create some good and get people from all parts of my life together. In just a few clicks, a couple of minutes on Facebook and two emails I had found my cause- Georgians for Syrian Families that is a chapter of the non- profit Syrian Community Network.
Invites soon went out for my Birthday Brunch Benefit. I would cook for 50 or so people- everything from scratch over two days in my kitchen. My friend Sarah at 3 Parks Wine was beyond happy to help me with my brunch bubbles and my always supportive parents gifted me a sponsorship for the libations. For the invitees I asked for no gifts but rather gift cards to be given to Syrian families who had just arrived to Atlanta and starting their new lives. In speaking with the organization I learned the importance of doing VISA versus store gift cards because it is much easier to use anywhere on anything that is needed.
Friends, family, employees, past employees, ex-husband with his family, neighbors….they all showed up. I mean really showed up. The gift cards kept arriving, food was feasted on, toasts were made, new friendships formed. There were a few times when I would stop and just take it all in. I felt so much love and gratitude for what was transpiring in my house. All these people brought together by kindness and generosity who would raise just under $2,500 on my birthday. It was all such a gift. It still is.