Hello Compassionators, take a look below for an inspirational read. After reading Jen’s piece, what do you want for your birthday?

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.

– Jen


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