Editorial, by Stone Korshak
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Charity is such a powerful concept, and in a sense is something that almost everyone takes part in on some level. Helping a little old lady cross the busy street, or a blind person navigate a subway stop, these acts of kindness come naturally when confronted with an opportunity.
However the sea of need is so vast, and most people struggle so much in their own lives and the lives of their families, that it is hard to make a concerted effort outside of the government taxes we pay and toiling against the seven sins on a daily basis.
There are those that make a life of charity work though, and they are heroes among man (a side note: studies show women give more to charity than men, although men will give more spontaneously). The choice of working in non-profits or NGO (non government organizations) is not always completely altruistic, but it is more than most of us do.
Personally, I’ve given a lot to family in need, and that is how I sleep at night, but I also think almost daily about how I could help the truly destitute more. It is a slippery slope of self awareness, but I think most people feel the same desire to make a difference to ease the suffering of others.
The word ‘charity’ is defined in the dictionary as “the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.; also : something (such as money or food) that is given to people who are poor, sick, etc.: an organization that helps people who are poor, sick, etc.: the organizations that help people in need.”
This year, finally, after years of thinking about it and doing nothing (but trying to pay our bills), The Rio Times is making an effort to do some charity work. With the “Holiday Charity Happy Hour“, we’re trying to bring people together from our community of readers and supporters in a toy drive for children of the “Il Sorriso dei miei Bimbi” (in Italian, ‘The Smile of My Baby’).
It is a small effort really, we ALL could do so much more, but the event is being promoted by The Rio Times pretty heavily, and in partnership with The American Society of Rio de Janeiro (AmSoc Rio), who have the relationship with Il Sorriso and committed to delivering the presents collected, as well as putting on their raffle on the same night.
Everyone who comes should bring a small present, we recommend an value of between R$20-30, wrapped for Christmas. We worked out a arrangement with the bar and restaurant owners to have a small Christmas tree ready for the gifts to be collected under, and the next day we’ll drive them up to Rocinha.
The Rio Times is not a religious outfit, and for most, Christmas is not a religious holiday, but it is the one time of the year where giving is the main event (along with Christmas Dinner). After almost five years of working on The Rio Times, I’m very excited to be able to put this charity event on, and I’m going to buy my gift today – it’s going to be a book I think… I hope they’ll wrap it at the store for me…