01.26.12 | By Preet Bilinski
I think it's great that billionaire David Rubenstein has decided to donate half the $15 million needed to repair the damage to the Washington Monument from the earthquake last year. While I'm no David Rubenstein, I do appreciate the importance of giving back to your community, as do my colleagues. The staff at PhRMA have been participating in St. Matthew's Cathedral's annual Adopt-A-Family program for 6 years now. This year we were alarmed by the requests for basic items like dishes and bedding from our 'adopted families'. When we inquired about the lack of toys listed for the children, we were informed that there was a greater need for more practical things, even from children, a number of whom had asked for new sheets. I don't know about you but I have not seen too many kids get that excited about sheets. Coincidentally, both my niece and nephew has asked for them last year and let's just say that's not what they spent the rest of the day playing with. So we decided to make some additions to the list and buy multiples of items, add accessories and include toys for all the children in our families, even the hard-to-shop-for teenagers.
Individuals pitched in to help wrap gifts, deliver gifts, and volunteer to get any last minute items that were needed. Every year the generosity of my colleagues does not cease to amaze me. As the rector at St. Matthew's put it, "It was a wonderful expression of the giving spirit of the season!" I couldn't have said it better.