What would Gina do?

Early on in my career, I was sitting in a sales meeting with a bunch of successful executives who had just arrived at the office in their fancy BMWs, holding their fine leather briefcases, carefully balancing their hot lattes so they wouldn’t spill it on their designer clothes. The moderator said, “Let’s try an icebreaker. If you had $10,000,000, what’s one thing you would do with the money?” I heard everything from, “Quit my job” to “Pay off my bills” to “Buy a big house on the beach” to “Travel the world.”

When it was my turn to answer (I had just arrived in my not so fancy Chrysler, no latte and no designer clothes to ruin), I said, “I’d build a shelter for the homeless and find a way to educate their kids.” You can’t imagine the groans I heard and the comments that followed which all boiled down to the same response, “I want to change my answer!” I thought, “Hey! If my response can get people to change how they’d spend their money, maybe I’m on to something.”

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunities that have come my way and I believe in helping others do the same. That’s why I am so passionate about being involved in these organizations:

School on Wheels

The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade.  Volunteers work one-on-one with children to teach, mentor, and assist in their educational life. Tutoring a homeless child has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.  In my experience, it’s the people who have the least who have taught me the most.

Project Angel Food

Project Angel Food’s mission is to nourish the body and spirit of men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, Cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers and staff cook and deliver free and nutritious meals prepared with love throughout Los Angeles County.  If you want to see how much your love makes a difference, deliver a home cooked meal to a stranger.  You will never forget it.

Kiva

Kiva is a non-profit organization that let’s individuals lend as little as $25 to help alleviate poverty and create opportunity around the world.  We ALL have dreams.  Achieve yours and help someone else reach theirs too.

The Trevor Project

My dear friend and co-founder of The Trevor Project introduced me to this leading national non-profit organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.  I fully support all the good work they do.