The Joy of Giving

By Gina Inocencio, Development & Communications Manager

Photo courtesy of AALEAD Staff

I love birthdays! When I was little, I counted down the days to my birthday in anticipation of the party and the gifts I was hoping to get. My childhood best friend have always given me gifts on my birthdays since we were in elementary until we graduated in high school. Her mother owned an accessories shop and she would give me small figurines, hair bows, cute purses, and my favorite gift:  embroidered handkerchiefs. It felt wonderful to be treated as someone special. We all know how great it feels to receive gifts.

As I got older, I noticed a shift. Don’t get me wrong, I still love receiving gifts, but I didn’t realize how much giving to others filled my heart with joy and nourished my soul. It felt great to give a gift to someone and see the look of appreciation or the awe and happiness in the faces of the children. Their bright smiles and their laughter of joy as they unwrap their presents brought sheer happiness to me. I experienced more happiness than when I was the recipient!

Giving is like that. I am thankful that my work at Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) allows me to connect people with the opportunity to make an impact and make a difference in someone’s life. I invite you to step out of your world for a bit and venture into someone else’s. See what the act of giving brings for you! So on your birthday or at any time of the year, consider giving to AALEAD. Or better yet, why not become a monthly giver?  It’s the joy of giving…regularly! You will be amazed at how much your gift grows when you give every month. Simply decide on an affordable amount that meets your budget. Giving $20 on the 20th of every month, or any amount that you prefer, will help ensure that AALEAD will reach the low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth with after-school academic support and enrichment activities, college preparatory support, and opportunities for leadership and civic engagement.

Becoming a donor to AALEAD means that you have become our partner. Last year, 550 low income and underserved youth participated and benefited from AALEAD programs. I encourage you to explore our website. Our page on “Impact Data & Stories” features the stories of our youth participants and the impact of our work. If  you wish to know more about our programs and ways that you can support us, please give me a call at (202) 884-0322 x 102 or email me at

Click on the Donate Now button below or at any page of our website and partner with us in providing educational empowerment, leadership opportunities, and nurturing identities for APA youth in the Greater Washington area. I guarantee that you will feel joyful doing so!

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