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Thirty-one years ago in early December, three Brendan Wood International partners gathered for a quiet lunch to contemplate the usual, annual, empty ritual, namely the dreaded company Christmas party! Three of us, all Catholics, were depressed by the upcoming spectacle. It had been a terrible year and we had no extra cash or enthusiasm for a hollow celebration. On the second glass of wine, we rebelled unanimously. The Christmas party was off! What would we do instead? Given our moods, it was decided that little, if anything, would make us feel better. Then the inevitable..."there's lots of people worse off than us". Why not do something to help others? So who was worse off than us and what could we do to help them? While we realized that there were countless people who needed help and uplifting, we didn't really know who they were and how to reach them. As we meditated on this, the room began to light up with all kinds of ideas. In fact, we had so many ideas to look into and causes to investigate that we completely forgot how broke we were. It was as if the desire to do something had multiplied our resources. It had.

With all the possibilities and little cash it was decided to do the research Brendan Wood International style. How could we get the most value to the end user? Which charitable organizations really delivered? Which were bureaucracies? Who had a handle on the best answers to social problems? What causes were the most important?

The next move was obvious. We would split up the cash among the employees of Brendan Wood International, our interviewers and some of our friends and ask them to seek out the best causes they could find and gather together for a great dinner at which they would share the story behind what they did with the money. We agreed there would be no restraints on any basis - all religious and secular causes chosen by our friends were "in".

It was possibly the best decision ever made at Brendan Wood International. The education has been spectacular, the dinners have been inspirational, to say the least, and we couldn't have imagined how much could be done with so little money when the right people chose to put it into the right hands.

For more about Lazarus Partners and our Christmas charities, please see our site at www.lazaruspartners.org or view the links below:

Telephone: +1 416 260 3100
Website: www.dignitasinternational.org

E-mail: info@nikibasika.org
Website: www.nikibasika.org

Telephone: +1 416 646 2315 
Website: www.salvationarmy.ca

Telephone: +1 416 964 7698
Website: www.veahavta.org

Telephone: +1 416 971 7474
Website: www.warchild.ca

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