Wednesday, March 21, 2007

OOH-WHEEE!!! A 30-Post Milestone!

Wow! It's official! I have developed a habit! They say if you do something for 21 days running you have established a habit. This is my 30th blog in a row, and it does feel like a habit by now. A good one, I hope you'll agree...

Because this is Post #30, I think I will tell you about some very worthwhile organizations that could use your help -- and you can write in and mention more, if you like. Modest Needs ( gives everyone with a few extra bucks a chance to be a real hero.

Here's an email I received today from its founder (who also happens to be a big DeForest Kelley fan):

Good afternoon, everyone!

It's been nearly a month since I've sent out a news update, and that's because - in the interest of not cluttering your inbox - I've been waiting to send several really wonderful news updates your way. But first things first: today, 21 March 2007, marks the fifth anniversary of Modest Needs' launch! To celebrate, I'm writing to share several landmark announcements that I've been saving for an equally exciting occasion - and what could be more exciting than five years of working together to change lives?

First of all, I'm very proud to share with you today news that has been nearly eight months in the making. Tomorrow, Jonathan Tisch and Loews Hotels will formally announce that, after an exhaustive search, they have selected Modest Needs as their national 'Good Neighbor' partner.

Beginning in May and continuing throughout 2007, Loews Hotels will be sponsoring a number of events to benefit Modest Needs and our applicants. This additional support will not only mean a great deal to our applicants - it should so vastly increase national awareness of this work that by year's end, on a regular basis, we're able to fund nearly twice the individuals and families that we're currently able to reach.

Though the announcement of this first-of-its-kind partnership with Modest Needs will officially come tomorrow, I'd encourage you to visit the Loews Hotels home page, at, where you will see the announcement officially posted. This is truly a great honor and a tribute to the work all of us have done over the past five years, and I hope you're as excited as I am by this wonderful opportunity!

Secondly, I'm proud to announce that in honor of our anniversary, we are issuing a ground-breaking round of grant funding today. On Monday of this week, we funded 23 applications for assistance. Today, thanks to your extraordinary generosity, we're funding 14 more families who've asked for our help. And when this round of funding is complete, together, over the past five years, we will have made exactly 3,150 grants with a value of - are you ready - just over one million dollars!

In just moments, as soon as this update is posted, those of you who support Modest Needs will be working fourteen more of the miracles at which you've always excelled: you will stop foreclosure or eviction on nine home and apartments, prevent the sale of a paid-for home over a past-due property tax bill, restore utility service to two families, repair the car that keeps a single mom working, and prevent a family from having half of its disposable income garnished over an unexpected bill that they simply couldn't pay.

That we've been able to raise a million dollars in five years (mostly in small increments) is something of a miracle in and of itself. But when you consider that we've now stopped the cycle of poverty for 3,150 hard working individuals and families for an average of $317.00 each - well, I think that brings new meaning to our motto: 'Small Change: A World of Difference.'

Again, I hope that all of you are extremely proud of this achievement. Reaching the million-dollar milestone is generally a sign that a charitable endeavor has passed an important threshold, and it's my hope that the next few years, will see us able to more good together than any of us had ever dreamed would be possible five years ago.

Finally, I have just posted a brand-new installment of 'Profiles in Courageous Generosity' - Modest Needs' most popular column. Most of you have noticed that 'Profiles in Courageous Generosity' has been MIA for a several months now as we've worked on projects like our website update and our Loews Hotels partnership. But I'm bringing today for our anniversary, and I think you'll find this column to have been especially worth the wait.

This 'Profile in Courageous Generosity,' which I'm calling 'The Giving Ladder,' is available for you now at I hope you'll take just a few minutes out of your day to read this remarkable testament to the power of human kindness to restore hope, and to share that piece with the people who matter to you most.

For all that you've done, and for all that you continue to do at Modest Needs, the words 'thank you' simply don't seem adequate. All the same, both personally and on behalf of the persons whose lives you've changed, I'd like to thank you for a remarkable first five years of Modest Needs. Please let me hear from you soon, and have a wonderful day!

All best,

Dr. Keith P. Taylor
President / Executive Director
Modest Needs Foundation
'Small Change: A World of Difference'
(212) 463-7042, x14


If you believe in the power of human kindness to change lives, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Modest Needs. And don't forget that in 2007, your pledge of any size to Modest Needs is DOUBLED through a matching grant all year long.

You can make an instant, secure gift or pledge of ANY size in 60 seconds or less by visiting

Remember, the work we do at Modest Needs is funded exclusively by the generosity of persons just like you. Without your support, this work would not be possible.


To apply for temporary financial assistance, please visit to request assistance from Modest Needs. We'll do everything in our power to help you in your time of crisis.


All contents (C) Modest Needs Foundation.
"Small Change: A World of Difference"
All Rights Reserved

Go ahead. Be a hero. Or apply for help, if you need help... and then pay it back so someone else can benefit when you get back on your feet again. What goes around comes around. I think this is one of the most worthy organizations I have encountered in a lifetime of supporting worthy causes. And it's pretty painless. $5 to you may be chump change, but combine enough of those bills and Dr Taylor can save someone's home!

Another great cause (and I can vouch for this one personally because I used to volunteer there) is the Roar Foundation, Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve ( Tippi has dedicated almost her entire adult life to the well-being of captive wildlife. Her book, The Cats of Shambala, is rare and out of print, but there are 22 of them at Amazon for sale and that will probably be the end of them, so get there fast if you want to read about how Tippi came to be the godmother of a wildlife preserve! My serval Deaken was boarded at Shambala for 15 months while I was landing a job in Hollywood and then looking for a landlord who would let me have a "wild animal" in the back yard! So I owe Tippi, big-time! If you will support her cause, she will send you quarterly newsletters keeping you updated on the goings on at Shambala. She has two of Michael Jackson's tigers. She also has an elephant that was rescued from a circus and a lot of -- don't giggle now -- birds!!! Doesn't that figure? (See Alfred Hitchcock's movie The Birds if you don't get the connection...)

Of course there are many, many other worthwhile organizations. If you have a favorite, please leave a comment and a link to it so others can read about it and consider supporting it.)

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And here's one more idea. Please logon to my workplace ( and take a look and a listen to what we have to offer you or a business person you know. Think of places where you are on-hold interminably and bored (there are plenty of them out there) and suggest that they logon to On-Hold Concepts and have us produce them a program that will keep callers entertained, informed and motivated to remain on the line until the receptionist or the person sought by the caller can return to the line. I won't get a finder's fee for any business you send our way, but it would certainly put a feather in my cap if you would mention (or have your referral mention) that it was Kris Smith who made you aware of the service. Thanks much!

Guess that's all for this time. I will now get some pudding and celebrate this milestone blog!

1 comment:

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