MOTIVATION | DAVID BURTKA

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My husband and I love helping out. We are super fortunate in our lives and it’s always good to give back. However, I think the most important part of giving back is being a good example for our kids. I have found it gives them a bigger perspective in life and in turn I see them wanting to help out on their own.  

Here are some of the organizations we support.:

God’s Love We Deliver
GLWD cooks and delivers medically tailored meals to help those living in the New York city area who are ill or cannot leave their house. We have not only donated money to help this cause, but we volunteer as well. I’ve donated my time to cook charity dinners to raise money, and have also prepared and delivered the food. My favorite part of working with GLWD is taking the kids and spending a little extra time with the people we’re helping. Most of these folks cannot leave their apartments and just to have a visitor for them is a treat. While delivering meals, my husband made a rule that our kids have to engage with the recipients. He encourages them to ask questions or give a compliment. Not only are we helping people in need, but the kids get to see the diverse community living in New York City. 

Food Bank For New York City
This is an organization dedicated to ending hunger and poverty. Food Bank is focused on helping low-income New Yorkers overcome their circumstances and achieve greater independence. We have volunteered quite a bit with this non-profit. Our family has served meals for people who can’t afford a meal. Our favorite job, though, is working in their pantry. It’s like playing shop for the kids: They let the patrons know how many boxes, cans, produce and proteins they’ll receive based on how many people are in their family. Not only are they helping people, they’re also working on math, socializing and in some circumstances, their Spanish language skills.   

Elton John AIDS Foundation
This non-profit organization supports innovative HIV prevention, education programs, direct care and support services to people living with HIV. Our family has been friends with the Furnish-John clan for nearly a decade, and it seemed like a no brainer that we would get involved in their organization. Not only do we try to attend every event, gala and fundraiser but we’ve also donated money to help stop this heinous disease. 

Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education and inspiring people to value nature. It currently works to conserve more than two million square miles of wild places around the world. I love helping out this organization.  The whole family has a passion for animals and wildlife. In fact, Neil and I recently participated in a hugely successful campaign with Omaze to raise funds for WCS. 

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer
This is a non-profit committed to raising funds for research to develop new, less toxic treatments for children's cancer that we recently started working with. Having lost my mom to cancer, I feel especially connected to this cause, and because I love helping children, my involvement with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer made perfect sense. My husband and I recently went to the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer benefit — hands down one of the best charity dinners I’ve ever been to.