For the Children: A New Year, A New Call for Philanthropy

By Brenna Kehew Sculley

by Celia Cooksey

An Elysian woman is one dedicated to philanthropy — and yet, according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), charitable giving trends demonstrated a persistent decline throughout 2023. As we look to a new year, it is with purpose, poise, and a dedication to philanthropy, no matter the year.

The decline in giving has been felt across the charitable spectrum, can be seen on the shelves of empty diaper pantries, and in the faces of weary volunteers just keeping it together. They call upon us all to step up in every time of need, and it is up to 2024 to reverse the trend.

It is never too late to find a cause that inspires you. Finding the right cause can be daunting, with so many issues needing our help and focus, but focusing on the well-being of children, our innocent future, is often a good place to start. There are endless amounts of resources online that can connect you with opportunities to support your community.

Beyond our borders, it is impossible to deny that we are living in trying times for the global population. Organizations like Save the Children have been supporting the unique needs of children caught in armed conflicts for over 100 years. Similarly, UNICEF is on the ground before, during, and after emergencies, working to reach children and families with lifesaving aid and long-term assistance.

Children have no part in starting wars, but are victims of their violence. It is estimated that more than one in six children in the world currently live in a war zone. A shocking statistic that we should never accept this as normal.

In Gaza, thousands of children caught up in the crisis have died or are suffering loss of limbs, malnutrition, faced with nowhere to hide, and no living family to turn to. The children and families of Ukraine have endured almost two full years of continuing, escalating violence, trauma, destruction and displacement. There have been global outcries against Russia’s policy of forced child deportations, and yet the terror continues. Just last week, on January 4th, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a citizenship decree expediting Russian citizenship to foreigners and stateless people. This move accelerates the complicated citizenship of orphaned Ukrainian children or those deprived of parental guardianship who can be fast-tracked to Russian citizenship, and further perpetuates their attempts at forced assimilation.

Elysian has dedicated our resources to bringing focus to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the children whose lives have been upended. Bringing together political leaders, supporters, and those who dedicated to shining a light on those that have been forgotten, Elysian has pulled together a powerful documentary, Fight for Ukraine: For the Children, to bring attention to the children of Ukraine and to the women who have carried the burdens of war on their back in the ongoing and unforgettable war in Ukraine. On February 21st at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, we will be bringing focus to this important issue, and continuing our support beyond one singular event.

For 2024, don’t sit back and let the world of need, overwhelming and constant, stop you from stepping in, staying engaged, and doing all you can to bring forth a better tomorrow.

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