We love our semi-distant relatives at Christmas. You know? The one’s you usually only see at Weddings and Family Reunions? The one’s who say ‘You probably don’t remember me, last time I saw you, you were this big.’ The ones who live halfway across the country, but still remember you at Christmas. And the reason we love them is not because of their distance (although with a couple of our relatives we’re thankful for it) – it’s because they’re the ones who are most likely to send a Christmas card, with either a check or a crisp $20 ensconced inside. Thanks Aunty Beryl!
Now while we used to take this money and invest it wisely, in things like candy, soda and fireworks, we’ve matured a little more… since last year. So, in celebration of that fact, we’re giving you a couple of different options for your Seasonal windfall. Got a lump of coal from Aunty Beryl instead? Not a problem, some of these places don’t require your money – but they’d appreciate your time.
Magicians are a fairly close knit community – we have to be. Secrets unite us, as does the sharing of knowledge and experience, which rightly leads to a sense of brotherhood. As such the below causes are those that are founded by, help out, or require the services of fellow magicians. We know that many of you already contribute in your own right – and we’re deeply appreciative of that, but for those of you who are buoyed by the Christmas spirit but unsure how to act, any of the below are as great a place to start as any.
Spread the Magic Foundation
Founded by Chad Juros in honor of his father’s dying wish, the Spread the Magic Foundation is a charity that spreads hope and inspiration to children battling cancer, through the power of magic. Chad’s story is one of inspiration, and while Chad spreads the gift of magic himself by creating live shows for children battling cancer in cancer hospitals, camps and foundations, he, and those at the foundation, are in constant search for assistance. You can help by donating funds, services or goods to Spread the Magic foundation, to ensure their work continues bringing joy to those who need it.
Senior Sorcery Program
Run by Canadian arts organization Magicana the Senior Sorcery program is designed to bring live theatre in the form of magic shows to the senior citizen community, particularly to isolated seniors in remote residences and/or community centers. The program empowers by giving seniors the ability to invite their family and friends to a special event. The program also aims to bridge generations by offering a group activity that all can participate in, enjoy together and to discuss afterwards. Senior Sorcery is win-win for all involved, providing an appreciative audience for up-and-coming magicians to show off their abilities and gain performing experience in live shows, for people who can greatly benefit from the experience. You can help Senior Sorcery in their work by donating your time as a performing magician, or the funds to assist Magicana in the development of these programs.
The SAM Magic Endowment Fund
Founded in 1986 by the Society of American Magicians (SAM), the fund is a non-profit foundation for the advancement of the Art of Magic. It was established by the Society to administer several charitable programs designed to promote magic and aid magicians. Through sponsorships for young magicians to attend Sorcerer’s Safari and the Jeff McBride School of Magic, program’s such as the Disaster Relief Fund – which assisted magicians in need during the Japan Earthquakes and Floods earlier this year, and the Houdini Fund – which aids ill or injured magicians with hospital benefits and recovery services, the fund is constantly changing the lives of others. You can help by donating directly to the fund, or simply by joining the Society of American Magicians, as part of your membership fee helps fuel the fund.
There are of course other very deserving charities out there, such as My Magic Hands and Open Heart Magic, among hundreds of others, and we’d be here forever if we were to list them all, but we do hope with the inspiration of the above, we can help you give just one more gift this Christmas. If you don’t feel comfortable giving to a charity this year, we certainly understand – instead all we ask is for you to go out and give the gift of a magic performance – your magic – to one person who can benefit. Bring a smile to someone’s day, whether they’re a stranger, a friend or a family member – It costs nothing of you, but can mean everything to them.
Merry Christmas guys. Go spread those smiles.