Category Archives: Nonprofit

Ultimate Favorite Thing: Higher Education

A gossip blog I happen to follow had a discussion post for Oprah’s annual Favorite Things episode on Friday. I’m sure half of those leaving comments were there to laugh at the reactions of Oprah’s audience members. They are ridiculous and over the top . . . people kissing the ground and shouting to the skies, tears of joy, speechless awe. I switched on my TV thinking it’d be on at 3 p.m. in Chicago to only find out that my area doesn’t get Oprah until 11 p.m. It’s safe to say I did not catch Oprah’s final Favorite Things episode.

Today I was curious enough to google what items were on this year’s list. A Caribbean cruise? It’s not as nice as the all expenses paid trip to Australia, but I’m sure Oprah will make sure those on this cruise will not be stuck at sea with bad food and stifling heat waiting to be tugged back to shore. I clicked on random links and articles and I stumbled upon a comment about one audience member who planned to sell his gifts for charity.

And so my Google journey continued fully expecting to see numerous articles on the charitable man from Oprah’s Favorite Things episode. I scrolled past the countless articles on the specific items and the pictures posted on the HuffPo, but I was only rewarded with one article mentioning this kind and charitable act. But that one article had a comment that would tell me about the great Hinche Scholars Project.

Like many of the audience members invited to Oprah’s Favorite Things episodes, they are usually people who have given to others (teachers, community leaders, volunteers, etc.). Danny Yates, a student at the College of William and Mary, was invited to the taping for his efforts in Haiti after January’s catastrophic earthquake. Yates’ project focuses on higher education and the rehabilitation and growth of Haiti’s intellectual infrastructure.

Here is a college student who is putting his free gifts on eBay to help Haitian students receive the higher education they deserve. Here is a project that deserves more exposure and support. I know it’s the holiday season, so the articles on gift ideas from Oprah’s listed items are inevitable. But where’s the holiday cheer and charitable giving that should accompany the consumerism hoopla?

Learn more about donating and the Hinche Scholars Project here.