After the tumultuous 2+ years we’ve all been experiencing (especially for those like me working in the travel/tourism industry) I’ve taken the time to reflect on why I do what I do – why did I start and why do I continue to publish TOT: HOT OR NOT.
Why does it exist?
Who am I serving?
What is the impact that I’m trying to make?
The conclusion I’ve come to this:
TOT: HOT OR NOT exists to help make the lives of families more fun, more exciting and more enriching by inspiring them to explore the wonders of Melbourne and Regional Victoria.
As parents and carers, I know we all want the same thing for our kids – to offer them a happy childhood.
We only have a mere 18 summers with our kids. In an average lifetime, that’s not very long at all.
Time with our kids is precious. How do we make those 18 years count? What feelings and memories are we sharing with our children?
I feel that a happy childhood isn’t always about stuff – although of course having your basic needs met is essential.
And I’m sure there are many happy memories associated with Santa bringing you a toy, getting your first bike, or saving up for the LEGO set that you’ve always wanted.
But in the end, it’s the feeling surrounding those objects that we come back to.
You probably don’t own that toy, bike or LEGO set anymore. But you still remember who gave it to you, where you were when you received it and the sense of anticipation and delight that came with the item.
That’s why this year, as well as aiming to publish valuable and inspiring content for Melbourne families every week, I made a separate business goal.
I will donate a portion of my profits to an organisation that enriches families’ lives.
In 2022 I’m happy to announce that I’ve decided to donate to Museums Victoria.
Thank you for a lifetime of wonder, Museums victoria
I first took Lady AB to the Melbourne Museum when she was a baby and not even walking. Now if you go through the site's archives, you’ll see how many events and activities we’ve experienced in the eleven years since!
I like to think that when my kids grow up, they’ll bring their kids to the museum too.
Donate a household membership to Berry Street
We have been Museums Victoria Household Members for over a decade.
‘Going to the museum’ is our family’s shorthand for a time of joy, connection and learning.
So I’m pleased to be able to donate 20 Museums Victoria Household Memberships to Berry Street to educate and inspire the children, young people and families they serve.
The donation also supports Museums Victoria’s work across areas such as Climate Action research, Science and STEM education, First Peoples programs and new exhibitions.
That’s a win-win in my books!
As a Chinese-born immigrant, this museum tells the stories of people like me and the immensely positive contribution that immigrants make to Australian society.
Particularly in this time of divisive politics, I think that the Immigration Museum is important in all of our lives and deserves our support.
Plus, if you visit the ‘Identity’ exhibition within Immigration Museum you’ll notice that I’m one of the exhibits :)
Be the good you want to see in the world
Beyond the monetary donation, I think there is real power in being the good that I want to see in the world.
How do I know this? Well, this year I started implementing the Barefoot Investor’s approach to my kids’ pocket money.
This means we use the ‘Jam Jar’ approach: each time they get paid pocket money they have to divide the gold coins into three jars ‘Spend’, ‘Save’ and ‘Give’.
The ‘Give’ jar is about teaching kids why it’s important to give to others less lucky than them.
When I shared my charitable giving goal with my kids this year my son said that he wanted to donate a Household membership too!
So he’s written a savings goal of $100 onto his jar and is counting up his gold coins week by week. His current total is $16 and I’m so proud of him.
My charitable giving goal for TOT: HOT OR NOT
It’s rewarding to operate a business that’s financially successful.
But after paying my staff, myself, and investing back into the business, my view is that as my business grows, my impact needs to grow too.
So every year I will select a different organisation to donate to – an organisation that enriches families’ lives in the same way that I aim to do.
Do you have a personal or business charitable giving goal?