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More than 1,000 of you offered suggestions of fantastic charities for my end of the year  giveaway and I enjoyed reading every single entry. The reason why I asked everyone to give their suggestions on charities is because I need to do some giving myself and, as always, I look to TPG readers for advice.

I decided to donate to three charities, though frankly after reading through every entry I wish I had unlimited money to donate because there are so many worthy causes.  My only criteria was that the charity had to have a 4 star rating on Charity Navigator.
$1,500 to Doctors Without Borders
$1,000 to USO
$500 to Charity Water

I am also donating 25,000 miles to the Dream Foundation (another 4 star charity) – one I’ve spoken about before, but is fresh in my mind thanks to this comment by a fellow Pitt alum:

“A good friend of mine had the pleasure of partaking in a trip sponsored by the Dream Foundation. At 15 she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and fought it successfully twice. Through all the treatments, she managed to continued school and was accepted into (yours and my alma-mater) Pitt to pursue her dream of becoming a creative writer. Her inspiration was a poet whom she had the pleasure of hearing lecture in Hawaii after her second relapse was deemed the fatal one, thanks to the Dream Foundation. During the trip, the foundation and the poet himself surprised her by inviting her on stage to read a short story of her life with cancer to the audience, and then proceeded to present her with a highly distinguished creative-writing award. This kind of experience would never have been possible without the Dream Foundation, and ever since she passed away (at 21, 2 years ago), I’ve made it a priority to give whatever I can to it to allow people like my friend to get a break from their suffering and have the experience of a lifetime.”

What an inspiring story. I hope that, like me, it inspires many of you to give what you can as well.

Now for the TPG prize winners:
Delta Silver Medallion Status: Kenny Dickhudt– Charity: Doctors Without Borders
10,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points: Ahmet Can– Charity: Heifer International
American Airlines $50 Gift Certificate: Craig Chu– Trevor Project
American Airlines $50 Gift Certificate: Barbara– Charity: Second Harvest Food Bank
American Airlines $50 Gift Certificate: Latimer– Charity: March of Dimes
American Airlines $50 Gift Certificate: Audra– Charity: Frankie Lemmon Foundation
Motorola Bluetooth: Gus C– Charity: Food Bank NYC
Signed copy of Try This: Traveling the Globe Without Leaving the Table: Thompson– Charity: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Canister of Turkish coffee from Istanbul: Ram Kashyap– Charity: SOS Children’s Villages
Delta Amenity Kit with other TPG goodies: Brian Chan– Charity: Smile Train

I’ll be contacting winners of the various prizes individually. Thank you all again for commenting and providing great suggestions, and happy holidays!

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