Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Christmas idea follow-up

It's hard to believe that Christmas is just over a week away, so I'm pushing forward with getting my charitable giving "presents" wrapped under the tree, and also making the donations that they represent.

I've just donated $50 to the United Negro College Fund. This was one of the first charities that I donated to, back in the 1980's when I was earning a good paycheck. It is one of the greatest causes that you can find, and donations made now can help these students already with their second semesters. Historically black colleges are one of our national treasures, in my opinion, as they deliver high quality education in personal "small town settings" (even when in a city) that many have come to realize is a positive and proactive educational environment. So I now have under the tree the reminder of my intention to make an annual Christmas donation, a maroon color holly decorated wrapped present decorated with an angel of color holding a dove, and will record this donation on the Santa Claus tag.

Read this description from their web site:

There are 105 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the nation. In 1965, in Title III of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress officially defined an HBCU as, an institution whose principal missions were, and are the education of black Americans, was accredited, and was established before 1964. The first HBCU, Cheney University in Pennsylvania was founded in 1837. All HBCUs play a critical role in the American higher education system. For most of America’s history, African Americans who received a college education could only get it from an HBCU. Today, HBCUs remain one of the surest ways for an African American, or student of any race, to receive a high quality education.

While the 105 HBCUs represent just 3 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher learning, they graduate nearly one-quarter of African Americans who earn undergraduate degrees. HBCUs, because of their unique sensibility to the special needs of young African American minds, remain the institutions that demonstrate the most effective ability to graduate African American students who are poised to be competitive in the corporate, research, academic, governmental and military arenas.

UNCF supports minority students at many schools that are not HBCUs. However, UNCF directly supports 39 private HBCUs.