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Letter From HF President: My Holiday Wish

My ten year old has begun to question everything about Santa. "How is it possible that he comes down the chimney when we don't even have one? How would anyone have time to make like a gazillion toys? And don't tell me about that magic stuff because I know pretty much how things work now!" It's a tough line of questioning that any defense attorney would have a hard time responding to. And the thing is, these questions are made even harder because I feel I'm representing the wrong client…

You see when I picture Santa, I imagine him living in a tropical place south of our border, wearing guayaberas to work and being flown around by llamas. One might expect to hear that from a president of the Hispanic Federation, and it is true that I have an affinity for that line of thinking, but only because I know the incredible spirit of giving that is an important trait of our culture and people.

Annually, Latinos send tens of billions of dollars to their families back home in Latin America. They give generously to their places of worship. And they're always ready to help a neighbor in need and first in line to donate when a natural disaster strikes near or far away from their homes. So why wouldn't I think that Santa originated from such a place of deep and rich giving?

Of course, my holiday wish is for Latinos here in the U.S. to be more strategic and intentional about their giving by directing at least part of their donations to Latino-led institutions who are working on the front lines to uplift our families and communities. We certainly have a lot of work to do in that regard. I believe true empowerment and self-determination for our community will occur when enough of us become strategic givers to nonprofit institutions whose principal work and mission is to support Latino causes. And there really is no better time to start doing that than the holiday season. We have the great privilege of representing an incredible network of 100 community-based organizations – each of them doing amazing work and deserving of your support. Reach out by responding to this email message and let us tell you about them. You can also go online to visit our website to support HF or any member of our family of organizations.

As I ended up telling my daughter, Santa may not be exactly what is reflected in popular culture but you need to believe that her/his spirit lives deep in us and every time we commit an act of kindness her/his essence grows stronger and makes our world a better place. Thank you for being such great Santas.

¡Felicidades y Abrazos!