Do you heart JMU?

Yesterday while I was pondering what to write for today’s blog, a JMU colleague Lisa Ha (’04, ’10M) sent me a blog posting written by Orlando Sentinel blogger and JMU Be the Changer Margot Knight (’74)What Margot has to say bears repeating  — and emulating. If there’s an overarching sentiment to this holiday season, it is a generosity of spirit, a kindness that transcends our ordinary, workaday worlds, and a belief that we can all be a little better, bigger and kinder to help change the world.

Read what Margot suggests to her own community and then consider: What do you heart?

Making a list and checking it twice

— posted by Margot Knight on December, 15 2010 12:36 AM

It’s that time of year. No, not buying gifts or decorating or singing carols but the time of year to make your charity list and check it twice. I am a passionate believer in tithing–the age-old tradition of giving 10% of what you have–whether it’s money or time to the charities or causes that you have a passion for.

So grab a Sharpie and draw a picture of your heart. Sit down with your family and do it together. Create a section for each aspect of the community you’d like to improve or fix or help. And then allocate some dollars or hours to them.

Before you write the check or pull out the credit card, go to Central Florida Community Foundation’s Knowledge Base ( and explore the organizations whose missions align with that of your heart’s. Or do a little something extra for your church, temple or mosque.

My drawing reveals several cultural organizations, Coalition for the Homeless, Second Harvest, The Sentinel Fund, and my alma mater, James Madison University, among others. I have a cousin I’ll help as she raises money for breast cancer; I’m a fan of Consumer Reports Foundation. Money already comes directly from my paycheck for United Way.

So forget the naughty. Spread a little joy to the world–you’ll be surprised how nice it feels.

Margot H. Knight

Margot is president and CEO of United Arts of Central Florida, a non-profit devoted to quality experiences in culture for all tastes and pocketbooks. She has worked in public history and arts administration since 1977 when she recorded the tales of pioneer wheat farmers in eastern Washington state. She has been a singing waitress, stockbroker’s assistant, actor, playwright, go-go dancer and archivist. A proud Army brat, she believes in public service, being on time, candor, data, and the power of intention. She serves on the boards of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Private Sector Council of Americans for the Arts and the Alumni Board of James Madison University. (text from Orlando Sentinel website.)

If you want to read more of Margot’s blog posts, here’s the link:

And here’s the link to Margot’s Be the Change profile:

If you’d like to include JMU in your heart, here’s one more link you’ll definitely want to check out:

Thanks to JMU graphic designer Lynda Ramsey for the JMU heart!


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

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