Charitable Giving in 2023

The number of hours left in 2023 is down to single digits as I write this. This year as in past years, the majority of my charitable giving is to churches within my denomination (Seventh-Day Adventist), with additional giving to non-profit journalism and other non-religious causes.

Religiously-Motivated Charitable Giving

Unlike previous years, where I only donated to my home church, I also donated to every church that I attended either in-person or online at least once this calendar year. This included Boston Temple, which I attended in-person when I visited my cousin there in October, as well as Oakwood University Church (online), Revision Church Atlanta SDA (online), along with the churches in my local area I visit most often in-person.

As I did last year, I donated to Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW). I also donated to my high school alma mater again this year.

Other Charitable Giving

Other destinations for my charitable giving this year included the following organizations (in no particular order):

Charitable Giving Plans for 2024

Having finally added back to the roster of charitable donation recipients I missed in past years, one change I anticipate making in 2024 is donating to whatever the organization resulting from the merger between CIR/Reveal and Mother Jones is ultimately called.

Non-profit journalists did great work this year in exposing the depths of Clarence Thomas’ corruption, methods used by the Mormon church to keep child sex abuse cases secret, a healthcare company trying to deny coverage to a chronically ill patient, and more. Especially in a presidential election year, where for-profit newsrooms like The New York Times appear to be using their coverage to weigh in in favor of the powerful, non-profit newsrooms will be more important than ever. If you haven’t already donated to a non-profit newsroom this year, I encourage you to get that donation in before the new year.

In 2024, consider supporting a non-profit newsroom in your local area. The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) has a tool that will match you with such organizations so you can donate to them directly and follow their coverage. I might be adding some Maryland non-profit newsrooms to my charitable giving plans before this time next year.

Looking Back at Highs and Lows of 2023


  • Expanded scope at work
    • 2 stand-alone teams versus one large one
    • New area of responsibility
    • Managing (and delegating to) team lead and tech leads for the first time
    • Having skip-level 1-on-1s
    • Got to hire some contractors (to work around the headcount freeze of last year)
  • 12th wedding anniversary
  • Twins turned 8 years old
  • Published more blog posts than in 2022 (31 including this one versus 22 last year)
  • Ramped up my pleasure reading, including:
    • The South: Jim Crow and Its Afterlives, by Adolph L. Reed
    • Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
    • Heavy, by Kiese Laymon
    • Spook Street, by Mick Herron (#4 in the Slough House series)
    • The List, by Mick Herron
    • Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
    • Tiamat’s Wrath, by James S.A. Corey (#8 of 9 in The Expanse series)
    • London Rules, by Mick Herron (#5 in the Slough House series)
    • The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi
    • The Last Colony, by John Scalzi
    • Beacon 23, by Hugh Howey
  • Successful cataract surgery
  • Solo vacation this year was to Boston, to visit my cousin and do some touristy stuff


  • Didn’t complete AWS Serverless badge (a work goal for the year that I ran out of time for)
  • Had to deliver below strong ratings for an employee for the first time
  • Did not work on my health enough

2022 Year in Review

Some highlights from this year:

  • Very strong year-end review (best ever at my current employer)
    • Substantial pay raise
    • RSUs added to my compensation package for the first time in my career
  • Promoted to senior manager at mid-year
  • Returned to the office
    • Hybrid model of Tuesday-Thursday in-office with Mondays and Fridays still remote
  • 11th wedding anniversary
  • Twins turned 7 years old
  • I lost about 10 pounds
  • Wrote 22 blog posts (including this one)
    • Moved this site to Amazon Lightsail (more on that in a future post)
  • Finally updated my library card so I can borrow books with Libby and in-person
  • Completed some reading for pleasure, including:
    • Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies (by Dick Gregory)
      • Borrowed physically from the library
    • The first three books of Mick Herron’s Slough House books
      • Slow Horses
      • Dead Lions
      • Real Tigers (borrowed via Libby)
    • They Called Us Enemy: Expanded Edition (by George Takei)
    • Black Cop’s Kid: An Essay (by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
  • Completed Building Microservices (by Sam Newman) in technical book club at work
  • Took an actual solo vacation (Philadelphia)

Some lowlights from this year:

  • Ending contractor terms early for performance reasons
  • Navigating a headcount freeze (which will persist into 2023)
  • Not enough exercise