The Latin Divas of Comedy star and radio personality, Monique Marvez, is known to many across the country for her quick wit and ability to bring a crowd to tears and belly laughs. She is also well-known locally throughout the San Diego community as a woman who generously donates her time supporting several causes such as the March of Dimes and San Diego Natural History Museum. We reached out to Monique this week and asked her to jot down a few thoughts about the holidays and #charity. We are very happy to share our funny gal pal’s views on the season.
Christmas Time and Charity
One of the best perks of being a successful radio personality was being asked by my program director to identify and work with charities that “speak to me”. I didn’t realize how much time this would take up in my life; NEED speaks to me.
As a comedian, I always volunteered my services to any and all AIDS related benefits and events as the LGBT had been monumentally supportive in launching my career from the cabarets and gay bars on South Beach in my hometown of Miami. One of the highpoints was actually receiving money from the late Gianni Versace for “Project Cradle”, to benefit children born with HIV. Back then, my visibility and cone of influence didn’t extend much beyond the edge of a few stages over a causeway.
As my star rose, so did my ability to do good in the world; in the last 8 years, I have united a women with a much needed wheelchair, given poor kids over the top Halloween costumes ( I shopped and paid for in a Walmart at 11pm after a gig) offered to loan a single dad gas money ( I didn’t have to as his boss was listening and pledged the company van), rebuilt a man’s life who called in after the fires from a parking lot with nothing but his car and the clothes on is back… I’ve passed on money from Ralph Rubio to a baseball diamond in East County and dropped batteries and blankets to a couple of “permanent campers” who checked in from pay phones by the ship terminal.
NONE of these were stunts or contrived. All were from the heart, although there was visibility, exposure and a lot of people observing my good deeds.
There is an element of identification with those we help and desire for recognition for our altruism. We see it in galas, boisterous, competative auctions and large plaques on community centers.
What about the anonymous #giving?
It is actually the most rewarding in a way because it challenges us to the limit of selflessness and goodness for goodness’ sake. I have participated in this on occasions rich with emotion, drenched in tears and fueled by faith for I am not even remotely altruistic. I am selfish beyond measure and after all these years on the planet get that the more I give, the more I get. It is so. I PROMISE.
Do not be afraid to extend yourself in these tough times. It will come back in spades. I apologize for not saying anything even remotely funny in this column; I take my giving very seriously.