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One of the advantages of being a young community is the opportunity it presents to build the kind of place we all aspire to call home. In Miami, anyone who is passionate about this city can help to shape its destiny. That is the essence of The New Miami.

We’ve seen it time and again what philanthropy can ignite in our city: world-class arts venues, thriving incubators for entrepreneurs, activated parks and public spaces … and yet, like many things in our ever-changing city, Miami has room for growth.

Our recently released 2014 Our Miami Report gave a snapshot of life in our community. The findings showed progress in many areas thanks to changemakers driving a bigger, better Miami. However, we still face challenges, most notably with regards to civic participation. Miamians volunteer less – 15.3 percent of residents volunteer compared to 18.3 percent of New Yorkers – and we donate fewer funds to local nonprofits – 1.7 percent of our residents’ adjusted gross income versus 2.1 percent of Chicagoans’ – than people in other major cities.

On November 20, we want to help close that gap with the third annual Give Miami Day.

For the past two years, Give Miami Day has made history as the most active 24 hours of giving in South Florida. Each day created an extraordinary Miami Moment that has shown the selfless nature of our people and fueled pride in our hometown. Year one produced a $1.2 million Miami Moment; year two produced a $3.2 million Miami Moment. In year three, we are aiming to create a $5 million Miami Moment that sets a new record for philanthropy in Florida and signals to the world that our generosity is on a par with communities characterized by much longer philanthropic histories than ours.

Taking part in Give Miami Day is easy – with a $25 gift to a participating charity, anyone can join a movement that will help improve the lives of thousands of Miamians. Just go to from midnight November 20 to midnight November 21, search your favorite nonprofits by name or cause and make a gift online. Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation Board of Trustees, Marlins Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida, Stearns Weaver Miller and our partners will maximize the community’s generosity by making a bonus gift for every donation between $25 and $10,000.

A new addition to Give Miami Day 2014 will be the Community Block Party, an opportunity to capture the tangible energy that Give Miami Day generates by bringing people together to connect, engage and celebrate with local charities. Marlins Park will host the event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Give Miami Day – everyone is invited to bring your friends and family to join in the festivities.

We know that statistics alone do not tell the whole story about how generous our community is. There are countless daily examples of individual gestures that demonstrate Miami’s generosity and make our community stronger, whether it’s supporting a friend, relative or our neighbors in the hemisphere facing hardship. On November 20, we are asking you to take those individual displays of generosity a step further to build a greater Miami together.

Our vision for Miami is of a city that is generous, engaged and committed to investing in its future. We believe this will define The New Miami. Let Give Miami Day help you make your place in it.

Javier Alberto Soto is president and CEO of The Miami Foundation.

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