My end of December SQL Server Pro UPDATE commentary often focuses on a fun Christmas topic and is often a variation of “Dear Santa, This year I want XYZ for Christmas.” I decided to go in a slightly different direction this year, although I’ll still be talking about giving by sharing two examples of #sqlgiving that inspire me.

I’ve long been impressed by the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives book in which SQL Server MVP’s from around the world donate 100 percent of their royalties to the charitable cause of War Child. Paul Nielsen, of SQL Server Bible fame, spearheaded the effort a few years ago with the help of Kalen Delaney, Greg Low, Adam Machanic, and Kimberly L. Tripp. SQL Server MVP Deep Dives, Volume 2 just came out. Paul, thank you for putting together this project.

Recently, Mike Walsh (@mike_walsh) blogged about his idea around #SQLWater. (You can read his thoughts in detail in his blog post “A Global Crisis – With a Solution?") Did you know that about three children under the age of five die every 45 seconds around the world because they lack clean drinking water, and that an additional 3.75 million people around the world die of water-related diseases each year? It’s estimated that 10 billion US dollars could solve this problem through efficient use of wells, and US residents alone spend about 450 billion US dollars on Christmas presents each year. That makes me cry just thinking about it. I didn’t have the best year financially I’ve ever had this past year, but my kids will count their Christmas gifts in terms of how many Wii games they get, not whether they will go to bed thirsty. #firstworldproblems.

The SQL Server community never ceases to amazes me with its sense of SQL family. It amazes me with its sense of giving and help as measured through efforts such as #sqlhelp or the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives books. The following is what Mike had to say in wrapping up his #sqlwater blog:

“Remember – the goal in sharing here isn’t for us to brag about the little bit we are doing. It is to encourage each other along and to raise awareness. I know we are a giving community donating to walks, marathons, food banks, cancer treatment or awareness, etc. I think it is great and I happen to think we still have a little room individually to give but as a community of small donations? We can bring water to those in need – right now. Who else wants to help out?”

So, here's my revised letter to Santa:

Dear Santa,
This year for Christmas I want people to give. I don’t care how much or to what charity, although I will be adopting #sqlwater as one of my pet projects. Just #sqlgive.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Brian