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18 Dec

Thom Filicia on Gift for Life and DIFFA


Hi Folks!

First up, big congrats to Gift for Life and DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) on their recent announcement of grantees for 2019. These organizations around the country are amazing examples of selfless generosity, and your support of them is incredible.

As I wrap up a very eventful year I’m eager to share some good news—or should I say good tidings? I’m pleased to be serving as Gift for Life’s honorary chair through September 2020. When Gift for Life reached out and shared their mission of fundraising with DIFFA at trade events around the country I was not just impressed; I asked how I could help. I’m very familiar with the decades of hard work that DIFFA has done to support service and education programs, especially in my hometown of New York City. And I have recently learned about all the good things that Gift for Life has been doing since 1992 to raise more than $5 million to fight HIV/AIDS. They are a super passionate group of volunteers from across the country who work tirelessly to raise awareness and funds to benefit DIFFA’s grant-making efforts.

So, what will I do while serving Gift for Life and DIFFA? I have the good fortune of meeting many people each year and attending design trade events across the country. So, I will lend my voice to promote both organizations and Gift for Life’s fundraising goals for 2020. I'm looking forward to Atlanta’s International Gift and Home Furnishings Market, where I will be co-chair of Gift for Life’s 28th annual Party for Life on January 15.

Party for Life is the number one fundraiser for Gift for Life and after years in New York it’s taking place in Atlanta–at the Fernbank Museum–for the first time in 2020. So I’m looking forward to greeting guests and helping reach our fundraising goals. Let me ask for your help to spread the word about Party for Life in Atlanta and the opportunities to help. Swing by to say hello, to mix and mingle with the gift and home industry leadership and to honor the gift industry icon Anne McGilvray, who is receiving a lifetime achievement award.  Tickets and sponsorships are available online at

Later in 2020, I will make stops in High Point for the home furnishings market and in the summer I will be in Las Vegas. During the Las Vegas market join me for the “Up on the Roof” Gift for Life fundraiser—which last year raised more money for the cause and drew a record crowd.

So here’s wishing every one of you a tremendous holiday season, and I have a New Year’s resolution for you that doesn’t involve the gym or redecorating. It’s this: give thanks. Each one of us has a tremendous capacity for thankfulness and for sharing that spirit with others in the new year.  I hope to see you soon, and I give thanks for each of you and your commitment to wonderful organizations like Gift for Life and DIFFA.



Special thanks to the sponsors of Gift for Life's Party for Life: Anne McGilvray & Company, AmericasMart Atlanta, Las Vegas Market, Gift Shop, Gifts & Decorative Accessories, Home Accents Today, Maiarelli Studio, Museums & More, Poo-Pourri, NY NOW, Stationery Trends, BinaNat Capital and Demdaco.

For more event information, and a complete list of sponsors, please visit Gift for Life.


Contributing Writer
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