If all the negative headlines are bringing you down, this story is sure to cheer you up. Talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, celebrated her 60th birthday yesterday, with gifts and messages from people like Michelle Obama, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Aniston. But it was DeGeneres’ wife, Portia de Rossi and her surprise gift, that brought the house down. And we’re sure it’ll bring tears to your eyes, too.
Portia shared a video, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, introducing the audience to DeGeneres’ long-time heroine: Dian Fossey, whose work in observing and protecting Rwanda’s mountain gorillas has continued 33 years after her 1985 death, thanks to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
Ever since DeGeneres was a young girl, she had a keen interest in Fossey’s work, and as the years went on, DeGeneres supported the Fund from afar, but always felt that she wasn’t doing enough.
But now, thanks to Portia’s thoughtful birthday gift, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund just received a huge contribution – but not just a financial one.
Portia gave a gift that is technically for DeGeneres, but what makes it so special is that it’s actually a gift to support DeGeneres’ passion. Portia’s gift was the Ellen DeGeneres Campus, which gives the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund “a permanent home in Rwanda” so they can continue to protect the mere 800 mountain gorillas living in Africa.
DeGeneres cried happy tears of joy, saying “[Portia] understands me, because that is the best gift that anybody could have given me.” And while most of us can’t fund a wildlife campus in Africa, we can follow Portia’s lead.
Her gift is a powerful reminder that the best gifts aren’t necessarily material things. And maybe it really is better to give than to receive.