One of the ways I like to pay it forward is by raising funds or personal donations to well-deserved charities.
When it comes time for charitable giving, it's often hard to decide where you should donate. For me, there are a list of charities I hope to always support (at least until there is no need for the charity any longer - that is my hope for many listed below).
I urge you to consider each one of the local and/or national organizations below when you are making a donation. Look for a future post on how to help when financial donations just aren't possible.
- Compassionate Care ALS - In Sept 2010 my mother was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. The cause of ALS is not known, and there is no cure. When my mother was given her diagnosis, I felt lost. I'll tell that story another time, but through the grace of friendship I was connected to CCALS.
CCALS doesn't work to find a cure for ALS. There are already many organizations out there raising funds to do so. It's not that those organizations don't need more money, they absolutely do, but CCALS takes a different approach. They focus on each individual patient and what their CURRENT needs are. They stand by each person during their ALS journey and provide advice, expensive equipment to make patients lives easier, medicine bags, and really ANYTHING you and your family need to make your lives even a little bit easier.
They have scooters to help patients get around, they know how to work with insurance companies, if they don't have something you need they know how to get it. They help pay for things like craniosacral therapy if that helps the person with ALS. They have support groups for caregivers. Really, what they do is limitless and a value can't be placed on their care and understanding.
Donations of any amount are always welcome and appreciated. You can make a donation in memory or in honor of someone. Any donations in honor of my mom, Carol M. are always appreciated!
- American Heart Association - My grandfather died of heart disease in 2004. Prior to that he suffered strokes and had a triple bi-pass surgery. My father had open-heart surgery in 2008. He had to have an aortic valve replacement. My grandmother died of heart disease in 2009. Do you see where I'm going with this? Heart disease runs rampant in my family. The more that is known about heart disease, the better chance my family has of surviving. I haven't worked with any local heart associations, so I support the AHA and give a HUGE shout out to the Cardiovascular specialists at Cape Cod Hospital, in particular Dr. Robert Rizzo.
- Andrea Holden Thanksgiving Race - My dear friend Heather lost her 7 year old sister due to a sudden illness in 1990. The family has held a race for the past 11 years around Thanksgiving to raise money for the health and well being of kids on Cape Cod. While the race generates the majority of their funds, you can donate here, year round.
- Boston Terrier Rescue - There are many BT rescue organizations, but this BT Tea Party Rescue league is local to me. This league rescues Bostons and provides them foster care, permanent home placement and any needed veterinary care. My Boston is such a big part of my life, I would hope that if something unfortunate were to happen that he'd find an organization or family to take great care of him.
- Liz Logelin Foundation - I didn't know Liz, nor do I know her husband (although I have met him at a Book Signing and conversed on Twitter) or ever met her daughter. However, I started reading Matt's blog in May of 2008 and was immediately drawn in. I read every single back post and started anxiously awaiting updates about his beautiful daughter, Madeline. I'd often cry/laugh/smile reading his posts and pass the computer, or a link on to my husband and friends to read. From horrible tragedy has come an amazing foundation set up by Matt in memory of his wife. The Liz Logelin foundation helps widows and widowers with young families.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - It's astonishing that a taboo topic such as suicide is so prevalent in today's society. It takes two hands for me to count the number people I know who have taken, or tried to take, their own lives.Suicide is 100% preventable. Arming yourself with just a little bit of knowledge can be a powerful thing.
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society - My Aunt and an ex suffered from MS. I used to do the MS walk every year and raise funds from friends and loved ones. My Aunt belonged to a group called "Hopeful Wheelers" which was a bowling league for people with MS.