In the past, I've selected various charities to support, either monthly or quarterly, and blogged about them in hopes of attracting more support for them. I tried to pick new ones as often as possible, to make myself research different causes and broaden my pursuits. In 2010, my goal of being diversified changed because there were various happenings that made me focus my donations on a few specific organizations. I decided to alter my approach and funnel more money to fewer places because of their personal significance. I didn't make a good point of sharing them with you, though, and I wanted to do that now, in case you were in a charitable mood! Here's where the majority of my donations went, and why:
1) Be The Match Foundation - Being chosen to donate bone marrow to a 10 year old boy with leukemia was one of the proudest moments of my life. I was honored to have the opportunity to make a difference in this boy's life, and humbled at the possibility that I could save it. I am so thankful that this organization is around, to help facilitate finding bone marrow donors and to perform research that could one day save lives. I proudly donate to Be the Match, in honor of all the people who are eternally grateful for that stranger who signed up, and in memory of those who weren't so lucky. If you are friends with me on facebook, you know that I plug BTM a lot! Sign up to join the registry at www.marrow.org.
2) Susan G. Komen for the Cure - I can't say enough about the work that this organization does. Early detection and regular screenings are the best defense against dying of breast cancer, and the attention that Komen has brought to this disease has made a huge difference. The number of breast cancer survivors continues to rise thanks to their efforts. I've been a long-time supporter, but my level of participation increased after the mothers of two of my great friends were diagnosed. While they were successful in battling the disease, another family friend, Dianne, was not. Ever since her struggle began, I've become a fervent advocate of the cause and made my support of Komen a priority. I vow to support Dianne's family every year that they undertake the 3-day race in her memory. If you can spare a few dollars, their team could use your help as well (click the link)!
3) Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Last year, a couple of friends suffered the loss of one of their good friends from Lymphoma. I didn't know their friend, but these girls mean a lot to me, so their fight is my fight. They support LLS in hopes that one day no one has to suffer the loss of a loved one from these cancers, especially at the tender age of 29. I donate to LLS for that same reason, and because I never got to meet my uncle, who died from leukemia before I was born.
I promise to continue to make charity an important part of my life. Whether it is through my money, my time, or my voice, I will lend a hand to important causes, especially the ones outlined above. I remind myself that charity can also be practiced daily, though, in small ways - through a smile, with a kind word, through forgiveness, etc. These acts are quite important as well.
"Every good act is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter is the good that he does in this world to his fellows." - Moliere
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Churchill