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Its back…Giving Tuesday is here

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, a successful black friday, are enjoying your cyber monday and are now ready for the most important day of all…tomorrow’s #GivingTuesday. What is #GivingTuesday, you ask? It is a movement that began in 2012 to celebrate and support giving and philanthropy.

Giving Tuesday  began as something to counter Black friday and Cyber monday. It was started by New York’s 92nd Street Y, which has over a 140 years of fundraising experience. They reached out to the United Nations Foundation and joined as partners. Soon after, big corporations and non-profits signed on to help spread the word and the rest is history, as they say.

More than that, #GivingTuesday has become a global movement that last year united over 98 countries around the world by sharing our human capacity to care for and empower one another. And today more than ever we need to be doing a little bit more of that…


What I think is even more fantastic, is the volunteering efforts that go along with the day.  If you are not sure where to start then merely go to the #GivingTuesday link here and you will find a list of local volunteer opportunities in your neighborhood. Last year alone over 700,000 people volunteered for clothing drives, tutoring projects and a wide range of activities aimed at helping local non-profits across the country. Almost 40,000 charities, corporate and civic partners registered to officially be a part of Giving Tuesday this year.

Sheila Herring from the Case Foundation was quoted as saying,”The biggest thing for us is that Giving Tuesday directly challenges Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What if, as a nation, we focused that kind of attention on giving and we wanted that to be our identity?”

What if? Our world would be a better place. And it already is because what started as an idea, just six years ago, raised over $177,000,000 last year for charities and causes around the world. When we come together in unity, we can make beautiful things happen.

Charity Matters.

Sharing is caring, if you are so moved or inspired, we would love you to pass the torch/post and inspire another.

Copyright © 2017 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

 

 

 

THE moment

Phot via:Jwagler.com
Photo via: Jwagler.com

Yesterday, was the 12th anniversary of my moment. I know you all know what it is and that I am sometimes a broken record about it, but what really fascinates me is not my own moment, but rather, everyone else’s moment. A few weeks back I wrote a post, Simply No Words” about a friend’s tragic loss that brought my moment tumbling back as if I was reliving my own.

Dr. Phil calls them the ” 5 defining moments of your life” Oprah likes to call them “Ahaa moments” and for me I don’t really care what they are called. What I care is how those moments are used. How these moments, events in time somehow shape and mold you like soft clay.

For some, these moments are tragic, for others they are the moment of sobriety, a moment of forgiveness, a moment of loss, grief or illness but more than anything a moment of realization. After speaking with hundreds of non-profit founders, I can tell you that each one I have interviewed, can tell you their moment. That split second in time that forever altered the course of their life.

I truly believe that we all have them, some moments are bigger than others. Do we see them (warning: they are often hard to miss) But more importantly, is what did you learn from that moment? How did you use it to make another’s life better? The extraordinary people I call my heroes (aka non-profit founders) are just like you and me. What makes them so unique is their ability to take that split second in time and turn in into a lifetime of good.

Whatever you call that, defining or ahaa, these moments become gifts in defining our purpose.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

When Life Gives You Lemons….

4.0.1

I have to admit that I have spent a little time lately being nostalgic and looking back, which includes looking at past Charity Matters post. The post below was one of my very first and probably not seen by too many at the time so I thought it was worth sharing with each of you. Enjoy!

Just the other day my 10-year-old son and his friend asked if they could set up a lemonade stand. It was a hot day and he and his pal worked hard to get business up and running. I was so touched that many of his “customers” stopped and asked my son if he was doing this for a cause.

He wasn’t, but at the end of the day we decided to see what causes there were involving lemonade stands and this is one that we came across. It may not be a “small non-profit” but it is a perfect example of small ideas that create big change.

Every non-profit started small and most began with lemons. So next time you drive by a lemonade stand, stop…you never know what can come from one glass of lemonade.

Charity Matters

Copyright © 2011 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Charity Matters Quotes

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Dr. Seuss

Dr. seuss quote 7-11-14

At the end of the day, it is just that simple. What is it that you care about?  Once you know the answer, the next step is finding out a way to show you care. With 1.9 million non-profits in the United States alone there are literally millions of ways to put your caring into action.

Dr. Seuss was right, unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, its not going to get better…its not.

So, think about it.

What is it you care about?

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2014 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

A mother’s legacy of Hope

inheritance of hopeThe other day I received the sad news that a high school class mate of mine had died from cancer at the age of 47. She had battled the disease for almost half of her life. Stephanie, was an only child and a single mother. Upon reflection of her life, I began to wonder what the journey was really like for her and her beautiful daughter.

That lead me to uncover a fact that there are over 700,000 children each year who deal with a parent that has life-threatening cancer. In this discovery, I came across a remarkable woman named Kristen Milligan, who walked a similar path to my friend, as a parent who was ill, and looking for ways to help her family.

In 2003, when Kristen was diagnosed with a rare terminal illness her children were only four, two and seven months.  She wanted to find a great book that helped explain her illness, when she couldn’t find it, she wrote her own.The book was called  A Train’s Rust, A Toy Maker’s Love, the story of a train family whose mother begins to rust, prompting questions of the toy maker about what will happen next. Kristen and her husband Deric, then expanded their mission to help other families dealing with serious illness and in May 2007 began the non-profit Inheritance of Hope.

Their mission was to improve the well-being in the lives of children and families, dealing with a parent diagnosed with a life threatening illness.  They achieved that goal by providing books, family retreats and support that was spiritual, emotional and financial. The Milligans believed that the more the family is helped, the more it helps the ill parent.

Kristen endured her disease for nearly ten years, including six surgeries, twenty-two months of chemotherapy, two rounds of radiation, and two more books. She died on October 26, 2012 and her legacy of hope lives on in every life she continues to touch.

Charity Matters.

 

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Charity Matters Quote

“A gift with a kind countenance, is a double present.”

Thomas Fuller 

birthday presentsAny gift you give, especially a gift of kindness, is the greatest gift of all.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Happy Valentines Day

“A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you.”
Author Unknown

candy hearts

Sending love to each of you today. For all the love you share with me, with friends and most importantly, with those whom you have never met. Happy Valentines Day!

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2013 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Friday Night Club

One of the best things about writing about inspiring people, who take life’s challenges and turn them into magic, is that my friends are always excited to share when they meet someone inspiring.

Last week, I was with a girlfriend who told me about an incredible young lady named, Natalie Cernius.  Natalie, a senior at Newport Harbor High School, came to speak at her daughter’s NCL program to share a program she started called Friday Night Club. Natalie has a younger brother, Andrew, with autism and she is getting ready to leave for college next year and began to worry about who was going to be friends with her younger brother once she left?

Natalie and Andrew have two older siblings who are already away at college. Andrew had such a hard time when they left because his siblings are his closest friends. Natalie realized that she would soon be heading off to school as well and needed to do something to help her brother fill the void.

Through The Friday Night Club, special needs teens like Andrew can hang out and have fun with volunteers Natalie has recruited with the help of local schools, the autism support group Talk About Curing Autism, and the National Charity League. The group started meting at Natalie’s house but now gathers at United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County’s headquarters in Irvine.

Andrew is enjoying himself and making new friends at the Friday Night club, thanks to his sister. Natalie is busy applying to college, playing in the orchestra and varsity tennis. When she leaves home next year, she leaves not only a happy brother but a legacy of compassion that is a beautiful gift.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Volunteer Match, its a date!

When I first heard about Volunteer Match, I thought it must be one of those new trendy dating services. Actually, it’s even better because it’s for everyone and the purpose is to match us with amazing volunteer opportunities. How great is that?

This amazing idea began in 1994 when four MBA’s (Mark Benning, Joanne Ernst, Steve Glikbarg, and Cindy Shove) developed a plan to launch an online nonprofit that would promote community involvement.  Their idea spread and funding came along with the non-profit community. Then came Oprah in 1999 and what followed was millions of users.

Today, Volunteer Match is the preferred internet recruiting tool for more than 89,000 non-profit organizations and has referred over 4,000,000 volunteers! Now that is a connection that matters!

Charity Matters.

P.S. If you’re looking for a great place to volunteer for Make a Difference Day tomorrow, this is the place. Happy Weekend everyone!

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.

Charity Matters Quote

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” 

Dalai Lama

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Spring Break

In almost 90 posts, I have yet to take a break. How can I possibly slow down when all of you are out there giving, helping and doing so much for so many? So, I haven’t….until now.

We recently had a moment when we realized that our children are going to college soon and that this will be our last “Spring Break” for a while. So while I am re-charging my batteries I am encouraging you to do the same.

We all give and do so much, if your reading this..yes I am speaking to you. How can we keep giving if we don’t give to ourselves? Its much like the oxygen mask on the plane (and I really hope I don’t see those, by the way) you put the mask on yourself first before you can assist others.

I recommend we all put our oxygen mask on now.  By helping myself, I am resting, renewing and recharging so I can keep making a difference. I wish you the same, even if it’s a moment of silence, a hot bath, or a nap. You deserve it, you give so much, so please give to yourself too.

Charity Matters.

PS. If you you read Charity Matters via Facebook, please go to our site directly this next week to see our upcoming post at www.Charity-Matters.com or subscribe and they will come to you. Happy break.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Camp del Corazon, camp for more than broken hearts

Have you ever been invited to an event when someone is being honored? I was recently invited to something for a friend of mine, who is one of those very generous souls that does so much with no attention to himself. He is being honored by Camp del Corazon.

As I am beginning to think of my children’s summer plans, I wanted to know more about this place. This camp isn’t just for anyone but for children who have congenital heart disease and typically can not experience camp or exercise in many cases.  My friend knows about this first hand as his child has also had multiple surgeries.

Camp del Corazon (Camp of the Heart) was inspired by a patient, of Dr. Kevin Shannon, who had undergone an operation that dramatically improved the function of his heart but he was still suffering from emotional pain. He was back in school, back in little league baseball but he was so embarrassed by his scars that he wouldn’t remove his shirt.

Dr. Shannon felt that if his patient could spend time with other kids who’d had heart surgery, he’d be less self-conscious. When Dr. Shannon discussed the situation with Lisa Knight, R.N., her solution was simple: “We can do that.” And so they did.

This doctor and nurse set about fund-raising to ensure that the medically-supervised summer camp would be free for children ages 7-17 who had heart disease. When Camp del Corazon began in 1995, they had 49 campers on beautiful Catalina Island , today the camp has  close to 300 campers. Camp del Corazon is staffed completely by volunteer counselors, nurses, and physicians who give of their hearts to help these special kids.

Camp del Corazon has grown into a non-profit dedicated to providing programs for children and families living with heart disease. A camp that more than lives up to its name, just like those that support it. Big hearts all the way around.

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Saving Tiny Hearts Follow Up

When I set out to tell the stories of these inspirational people who have taken their pain and turned it into compassion I never knew where it would lead. I wanted to share with you this beautiful follow up from Francie Paul, the founder of Saving Tiny Hearts.Org

Here is Francie’s note:

Thank YOU for your beautiful post- we are extremely honored to have Saving tiny Hearts featured.

We did have high profile malpractice attorneys at our doorstep…practically before we were out of the hospital from Joshua’s firstheart surgery…it wasn’t who we were…our life’s mission came out of the greatest need for medicine and science into heart defects to catch up to support all children, like our little love, afflicted with heart defects.

Starting the Saving tiny Hearts Society began before our Joshua’s second heart surgery (- he has had 3) at 3 months old, after pediatric heart surgeons told us that there was a desperate need to fund research, that young hungry scientists were being turned down for government funding because they didn’t have enough monies to beef up their revolutionary proposals….which is where we would come in, to provide the seed money for it all.

Most people don’t realize that so many babies and children do not survive because of lack of research to save them.  We didn’t know that it was the #1 birth defect in the world and the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths….we didn’t know that it could happen to our baby.

Someone had raised funds for research for us 30 years ago and our baby was given a chance to live. Ten years from now will be a whole different ball game into medicine, science and technology into heart defect research.  We don’t want to wait for what doctors say ‘will be….’ we want to fund research to change the future for ‘what can be…’ for all children, like my beautiful Joshua suffering from heart disease.  Out of our heartache, there is hope….

I don’t know if you had seen the movie ‘Something the Lord Made’ but it was an HBO movie about one of the very first heart surgeries ever performed, the Blalock-Taussig Shunt (-BT Shunt). It was the very first successful heart surgery that began with a blue baby as doctors were afraid to touch the heart and felt that of these babies wouldn’t live otherwise, so they would try this most revolutionary procedure on a baby first.  Nearly 60 years later,at 4 days old, after our baby was stabilized, he had a Blalock-Taussig shunt.

We can’t thank you enough for sharing our story; it has truly been a humbling journey for us and in the greatest of heartache, we have seen the very best in friends.  Can’t wait to read more Charity Matters and see all of the amazing things that are happening because of you.

With Gratitude & Very Best Wishes,

Francie

Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.


Happy Presidents Day!

In honor of Presidents Day, I thought a quote from Abraham Lincoln would be a fitting tribute.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.

Even Abe knew Charity Matters.

Copyright © 2012 Charity Matters. This article may not be reproduced without explicit written permission; if you are not reading this in your newsreader, the site you are viewing is illegally infringing our copyright. We would be grateful if you contact us.