From Griswolds to Giving

How quickly time travels. As I look at my calendar I realize it is that time of the month year again; I am beginning to feel bloated the holiday spirit.

Our neighbors (on both sides) finished decorating the outside of their houses Thanksgiving weekend. If you are familiar with the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, then you are familiar with the Griswold family. For those of you familiar with the Griswolds, we live next door to the family – on both sides.

Truthfully, we love the neighbors’ tacky Christmas lights. However, once our Griswold neighbors decorate their houses, our boys begin to pressure me and Rob to get our house decorated. Pressure during the holidays?! Never! Continue reading “From Griswolds to Giving”

Double-Dog Dare

Parents did not have enough money. The budget did not have the funds to offer assistance. Kids were being turned away. Then, someone spoke up, “I will donate $100 to the cause, and I challenge each and every one of you to do the same.” Suddenly, folks pulled out their checkbooks and wrote checks. Suddenly, folks pulled out their wallets and billfolds, pulling out whatever cash they found. The line was long, and the donations were steady.

The above is a true story. And, I was one of the folks who pulled a checkbook and wrote a check. Days before the impromptu donation, I had updated our budget spreadsheet for July. We are already in the red this month, with more bills to be paid. Still, I knew we could end the month in the black by ‘sacrificing’ frivolous spending. (Like not spending $4.00 for a pint (aka ‘one serving’) of ice cream.) As I wrote the check, there was a part of my cringing because we would have ‘go without’ some perks this month.

My belief? Give to the point that it hurts. I’m not saying put a 2nd mortgage on the house, so you can increase your charitable donations. Rather, I am suggesting you cut back on the Starbucks, Ben & Jerrys, McDonalds, cute shoes, etc. You don’t have to run a marathon, participate in a triathlon, run a relay or ride a bike. Instead, provide financial support to the runners, triathletes and bike riders. Financially support the fundraisers and charitable organizations. And, support these people and organizations to the point that you feel it, financially; because, until you feel it, you may not understand the impact it makes on those who need it the most.

You have so much. So many have so little. So many go without more than you can imagine. So many battle horrible illnesses on a daily basis. Is this too depressing? Do you really not want to dwell on the crap in the world? Well, those suffering don’t want to deal with it, either. And, many of those suffering are not depressed. In fact, many of those suffering in some way, shape or form, could teach us all a thing or two on how to live and appreciate life. Give them a chance to teach you this lesson. I challenge you to give. I challenge you to give until it hurts.

Life threatening illnesses surround us: Cancer/Leukemia,¬† Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle-cell Anemia, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, etc.
In addition, life is a struggle for those battling Autism, Poverty, Starvation, Scleroderma, Turner’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, etc. The reality is that there are countless other illnesses affecting our population. And, let’s not forget the animal kingdom. Animals are in need of our help, in part¬† – because of our own mistakes.

I am confident you know someone battling an illness or helping a furry friend. Support your loved one. Support your friend. Support the furry companions. If nothing else, consider your financial support an investment in your future. Who knows, you may find yourself battling a life threatening or life altering illness in the future.

Below are several charities to consider supporting financially. Accessing Charity Navigator is another way to access reputable charitable organizations. I beg you to make a donation today. I dare you to make a donation today. I double-dog dare you to make a donation. Thank you.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

CURE Childhood Cancer

Pick of the Litter

Team in Training

Murphy-Harpst

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.

Angel Flight

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Rockefeller University

And, thank you for your support.

How old are you? Do you remember the Bartles and James wine cooler television ads? The two guys, Frank Bartles and Ed James, would be enjoying some part of life, while also cooling off with a refreshing wine cooler. At the end of every commercial, Frank Bartles said, “And, thank you for your support.” You can watch one of their commercials by clicking here.

Perhaps putting the cart before the horse, I’d like to go ahead and ‘thank you for your support’. You see, I am once again soliciting donations to various charities.

My friend, Angela, recently posted a picture of Kate on her Facebook page. Seeing the picture, reminded me about the fight to cure Cancer and the groups making a difference. Kate is the girl who was battling Leukemia, and Angela is the girl running with Team in Training to increase awareness and funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Angela is still accepting donations for her next run on October 17, 2010. Angela is not the only advocate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There are other folks out there who not only fight for the cause, but they also fight for their own life as they battle Cancer. For the survivors, those battling the disease and the memory of the lives lost, we hope you’ll support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and donate to Angela’s Team in Training by clicking here.

In addition to the efforts to save human lives, I have a friend doing all she can to save the life of dogs, cats, pigs, goats, etc. Elise spends most of her day trying to stay on top of her animal rescue, Pick of the Litter. She’s a one person team, relying solely on monetary donations. And, as a one person team, there are times when she feels defeated, as her fund raising efforts draw little to no response. It is a full time job keeping her place running smoothly, the animals cared for and ensuring food is available. If you live in metro Atlanta, you can support Pick of the Litter by visiting the booth during Woofstock, which takes place in Suwanee, GA on May 15th. Elise will bring her goat, Tinkerbelle, and her pig, Piggy Kiwi, as well as some cute rescue pups. Hope you can make it. And, please, if you can, lend Pick of the Litter a monetary hand. You can make a donation by clicking here.

There are countless other charities needing your help. As I have said in posts past, my sister-in-law has Multiple-Sclerosis, and my brother-in-law has battled Type1 Diabetes since he was two years old. Bret Michaels, the band Poison’s lead singer, is in the headlines these days, as he recovers from a stroke. My brother-in-law, Walter, can relate to Bret’s struggles. Recently, Walter suffered a stroke. Happily, Walter has recovered, and we hope Bret recovers, too. And, I have several friends taking part in Relay for Life, which supports the American Cancer Society. By clicking on any of the above links, you can donate to these charities. I also encourage you to take a look at Charity Navigator, which reviews thousands of charitable organizations.

Thanks for your time, and thanks for your donation.