Friday, September 9, 2011

Filanthropy Friday

My heart aches this week.  I wish I had more money and time to give to others.

For the second week in a row, other things have happened to throw off my planned donation - so this week I'm giving to three (very deserving) charities. 

As of this morning, more than 1,300 homes have been lost in Bastrop, TX.  I cannot imagine losing my home in such a devastating way.  I feel badly for the moms and dads who have lost so many "firsts" - like drawings, stamped footprints and baby shoes and for the kiddos who have lost their favorite toys, trophies and awards. 

The UWCA is directing 100% of the money collected from the Wildfire Relief Fund to a variety of non-profits ranging in services for immediate and long-term relief.  I hope my $10 helps.

MDA was my planned focus for today's Filanthropy Friday.  MDA was probably my introduction to charity/philanthropy.  As a child, I looked forward to the telethon every year on Labor Day weekend.  My parents would let me stay up all night to watch it.  I would cry at every story and beg my parents to donate money - which they did and then they encouraged me to donate some of my precious savings. 

In high school, we were required to perform 100 hours of community service during our senior year.  I volunteered at a one week MDA summer camp for children.  I have so many memories of that week.  I took care of a mischevious 9-year-old boy, Charles.  He was in a wheelchair, but we could go swimming and dance. I returned to the same camp two years later and spent a week with another 9-year-old boy, Chance.  I saw Charles during my second summer and his mobility had declined significantly, but he still had the same little fighter spirit. 

I regret not keeping in touch with Charles, Chance and their families.  Both Charles and Chance had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is the most common and caused by a protein (dystrophin) deficiency.  Without this protein, muscles break down and become weaker.  Based upon the average life expectancy of someone with DMD, it's unlikely that either Charles or Chance are still alive. 

I made a $10 donation in each of their names to MDA.

Charity #3:  Save-A-Limb Fund

This came to me as a recommendation from a fellow Baby Mama.  

She has a friend with an 8-year-old son, Shawn, who has experienced over 60 surgeries as a result of growth abnormalities.  This family is fortunate because their medical insurance covers most of the costs.  Other families are not as fortunate. 

The Save-A-Limb Fund helps families who cannot afford the costly surgeries required to heal their children and are instead advised to have the limb(s) amputated. 

Shawn is participating in the Save-A-Limb Ride to help other children.  He has already surpassed his fundraising goal, but I gave him $10 to support his ride.  

Again, I find myself so thankful for the health of my child.  I would not wish an ill child on my worst enemy (it's a good thing my worst enemies are beans and raisins) and I cannot imagine the helpless pain of a parent who has a child with MD or the parent who has to watch their child go through dozens of surgeries.  I wish there was more I could do to help. 

I'll try to make next week a little more uplifting, promise.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart, Stephanie. Shawn's mom was a very good friend in high school. She has been through so much as active-duty in the military and trying to be available for her children... Shawn is an inspiring little boy.