My greatest dream was to be a voice for the voiceless. To fight injustice for those who could not fight for it on their own, or to be a part of a movement for positive change. I never imagined that I, myself, would be on the other side of injustice; the kind that goes against all odds of being corrected. The thing about facing adversity, is that you no longer see life through rose-colored glasses; you see it for what it is; you see people for who they are. You become very sensitive to people’s needs and feelings, and your level of empathy for others’ pain, goes far deeper than the ability of the average person. Your senses are heighten; at least mine are.
I still feel compelled to fight. To add my voice to the other voices of those who stand up and speak up for what is RIGHT. I have become completely intolerant of people who are complacent, are without an opinion, or who are just simply ignorant on life outside of their own comfortable bubble. I do not understand people who do not feel compelled to help another human, whether they know them or not. More than that, I am sickened by people who are bitter and self-righteous about having to contribute to the marginalized in our society, through taxes or other government services; whose stance is, I made it on my own. No one gave me any hand outs.
I am very passionate about healthcare reform and raising awareness and funding for the diseases that I face, and also for the diseases that my loved ones face. However, I can’t stop there. There are so many issues that deserve activism. Issues that fly further under the radar, even more than IBD does, and so that is why I wanted to encourage my readers to always look for ways to ADVOCATE, EDUCATE, and GIVE to programs and causes that do not just affect them directly. I want us to hope and fight for the best for every living thing, everywhere in the world.
The fact is, that no matter who you are, you will find yourself in need. It may come in a small package or in the form of a life altering crisis, but you will need help; a loved one may need help. I never want to be the person who looks back and says, “I wish I would have done more.” Regrets become heavy weights that burden one’s Soul, but selfless giving is one of the most fulfilling rewards a Soul can receive.
What can you do to make a difference in the world? It doesn’t have to be big or come in the form of a check. It just needs to be sincere!
The following are some of the organizations and non-profits that are near and dear to my heart. However, this list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the charities that are out there. There are several more places online to find the right one(s) for you:
- The definitive list for who is under the 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) tax code can be found at the IRS.
- Charity Navigator is a charity watchdog group that helps people get the most charity for their dollar. Charity Navigator can help you make wise charitable investments because it provides ratings for charities based on use of funds and other factors.
- The Foundation Center has everything you could ever want to know about grant making foundations and nonprofits.
- Another place to look for charities is the Better Business Bureau which lists all nonprofits that meet their criteria. However, it is not a definitive listing of charities but rather a place to go to look up information about a charity.
To find the best charity for you, search by interest to help sort through the thousands of charities out there.
- UNICEF ~ http://www.unicef.org/
- Water.org~ Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related illness. ~Be a part of the CHANGE! ~ http://water.org/
- HEART ~ Join Save the children in their unique campaign (HEART) to heal and educate children thru the ARTS. ~ http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6292389/k.2A92/Healing_and_Education_Through_the_Arts_HEART.htm
- Support the Girl Effect: Adolescent girls are the most powerful force for change on the planet ~ http://www.girleffect.org
- CARE ~ http://www.care.org/
- Canines With a Cause ~ Canines With a Cause is a non-profit organization with the mission of helping shelter dogs find homes by training them to work as companion, therapy and service dogs for veterans in need. ~ http://canineswithacause.org/
- Blessings Unleashed ~ http://blessingsunleashed.org
- World Health Organization ~ http://www.who.int/
- World Food Program ~ http://www.wfp.org/
- One.org ~ The stories of the incredible progress being achieved by some of the world’s poorest people ~ http://www.one.org/
- Alzheimer’s Association ~ http://alz.org/
- Children’s Defense Fund ~ http://www.childrensdefense.org/
- Big Brothers, Big sisters of America ~ http://www.bbbs.org/
- Boys and Girls Club of America ~ http://bgca.org/
- Autism Speaks ~ http://www.autismspeaks.org/
- Autism Society ~ http://www.autism-society.org/
- Supporting Orphans | International Disaster Volunteers ~ http://idvolunteers.org/
- Haiti Charity & Earthquake Appeal | Haiti Hospital Appeal ~ http://haitihospitalappeal.org/
- World Wild Life Fund ~ http://www.worldwildlife.org/
- Performing Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) ~ http://www.pawsweb.org/
- The Gentle Barn ~ http://www.gentlebarn.org/
- The Jane Goodall Institute ~ http://www.janegoodall.org/
- ASPCA ~ http://www.aspca.org/
- Arts For All ~ http://arts-for-all.org/
- Global Pay it Forward Movement ~ http://www.pifexperience.org/
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ~ http://www.stjude.org/
- Make-A-Wish® America ~ http://wish.org/
- Dream Foundation ~ http://dreamfoundation.org/
- Doctors Without Borders ~ http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
- Carter Center ~ http://www.cartercenter.org/
- Wounded Warrior Project ~ http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
- Habitat for Humanity ~ http://www.habitat.org/
- Environmental Defense Fund ~ http://www.edf.org/
- GreenPeace USA ~ http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/
- Conservation international ~ http://www.conservation.org/
- Demand Action – Take Action ~ http://everytown.org/
- Human Rights First ~ http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/
- Human Rights Watch ~ http://www.hrw.org/
- Human Rights Campaign ~ http://www.hrc.org/
- VolunteerMatch – Where Volunteering Begins ~ http://www.volunteermatch.org/
- Shop For Charity, Donations, Fundraising, Online – iGive ~ http://www.igive.com/
- Dailygood by Goodsearch – Search, coupons & deals for 100,000 causes ~ http://www.goodsearch.com/