In a world where we are constantly being hounded by every charity, it can be easy to become desensitized to the needs of others. I don't want to be turning off all the lights in the house and telling the children "Sssshhh, we don't want to let the person knocking on the door know that we are home." The real reason for me hiding in the dark is because I have a hard time saying no.
I see a good cause and I want to jump on board. If there is an animal in need of a home; a wide eyed hungry child; a dreaded disease that should be cured; pollution eating away at the ozone... I'm your girl. I'll scrounge my pockets and give every cent that I can. I'll sign your petition. If I see the umpteenth commercial for another cash & cars for charity there's no doubt that I'll have a ticket for that lottery on my fridge. So when HBM requested the blogosphere support real action in support of real causes I knew I had to contribute a post.
My love for a good cause started when I was six years old. Every March the Kinsmen and Kinettes of Saskatchewan organized the Telemiracle telethon. It was a treat to try to stay awake to watch it. I'd be pumped up chanting "Ring Those Phones" and waiting on the edge of my seat to see the new grand total and then cheering along "Where are we going?... Higher!" Even greater was the discovery that people enjoyed helping others. We knew that our family was just getting by but there were others that had harder struggles.
I can remember the summer that I was fourteen. We had our RV pulled up next to a family friend's cottage and I was glued to the tiny TV to watch Live Aid. So many of my favorite artists were there to raise money and awareness of the severe famine in Ethiopia. It left a huge impression on me. It was deemed cool to help.
I worry that there are too many things that need our attention and that we often don't see the direct results when we invest our hard earned dollars. I continue on trying to find a way to make the world a better place. I want to feel like I can make a difference. Ultimately we have a responsibility to our children and possibly future generations to make this world the best that it can be.
Thirteen Worthwhile Charities
1. From now until October 15th, your words can make a difference. Every time you write a review of your favorite Toronto hotspot or submit a photo to iBegin Toronto, fifty cents will be donated to charity. Read about this donation drive and contribute your photos and reviews. Who doesn't enjoy dishing out their thoughts and sharing their fabulous finds? Unleash your inner critic. The Assaulted Women's Helpline is a cause worthy of your time.
2. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is improving health by preventing and reducing heart disease and stroke through research, health promotion and advocacy.
3. Leading the way in helping children survive and thrive is UNICEF. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation and AIDS.
I love seeing the orange boxes carried by adorably costumed children on Halloween. I spend an outrageous amount of money on candy for strangers, why wouldn't I contribute to their UNICEF collection? I love that these thoughtful children develop a sense of pride in helping. They are learning at a young age that they can make a difference in the world.
4. The Canadian Red Cross is doing an incredible amount of great work. In emergencies and disasters, they provide for people's basic needs—food, clothing, shelter, first aid, emotional support and family reunification. Internationally they work in situations of war and natural disaster to bring urgently needed relief items, reunite families and help rebuild communities.
They have a wonderful first aid program. For sixty years they have provided Water Safety Services greatly reducing drowning fatalities. The Red Cross has a RespectED: Violence & Abuse Prevention program that has been helping to promote healthier relationships and safer communities. They also offer Homecare Services to help individuals live as independently as possible.
5. The Canadian Cancer Society is leading the way in the fight against cancer as well as enhancing the quality of life of people living with cancer.
6. The Daily Bread Food Bank is fighting hunger.
7. The Toronto Humane Society promotes care and protection of all animals. Fifteen years ago, I adopted a kitten that I named Monty from this shelter.
8. The Parkinson Society is dedicated to finding the cause and cure for Parkinson's disease. Nana (Colin's mom) has been diagnosed with Parkinson's for many years and we hope that this organization continues to make astounding discoveries that lead to a cure.
9. Children's Miracle Network is dedicated to helping kids by raising funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America. Each year these hospitals provide the finest care, research and community outreach to help millions of children with diseases and injuries of every kind.
10. The Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfills the special wishes of children from ages three through seventeen who have a life-threatening illness.
11. The Alzheimer Society is improving the quality of life for people affected by Alzheimer's disease and advancing the search for the cause and cure. It would be tragic to suffer from progressive memory loss and not be able to perform day-to-day tasks.
12. The Western Canada Wilderness Committee is passionate about saving wilderness and wildlife.
13. Sleeping Children Around the World raises funds to provide bed kits to needy children in undeveloped and developing countries. Founder Murray Dryden believes that “the comfort of a bed is a basic right of every child.” (Thanks to Metro Mama for letting me know about this excellent charity, where there is zero overhead. The organization is entirely volunteer driven and 100% of bed kit donations reach a needy child.)
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants