Sunday, August 28, 2011

Charitable Giving

Charitable giving is the one thing no one should give up.  And if you aren't doing it, start now!  It feels good, and someday you might be in a position where you depend on others to give.

I lost a friend last Monday.  I didn't know him - he was one of those friends of a friend on Facebook.  I saw his posts for about a year and finally, several months ago, I friended him.  Michael was irreverant, with a brilliant wit.  Very few days went by when he didn't post something truly off-color on my wall and make me laugh out loud.  Michael was one of those people who "got" you from day one, and could see where the line was, and spent his time going right up to it but never crossing it.  Not many people have that kind of sense.  I have family who don't get me.

So last Monday I started seeing posts about Michael finally ending his journey.  I immediately contacted a friend because I thought it was one of his pranks, but I found it disturbing, and I wanted the backstory.  Michael truly had passed away.

Michael had ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).  And I didn't even know.   He was in a wheelchair, unable to swallow or breathe on his own, unable to speak.  But because of the ALS Association and the technology and hospice care they made available he was active and in touch up until 48 hours before he died.

So Tuesday, after the initial tears, I decided the only thing was to take action.  I'll be walking in the October 22 ATL Walk to Defeat ALS.  I've set a fundraising goal of $1,000, and thanks to the generosity of friends I'm now just over halfway to my goal.  A couple of people have given $100, a few have managed $50.  Most are in the $10 - $25 range. 

My point is:  You don't have to give a lot.  And if you have $10 or $5 or even $1 to give to a good charity that does good things there is no reason to feel that you aren't doing enough.  Just GIVE!

If you truly can't give money, give time.  Do a walk, and use the power of social media to raise funds!  Use the wonderful, capable body you were given, and make a difference in the world.  Donate blood!  It doesn't hurt.  I promise.  Register as a bone marrow donor.  For goodness sake make sure you are an organ donor!  Here in my state this is connected to your driver's license, and the renewal fee is even discounted if you indicate that you want to be one. 

I would have given Michael my marrow, or a kidney, or a portion of my liver if it would have kept him around to make me laugh.  He was truly one in a million, and the world is a shade darker without him.

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