Ice Bucket Challenge and Opportunities

I’m always on the look out for opportunities to give to some cause.  I don’t have a lot to give but I am always so happy when I”m able to.  Unless you’ve been living in a cave that doesn’t have WIFI, you’ve no doubt seen the ice bucket challenge that has been raising money for ALS research.  I was recently nominated for this challenge and I made a video of it.  I’ll warn you, however, I’m a little awkward in front of the camera.

This challenge is pretty funny.  The whole world seems to be doing it, which is nice.  I feel like we’ll look back on this in 10 years and say “remember that time the whole world came together and did something positive?”

This isn’t usually the type of charity I feel called to give to.  I don’t mind giving to charities like this because there’s a need but I generally stick to giving to the less fortunate.  My wife and I decided to give to another medical research program that doesn’t do experiments on embryos.  We’re very much pro-life and ALSA.org does embryonic stem cell research.  Our organization is called The John Paul II Medical Research Institute.  I don’t mean to use this blog as a way to push my agendas.  At the end of my video my wife asks me who I want to nominate for the challenge.  I told her no one because giving should be a personal decision.  Where you give, is your calling and you should give where you feel happiest giving.

ALS is a terrible disease.  I hope a cure is found soon.  If you aren’t familiar with this disease I highly recommend you read “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom.  Albom is a very talented writer for the Detroit Free Press.  He also hosts a daily radio show.  When I was growing up in Michigan I would read his columns and his books.  Normally, he is a sports writer.  This book is about him visiting his old college professor every Tuesday as Morrie dealt with ALS.  I finished this book on a flight to Los Angeles in 2001.  I had to choke back the tears so the rest of the passengers on the flight didn’t think I was a nut.  It’s an amazing book and I highly recommend you read it for the life lessons as well as the ALS awareness.

Be well.  Be positive.

Taking My Giving To The Next Level

I’m starting a charity.  No, I don’t have the money right now to start a 501(c)(3) nor have I even registered an LLC.  I can, however, ask for donations and use those donations for good.  So that’s what I’m doing.

Several years ago I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite comedians, Robert Schimmel.  Robert Schimmel had survived non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  At each of his comedy shows he would collect donations of comedy CDs and DVDs and then donate them to local cancer wards in hospitals.  This was an idea that has always intrigued me.

My wife and I have been trying to be more giving lately and decided that we would start collecting donations for chemo care packages.  This includes items such as non-scented lotions, scarfs and hats, and soft bristle tooth brushes.  A big focus for us is also to spread joy and this includes comedy CDs and DVDs as well as games, puzzles or books.

We started putting the word out and before too long we had a friend of our’s come forward to tell of her fight with breast cancer.  She then said she wanted to help out by getting a hold of her nurse, finding out what can and can’t be donated and the proper channels we need to go through.  She also insisted that she donates the hats and scarves.  Amazing.

We, so far, haven’t had a lot of people donate but we have had some good donations along the way.

Donations for chemo care packagesWe started with an empty tub which I called the tub full of potential (empty).  We now have an over filled tub.  I need to find room in my home for the donations so that our tub can be full of potential again.

We are also soliciting financial donations on a GoFund Me page.  We’re hoping that our friends, family and complete strangers will donate to this page so we can purchase items for these chemotherapy patients.

I’m determined to deliver a lot of items to local chemo patients and keep going whether it be giving to homeless or cancer patients.

Be well, Be positive.