Most of us have at least one, if not a handful, of charities that we contribute to. All of them provide wonderful services, but some are particularly special as a result of how we relate (or are related) to them. We asked our trusted TueNight contributors to share some of the causes that are close to their hearts.
1. The Liz Logelin Foundation
“The Liz Logelin Foundation was started by blogger Matt Logelin, who lost his wife 72 hours after she gave birth to their first daughter, Madeline. Logelin took the outpouring of support for him and his newborn daughter and turned it into a nonprofit that helps widows and widowers with young families in need.”
2. Head for the Cure
“Inspired by a loved one who died of brain cancer in July 2013, I volunteered at two Head for the Cure 5k fundraisers in the Kansas City area. Contributing to the non-profit helped me through the grieving process, and donating money to help find a cure is one way I can honor my friend’s memory.”
3 & 4. North Brooklyn Cats and Planned Parenthood
“North Brooklyn Cats is one of my favorites. They’re not an official tax-exempt organization, but the women—and of course they’re women!—who run it do it out of their love for the kitties. Two of my three felines were adopted from them. They do weekly adoption events at Muddy Paws pet store on Graham Avenue in Williamsburg, and are tireless in their efforts.
And while I am sometimes dismayed by the amount of mailings I get from them, because it seems like a waste of money, Planned Parenthood is responsible for me avoiding becoming a teen mom. Not because I got an abortion there, but because they hooked me up with birth control when I was in high school. My family doctor refused to entertain such an idea, so they were a lifesaver. I have an automatic monthly donation set up with them.”
5. Meals on Wheels
“When my grandmother lived in a retirement apartment building during the last years of her life, I would visit her every time I was in town, which was infrequent. She would always want to schedule our visit around her Meals on Wheels drop off. I thought it was odd that she was receiving their services, since she was perfectly able to shop and cook for herself.. She told me that the people who brought the food were so nice and friendly, and it was good to know that someone was checking up on her regularly. I realized that that was the truly wonderful service they provided, maybe even more than nourishment.”
6. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
“This may seem silly, since I’ve never met the man, but I contribute regularly to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Personally, I know no one who suffers from this disease. But as a kid who had Teen Beat pix of MJF covering her bedroom walls, and now as an adult who has a profound respect for what this actor has done for himself and this cause, I care about him in a very deep (but not stalker-ish, I swear) way. And I’ve learned so much about the illness as a result. A cure is truly within our reach, and it feels good to know that my contribution, however big or small, may very well help us get there.”
7. The Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
“We Rock!” There’s nothing like a room full of women and girls shouting that at the top of their rock-and-roll lungs. The Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in NYC has been inspiring confidence in young women and cranking it up to 11 for nearly 10 years. I was indoctrinated first with the Ladies Rock Camp and then volunteered to mentor at the Girls camp — shout out to BVLMH! (my band of 13-year-old geniuses who decided that’s how they wanted to spell “Boom”). Most of the young girls have never picked up an instrument but after a week of lessons, band practice, a self defense class and schooling from real life rock stars like Kathleen Hanna, they’re ready to perform for their one-night only gig. The lessons of self-respect, leadership, collaboration are something each girl carries with her for years to come.”
8. The Agricultural Stewardship Association
“My favorite cause is the Agricultural Stewardship Association, which conserves farmland for farming where I live. I have served as a volunteer for ASA and as a member of its board. My boys want to become dairy farmers and the work of ASA will allow them to have fertile soils, open fields and a future. No one is making more land, so I feel conserving it for farming is the best investment.”