December 3, 2013

Tis the season of giving

Happy holiday's everyone.  :)

In the spirit of giving, giving back and Paul Walker's charitable memory, I wanted to do something for YOU this holiday season.

You have all given me so much joy, light and hope throughout this last year that I wanted to give some of that back to you. I can never say thank you enough, so today I wanted to show you just how much I appreciate you.

I'm going to give away (10) $25 dollar gift cards to Target. I know it's not much in the grand scheme of things, but I hope that it helps your family in some way. Maybe you're struggling this Christmas, like I did not too long ago? Maybe $25 dollars to Target would make a small difference for your family this year?  I truly hope that those of you who need this little bit of help, are the ones who get it.  :)

I want you to comment here on the blog and tell me:
If you could start your own charity, what kind of charity would it be and who would it help?  Talk to me about being charitable... in memory of one another as human beings, and in memory of Paul Walker- who was one of the most unique and chill guys ever, let's talk about others.

My best friend Cat and myself will read through all the comments and choose the winners. But for now, please share this blog post, share the facebook post and get to commenting.



Paul Walker's charity is ROWW in case you would like to go there to learn more about how Paul wanted (and did) help those across the world with relief efforts after natural disasters. What an amazing spirit.  He will be missed.





122 comments:

  1. The kind of charity i would start would be for children. It would help all kids that have cancer and other disabilities. Not just 1 thing. I am a mother of 3 boys and it saddens me to see children go through so many difficulties. If i won a gift card to target i would give to a woman who is stronger than i know, Her son has Chari Malformation and i know how she is struggling.

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  2. If i could start my own charity it would be to help special need kids have access to everything they need. I have a special needs brother and while we were fortunate enough to be able to give him everything i know some families are not as fortunate and are unable to provide everything for them and if i won the gift card i would use it to be able to get my brother and parents something special for the holidays.

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  3. I've actually always dreamed of setting up a huge animal shelter. So many pets get displaced by owners and it upsets me beyond belief! These creatures depend upon us to take care of them. They look to us for love. They deserve better than to be treated as another disposable possession. So my charity would center around those animals who need love and homes. Not to mention the ones we all forget about after natural disasters strike. Of course this would have to be a no-kill sanctuary. As an animal lover, I could NEVER be the one who makes the decision to end a pet's life within a week if s/he couldn't be adopted out. I suppose I'd end up with a zoo of sorts!

    Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

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  4. This is awesome! <3 <3 .... So many things I would do if I were able to start my own charity. One of them would be to support the troops and their families. I would want to not only organize care packages, but also organize special, all expense paid, trips for families when their loved ones return home after being deployed.

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  5. If I could start my own charity it would be called no soul forgotten. It would be there to feed and shelter the homeless, humans and their pets. Everyone would have a bed to sleep in and a warm meal on these cold winter nights. In the summer they would all have shade and cold water. I would provide other essentials to all throughout the year. If I won the gift card I would use it to buy some things to take to both the homeless shelter and the animal shelter.

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  6. I would like to do something to help people with medical bills. I have a friend on the tail end of treatment for breast cancer and insurance only covers so much. With bills and not bring able to work as much is just overwhelming, when all you need to do is heal and get better.

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  7. I would start a charity to help benefit parents of special needs families. I know, first hand that some families don't qualify for help or assistance because of their income, and to me, that shouldn't matter. Some parents may need a time out, and not have a support system, or anyone trustworthy to care for their child. I just want somewhere to go for help that, helps all of our families, not just those who meet the "guideline". I may make more than another, or another may make more than me, but these are our children, and that's what should matter. Just some place to turn to, for the help you need...small or large. Not just the financial burdens, I think some folks don't realize that it's not always the financial burdens, sometimes, you may just need someone to be there, and may not qualify for respite or other programs. Seems small in print, but in my life at least, it would be huge. Merry Christmas to you all!!

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  8. I would start a charity for abused and neglected animals. I know there are already ones out there for this, but I think it's a very worthy cause. Animals cannot speak for themselves and rely on humans for their basic needs to be met. When a human betrays the trust an animal has given them by abusing or neglecting them that animal's spirit is broken. They find it difficult to trust humans after that because they are both physically and emotionally broken, just like humans get after a tragic incident. I volunteer in a shelter and I see first hand how showering an animal with love and kindness can really turn them around. It's a slow process, but seeing a change in an animal who is so frightened and hurt is truly a blessing that I want to bestow on all animals that have felt this kind of pain. Giving a new life to an innocent animal through care can really make a difference for that animal and the new home that you give them.

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  9. I would start a charity for children affected by brain trauma. Please excuse the length of this as I explain why: When my youngest was born, there were severe complications and she was without oxygen for undetermined amount of time - she was born blue and not breathing and, once resuscitated, began having constant seizures and had to be put into a medically induced coma. She was flown to Philadelphia where she underwent a head cooling procedure to prevent further brain damage and then weeks of testing. We were told she had suffered brain damage. We were told she would have special needs. We were told she would never eat on her own, would have motor impairment, memory impairment, and need intensive services.

    Five years later and SHE. IS. PERFECT. She is 100% healthy.

    I don't know how or why, except that her medical team must have been touched by the hand of God and are each and every one of them angels.

    That being said - I know that far, far, far too many children had brain trauma like my sweet Maya and do not have the blessed outcome that she has - so I would start a charity for them, for their families. I've been in the position of fear and heartache and anguish of waiting and wondering and planning and juggling. I would want a charity to provide grants to hospitals to help them pay for the head cooling procedure (which surely saved Maya's life), I would want a charity to help fund raise for families whose resources may not allow them to pay for the services their child needs, I would want a charity to help provide some comforts to families who sit and wait and pray while their little angels fight for their lives - things like gift cards for food or gas cards for travel or lodging assistance if none is available near their hospital: the small things that no parent wants to think about while they sit in a NIC-U and watch their baby fight for their health and their life.

    I've been so so lucky and I would want to share some of that with families who face the same challenges as our family did.

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  10. If I could start a charity it would be to build playgrounds specifically for kids with disabilities. Our city alone has several playgrounds but only one is handicap accessible. I know we (our city) is lucky to even have that. There are many cities and towns out there that are lucky to even have one regular playground.

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  11. If I could start any charity I would like to help people (teenagers and young adults) who are being bullied, who self-doubt a lot, who self-harm, are depressed or suicidal. I think it's so important to help those people more. Mental health is such an important but delicate issue and I think it's mostly underestimated how much people being bullied struggle with their life, how they suffer from words being said by other people. A lot of people are being called fat or ugly, pushed around or ignored because they are different, listen to different music, dress different, and no matter what those who say stupid things think, it always hits. It's like pulling a trigger, and you can't miss the target.
    I know a lot of people who make fun of these things and it's horrible. So, I would love to help those people, when they need someone to talk, when they need/want to talk to people their age who know how they feel. Talking can help a lot, but you need the right people to talk to, someone you know won't judge you.

    PS: I don't need the Target giftcard as I'm from Germany but I really wanted to say this because this matters a lot to me.

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  12. Hmmm a charity I would start....I would start a charity to raise teen awareness about racing & driving to fast! I'm sure its been done before but its personal for me. I lost my teenage brother years ago to teen racing and its devastating what it does to a family :( so I would try to get families 2gether that have lost a loved one like I have to speak out somehow about how your choices affect no only you but everyone around you.

    Thanks Amy callahan mycllhn@yahoo.com

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  13. I would set up a charity to benefit inner city kids that are consider at-risk. I used to run after school and youth programs at a community center in a pretty rough neighborhood. It broke my heart and changed me when I saw what these kids experienced at home and on the street. I saw the difference our programs made in their lives and I think programs like that are vital in these communities. Sometimes I run into some of the kids that were in my program or get text messages with updates that really make me proud. I love those moments!! But, that isn't always the case. A few weeks ago I randomly picked up the newspaper and saw a familiar face. I literally closed my eyes and reopened them several times because I was in such shock over the face staring back at me. When I saw him last he was 14 years old sitting in the chair on the other side of my desk. Even though he was constantly getting into trouble he still showed up almost every day after school! Fast forward 5 years... he was arrested for murdering another teenager. My heart never felt so heavy. Kids like this need strong mentors and people that genuinely care about their future. These kids are the future..... gotta break the cycle.

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  14. If I could start my own charity, I would do something involving children without families. A friend of mine fosters children. It breaks my heart to see how happy they are just to know someone cares because they've never had that.

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  15. If you could start your own charity, what kind of charity would it be and who would it help?

    I would help children, animals and the elderly. I think what your doing is awesome. I loved Paul Walker and I am so sad about his death! He was so caring and charitable.

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  16. If I could start a charity, I would start one to help people like my husband that are suffering for severe memory loss, hearing loss, and mood swings. He was deployed for the third time this last year to Afghanistan and was his vehicle was hit by an RPG and while no one had severe physical injuries the blast caused most of the to come back with TBI (traumatic brain injury). These soldiers are not getting the help they need to deal with this, they usually also suffer from PTSD as well and are just tucked away. It takes forever to get appointments, and vets wait months to see anyone for evaluation, it's unfair. I would like to see soldiers have more places they can go without having pay and get prompt service and assistance.

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  17. I would start a no-kill shelter for animals. I think it is so sad that animals that are not adopted out right away are destroyed. I would focus on pit bull rescue and education to let people know that it is not the breed but the people who hurt them. I have two pit bulls of my own (for 10 years now) and they have been the best family dogs <3

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  18. as a rape survivor and a cosmetologist, I would start a charity that shows women who have been through sexual assault, that its ok to still want to be feminine and feel attractive. They can't take that too. After my rape, as many women do, I took to wearing clothes that were way to big for me, never did my hair anymore or my makeup. I tried to be invisible. I randomly met a woman who changed my life. She made me realize that just because I was a victim of sexual assault didn't mean that I had to hide my femininty. I think it is very important for women to know this.

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  19. I read recently about a high school boy who had an unknown disease and pretty much he was dying and nobody knew how to help him. All he wants to do is travel this summer as the last thing he does. As I love to travel too, I would set up some kind of charity for people like this young man to travel as their last wish. I would set it up so they could travel anywhere and do whatever they would like. Of course I don't know the details of how everything would work but I would love to do something like this for people who couldn't. I hear so many people talk about wanting to travel but financially can't and I can totally understand where they come from.

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  20. If I could start a charity it would be for people who have a hard time putting food on the table and have a hard time affording the basic needs of their families. Especially people with kids. It breaks my heart seeing kids who don't get enough food, or parents who have to tell their kids no to things they need like winter coats because they don't have the money.

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  21. I would start a charity for single parent women like me. Women who are disabled and cannot work, and for some reason, they find themselves without medical insurance or an income. It is is so hard to stay healthy enough to take care of your children when you have no medical insurance, but to not be able to afford the basic things in life one needs to survive and keep your children healthy--things people take for granted like toilet paper, laundry detergent, bathroom supplies, personal care items, dish detergent, sock and underwear which are all things food stamps do NOT buy. I have food stamps, but no monetary income what-so-ever. People do not realize food stamps funds do not allow you to buy anything but food. There are a lot of women like me that need help, not just during the holidays, but all year round. Than goodness I don't have a vehicle, because I could not put gas in it or afford insurance. I don't even have a license anymore because I had no money to renew it. Women like me need some to help them get back on their feet again. I have given clothes that do not fit our family anymore that are in excellent condition to many families like mine. I know where they are and what they are going through, because I am there, too.

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  22. This is such a fantastic idea, I would start or help a charity that helps kids in the ICU or the children's oncology unit. A lot of the time they have to have certain types of toys, so they don't get more sick. If I were to win, I'd want you to either donate the gift card to them directly, or I would get toys for the local hospital to give to the kids there. I've known family members or friends who have had kids there, and the donations mean the world as the families are inundated with tons of bills. The other option would be to have people go to nursing homes to meet people who don't have family close by. Even sitting and talking or reading to these people for an hour can brighten their day. Sort of like a little brother\sister program.

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  23. I would have to do a charity based on Stroke education and prevention also financial assistance for stroke victims who are struggling to find better care. My father suffered a massave stroke 2 years ago. It would help those who have state medicade to get the proper care that those with medicare or pay out of pocket. Right now we( my sister, uncle and i) are trying to find him another facility. I would also help those who's family cannot afford the expensive facilities that provide the necessary care instead.

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  24. If I were to start a charity it would be to help children with type 1 diabetes. I have had this disease since I was 9 and it is not easy. As a child I thought my life was over. I couldn't eat anything I wanted, I had to take multiple shots a day, pricked my finger until I developed scabs at the end of them and still had to do it anyway. The biggest problem I faced was the fact I was the ONLY child with diabetes in my school and I felt like a freak because I was different from the other children. I know there are a lot of kids out there who face the same problems and my charity would help to bring the kids together in the community to show them they are not alone and there are other kids like them who have the same issues. I would also like to raise money to take these kids out on adventures to show them that no matter what, having diabetes does not mean your life is over, it just means you have to make adjustments and you can still do the things you want too (except maybe pie eating contests, but those are stupid anyway). Nothing worse than being told you can't do or eat something because then it makes you want to do it anyway.

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  25. The charity that I would do want do is for cleft lip and cleft pallet. Some kids around the world are born with these birth defect and it costs lots of money to have surgery. Sometimes for people who do have insurance only covers half of the money for surgery. My son was born with cleft pallet and they never new he had it until he was 3, so he had surgery done.now he goes through a lot of
    speechtherapy to help him speak. I want that for all the kids who was born with this birth defect to have a chance to speak and look good about themselves.

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  26. If I could start a charity it would be to help people (men and women) get routine colonoscopies. My Dad passed away last month at the age of 57 due to stage IV colon cancer. He didn't have insurance in order to get this routine preventative medical procedure done when he turned 50 and therefore his cancer went undetected. If this preventative procedure was made more affordable or even free to those with no insurance or those with high premiums for the procedure many lives could be saved. Colon Cancer kills hundreds of thousands each year, the saddest thing about this is that with a colonoscopy, Colon Cancer can be prevented.

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  27. Not so much a charity, but a rescue/therapy program. I'd love to open a horse rescue and use the horses to help underprivileged and misguided/abused/disabled children. The horses would be helping the kids and the kids would be helping the horses. Win win for all. Some people don't realize how much of a therapist a horse can be.

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  28. If I were to start a charity... I haven't really thought of it. I think I would start one to help kids in third world countries how to read. There are so many kids who don't know how to read. Its sad but it's true. I personally love to read, so I would want to share that passion with a child. If a child learns how to read at a young age, then who knows where they can go. Jacqueline Kennedy once said, "There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." So I would want them to experience the magical world reading can take you.

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  29. I would start a charity that would help military members and their families. My sister and brother-in-law are both in the Air Force and ended up deployed overseas at the same time. My mother and father were the ones would ended up taking my two nephews during that time. They were gone from August to February so they were gone for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The charity I would have would be to help those families who have loved ones who are deployed. Whether it's getting a baby-sitter so the signifcant other still at home could get a night out, someone to help clean the house once a week, help grocery shopping and other things. It would also be able to help supply, such as in my sisters case, bedding, clothes and toys that my nephews weren't able to take on the plane with them to my parents house. Such things that make them feel like they are at home, but not a hardship for those having to take care of the children that were left. My whole family sacrificed whatever we could to give my nephews the best sense of normal we could, but a charity that could help supply those things would have been awesome.

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  30. I would start a charity to help children with kidney diseases similar to those of my two daughters. Because of the kind hearts of our friends and family, we were able to take our oldest daughter across the country and out of insurance network for her kidney surgery which saved her from a life time of self-catheterization (which she'd done for over a year by that point) and eventually dialysis/kidney failure. I know other "kidney-mamas" who struggled to pay to get their kids somewhere for real help with their kidney problems.

    So that is what I would do. Also more thorough testing for children who suffer VUR and other associated problems like my daughter. She wouldn't have gotten down to 13% kidney function if the local Urologists had watched her situation more closely or done more testing.

    So that is what I would do, I would start a charity to focus on children who have similar kidney disease as my daughter and need help from other places to get them specific treatment otherwise not available.

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  31. If I can start a charity I want one that would provide food and shelter and help educate both adults and children so they would be able to find jobs and support themselves. I want them to be independent. I don't want them to depend on just help from others

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  32. I have dealt with illness my whole entire life. Most recently and most seriously dealing with systemic lupus that I was diagnosed with when I was 15 years old. I want to start a charity where young girls facing with illness could turn to when dealing with things way beyond their years. I never had a place to go and talk to people my age to discuss my fears of growing up with this disease. My charity would take the girls on activities and do things to remind them they are still beautiful even when they are feeling their worst. It's hard growing up and dealing with these issues when nobody understands and everyone your own age is out having fun while your getting treatment, or just in too much pain too move. And nobody just understands. But here, we'd all understand. I only wish I had somewhere to go when I was young and dealing with it, but I'm glad I found it now!

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  33. Adriana Golfo-KoonmenDecember 4, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    First off, let me say what you are doing is extremely generous and admirable! I do not wish to be considered for the gift cards because there are others out there who truly need it, and I would love to see it benefit someone like that.
    The charity I would love to start would involve children, whether under privileged, troubled etc. Perhaps opening some type of cooking school/restaurant where they are taught and they learn the values of working and creating things to be proud of, having an overall sense of achievement. Something to help better their lives.
    Like many people I did not know Paul Walker, but he honestly seemed like such a genuinely great guy. He will be missed by many, and my heart goes out to his friends and family. I love that in his honor you are spreading good as he had done. Happy Holidays and keep spreading the cheer!

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  34. Wow, this is actually very hard... kind of like Sophie's Choice. It's difficult to pinpoint one specific are when there are so many that are in need. I would like to have a charity which offers comfort to families that are battling a sickness... cancer, Alzheimer's, anything . I am sure it's quite hard to be comforted when things are bad and you feel like you have hit the bottom, but I would like to try. Perhaps deliver a hot meal during an especially busy time of treatments or offering play time to a sibling of a sick child.

    My grandmother is 92 and has dementia. She lives with my aunt and her family. I go to visit her once a week for about an hour, and it is rough. There isn't much I can offer her besides a chat or a quick polish change. In this situation, it is my aunt who really needs the help. She needs some time to just breath, fold some laundry, get dinner started. T

    Thank you for the opportunity to really stop and think. RIP Paul Walker.

    Happy holidays to all!

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  35. If I could start a charity it would be for families who have children with adhd and autism, ect it is expensive for doctors because you have to see like 3 dif types. I would like to make a support group that families could lean on when they need help paying for a bill or need to talk about a problem they need help solving. I live in a small town where there are a group of kids with behaivoral problems and not many doctors who specialize in that and there are no support groups either.

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  36. I would have a charity that would make cute stylish head wraps and hats, that we could give to cancer patients. So They could feel Stylish while going through a tough time. I was diag in jan 2013 with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the age of 27. During tx, I wanted cute hats, or scarves to wear. My husband and I had to drive hour and half to find a few cute hats and they were expensive. I just know how much it would mean to them!
    Kennedy0085@yahoo.com

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  37. I would start a charity that would help families that lose their home and everything in it due to a fire. Help them get back on the feet. Help the communities in the area organize donations and things like that.

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  38. I would start a charity to help those suffering from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. This is a horrible debilitating disease and it would help assist the families that care for the people suffering from it. The reality is, many people cannot afford to not work and stay home full time to care for their loved ones with ALS, and are therefore forced to place them in facilities that can give them around the clock care. Its heartbreaking because people with ALS eventually lose the ability to even speak. Their minds are sharp, but they are trapped in a body they cannot control any longer. It is heart wrenching. The charity would help provide home care for them while their family/loved ones are at work and also in assisting with obtaining the expensive medical equipment that can provide them a better quality of life. Motorized wheelcheers, electric beds, ramps inside and outside the home, and an Augmentative/Alternative Communication(AAC) device. My family has been directly effected by this awful disease, and there are many others forced to place their loved ones in a facility (not necessarily a nice one, usually provided by the state/ medicare) because they must still work and cannot provide around the clock care. I would want to help those families. Give them some reprieve.

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  39. I would want to start a charity that helped people pay for health care for their animals. My charity would assist families with a financial need when faced with emergency vet bills. Having worked as a veterinary technician for 10 years, I saw many cases in which an animal was put to sleep simply because the owners had to choose between feeding their family or taking care of the family pet. Most pets are like family members. They help reduce stress and lessen some of the symptoms of depression. Yes, the price of vet care is high, but most vets are not in the profession for the money. They want to help these animals, but can't offer free services to everyone or they will go under. I have seen it happen to veterinarians who's hearts were in the right place. Every animal deserves a chance.

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  40. Jenn.... You are so amazing and awesome. I want to first Thank You for giving everyone this opportunity and for wanting to help make people's holiday a little better/easier/brighter. I know that there are many people who struggle during this time of year, and all year round too. Having said that, I do not wish to be entered in the giveaway because I am very lucky to be able to afford everything I need. Except a new Lexus that I have my eye on) I just wanted to put my 2c in. If I were to start a charity of some sort, it would most definitely help people who are struggling financially. My mom and I are couponers and we find ourselves a lot of times with extra stuff (food and such) that we can't possibly use all without wasting or looking like crazy hoarders. So, we try to donate. BUT, in my town, there really isn't much of a place to donate. And what there is, is very limited. So, I would try to supplement that if I were to start a charity. Thanks again and I hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday and I hope whoever wins is someone in need. :)

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  41. I am lucky enough to have access to a regional and a local library but due to lack of funding the local library is unable to offer a lot for my small town. I hardly ever go to the local library since they don't have stuff I want. I would love to due something that would get more book choices and community programs to the local library that are offered at the regional library.

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  42. If i started mine, it would be a food kitchen. So many adults and kids in America don't have a way to feed themselves. I remember growing up and my mom stealing from stores to feed my family and myself. If she didn't steal then we would go hungry that night. I hate to see how America gives to all these other countries, but we are still fighting hunger here. That is something I donate to every year and try to help out whenever possible, because it is so close to my heart.

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  43. I would start a charity to help struggling familes... I know times can be tough for everyone and sometimes everyone just needs a little help to get them to the next step..

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  44. If I could open a charity, I would want to do one to help dialysis patients. My father was a police officer for over 24 years, he was hurt on the job and had to go out on disability. He is now on dialysis, I watch him struggle daily. The dialysis center billing is some of the most hateful people I've encountered. My dad is constantly harassed over what medicare won't cover, he stays stressed out over them constantly harassing him, he's on a fixed income and does what he can. I'd love to open a charity that could help pay dialysis patients bills and do whatever we could to them. Dialysis patients can have heart attacks/strokes ect on the machines, and the stress of being badgered over bills doesn't need to be hanging above those peoples heads. They have no choice, it's either they do the dialysis or die. It's just not fair.

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  46. I would wanna start something that gives books to those in more rural areas. I know they charities set up like that,but I'd want to do more. I have traveled near these places and I wanna hand every kid a book, just to see there faces light up. I never owned books,as a kid. But I remember every time someone gave me a gift, it was cherished. So a book would be cherished and read over and over. Then they would have better vocab and reading skills. I just wanna help kids.

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  47. I would help moms. Not just young moms, not just new moms, but all of us. Whether we're ready to admit it, or not, we have days where we want to just get in the car and drive away. I'd want to start a charity that helps fund groups in every single community and operates more than once a week for a snot-filled playdate.

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  48. I would do a children's cancer foundation/charity. I have three beautiful little girls who I can only pray stay healthy. I can not imagine what those poor little children, parents, and other family members have to go through, and I hope to never have to know. I would try and make sure these families never had to make a decision on whether or not to get a treatment because they couldn't afford it. I also think I would put special focus on holidays and birthdays, because I think those are the hardest times for these families. I think it would be fun to plan little things/acts of kindness to ensure a smile is on their faces as much as possible. Travel expense, costs for stays close to hospitals, and anything else needed to be accessible to their children would also be at the top of the list. I truly feel for these people, and anyone with healthy children should be thankful they don't have to endure such an experience.

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    Replies
    1. P.S. This is very kind of you, and personally 10 $25 gift cards is extremely generous :)

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  49. I'd love to be able to have a dirty old pickup truck and drive around looking for stray or unwanted animals. If I didn't have to work and had the disposable income, I'd have a HUGE property somewhere set up to work with them until I could find them a loving home. I know there are people out there who need help, and I'd love to be able to help every lost or unwanted person/animal if I could. However, seeing a hungry, abused or unwanted animal just does something to me. I can't stand it. They love unconditionally no matter how badly they are treated. They need someone on their side. :-)

    This is an amazing giveway. You're such a beautiful person. Please don't include me in the giveaway. I'd love to see your gifts go to someone who needs something to brighten their day or help them during the holidays. I just wanted to be mushy/gushy on your blog. lol

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  50. I would start up a charity for all those families who can't receive an government assistance because according to their state, they "Gross" pay is too much for it, but yet are unable to barely keep themselves afloat. As a mom of this specific situation, I know it is hard to work 40+ hrs a week and then come home and feel like you are failing your child because you can barely afford to give them a decent christmas. (It does show them the true meaning of the christian holiday tho.) And I can't receive any assistance medically or otherwise because I refuse to leave my son's father and since we share a child together his income counts. There are too many of people like me who are stuck in a catch-22 situation and I feel that there should be more options to help try and keep us able to provide for our families and still be able to feel good at the end of the day and keep our pride. Paul Walker was a great, humble man who inspired everyone and is continuing his inspiration in death through his family and friends and he will be great missed...

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  51. If I could start my own charity it would be in honor of fallen first responders. My husband is in law enforcement and even though we live in a small town, he and those he works with put themselves in harms way to benefit other people. It would be amazing to be able to support the wives and children of those who have given all in the name of safety and justice.

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  52. If I had the money to fund a charity I would establish one to assist abused women and pregnant women by providing shelter and other necessities. There would be programs in place such as parenting classes and therapy sessions for all participants. There would be work opportunities for all including providing low cost child care for single moms in the area.

    As a single mother of 2 who struggled for years to escape an abusive relationship this is something very close to my heart.

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  53. I know exactly what type of charity I would start. I would do one for children with hearing loss. My daughter was born with moderate hearing loss in both ears. At first we thought it was not true, but sadly is was. So at five months old she was fitted with hearing aids. We soon found out our insurance does not cover the 5,000 aids that she needed to hear. We had to find sources to help her hear. It wasn't easy! No one wants to help a child with some hearing. Their are lots of resources for deaf children. My charity would help both children. She is now 8 and is struggling everyday to hear the world around her. The school system does not offer any assistance so she is on her own with us as her only advocates. This is one that is close to my heart! I write so that I can someday help my daughter afford the aids and the systems needed to help her succeed in her life.

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  54. I would love to be able to help animals they have no voice and np way to ask for it I see things on facebook that just breaks my heart and makes me cry on how people abuse aimals and just laugh about it if I won I would go to target and by food for the anilals at the local shelter every little bit helps my sons and I go now and walk them and lobe on them

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  55. If I could start my own charity I would start one for people with autism and their families. My son has autism. It is something that no one can prepare for. You always have to be on your toes, and it isn't always cheap. The beautiful people who have autism don't always know the value of things. They might take to eating particular food that costs 20 or more dollars a day, but they have to eat. They might be taken with certain movies, shows, toys that would hurt them deeply if they went away. I would want a charity to be able to give to family affected by autism so we can make their lives a little easier. It is hard to put into words what I needed to say but I hope you understand what I was trying to say. :)

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  56. I would LOVE to start a Charity for Children with feeding tubes. My 3 year old son has one due to Failure To Thrive. When he was about 5 months old he just stopped eating. After years of behavioral therapy he is eating some by mouth. It has been an expensive few years and even now because of his monthly deliveries for his special formulas and tubes and syringes and all it adds up. I would LOVE to be able to help people with similar issues.

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  57. If I started one I think it would be one for children dealing with parents who have a terminal illness.
    My mom passed away from cancer when I was 10, and I really had no way of dealing with it, aside from my family or seeing the school counselor. If there was a program (which I do know of now), when I was young, where I could maybe be around other kids who were dealing with the same issues as myself - that would have been great.
    Like some kind of camp - where the kids can spend the week just being 'normal' kids... and forget about all the real world problems in their lives. But it could also be a place to talk about their loved ones and hopefully start to heal.

    Also - the charity could help these families at Christmas time. I cannot tell you how many years we had nothing at Christmas time, due to the medical bills. It definitely made me realize the importance of family during the holiday season and not the commercial aspect of it all, which I'm so grateful for!
    One year the hospital adopted our family for Christmas and we got loads and loads of gifts, it was such an unexpected treat (especially since Santa brought them all to us Christmas morning). It's the one Christmas that I will never forget (especially since my mom was able to come home for it, if only for a few days).

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  58. After working with so many nursing home negligent cases that have severely harmed & /or even killed people... I would love to open the world's eyes to what happens to our elderly people. Such as helping in the upkeep of facilities to affordable cost.. And find a way to keep our older generation safe from extensive background checks to possible making it a mandatory law where people have to have a degree & some type training to take care of them. Harsher laws.... Even secret workers to see what is going on inside.
    I would also love for them to be more involved with society instead of put away. So many things come to mind.

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  59. If I had the means to set up my own charity, I would set it up in my daughter's name to help other children and families suffering from brain cancer. I would set it up to help fund the means to find a cure or to help families in need going through or coping with cancer to help make things easier as they struggle with this disease. My daughter passed away 8 years ago at age 12 from glioblastoma multiforme. No child should have to die so young and no parent should have to suffer seeing their child go through cancer. I hope one of these days that a cure is found to eradicate all forms of cancer.

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  60. I would start a charity to provide care to caregivers, namely military spouses. As we all know, Wounded Warriors are heroes, and they rightfully should be, but what about the heroes behind the heroes? There are so many programs out there to help the Wounded, but what about the spouses who have sacrificed just as much, yet get little credit for it? Providing training in dealing with the stress of being a caregiver as well as the changing dynamic of your relationship would be two main goals.

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  61. There are so many charitable options, that i always have trouble even deciding who to donate to each year. I thin kI would probably do one to help people get to necessary medical appointments. There are certain conditions that people face where the medical specialist that might be able to help them is in another state. I would want to provide transportation and housing for those people to get to the specialist they need to see and hopefully be able to get treated :)

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  62. This time of the year I always give to the Salvation Army - they help so many, also we have a food drive at work. Giving makes you feel good! "I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world." Rainer Maria Rilke

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  63. If I were to start a charity it would be for parents with children in NICU. My twin god sons were born 2 months early and it was the hardest time their parents have ever had. I would want more support around and more places for them to go for FREE. I understand the Ronald McDonald house helps tremendously, and they helped them, but I want a way to help with more. Rent, gas,parking. It all matters!

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  64. I would most definently have to do a charity for dimentia/alzheimer's patients.... we ALWAYS think that our sense of sight or smell or hearing would be the worse to lose.. But i fear it would be our mind/our memories.... to never know our life we led all our years......

    I personally am strruggling with a loved one who is a victim... it breaks my heart.. but from a family perspective there is no help out there... they may be forgetting but this doesnt mean they beed forgotten

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  65. If I could start my own Charity it would be for battered women and children. I would set up funds to help those who need assistance with getting a "fresh/ new" start in a new life without the abuse that they have undergone. There are many women who cannot leave an abusive relationship due to not having funds or support in doing so and this charity would help those who are in need.
    I have grown up in this type of environment and its something that I wish would have been available in my area; this is something that is close to my heart and would love to do.

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  66. AMAZING IDEA AMAZING NEED. There are so many in need, so many struggling in every household, that everyone needs help in one way or another. A charity that means the the most to me is AUTISM, since I have two autistic sons of my own. NO answers and more questions and children still in the dark. I would give my every last dime for the pieces of their puzzles to fit properly and them have a routine everyday life.

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  67. i would start one for mentally and physically abused children. i was one when i was younger and know from experience how hard it can be to move past it. most of the time the child feels alone and like they cant go anywhere else or talk to anyone cause theyre afraid. i would love to start up a "safe house" for kids to go and feel loved and that theyre not alone. i persobally know there are ways to cone out strobger from such heartbreak but i also know that not everyone knows how to cope,even years agter the incident happens. best thibg ypu can give a kod is love and i would love to be able to provide a plac that does just that!

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  68. After what I'ved this year I would love to start an organization that would offer support SINGLE FATHERS. We hear a ton of stories of mothers raising kids alone and how hard they work to accomplish this. Most women have that caring nature and take on the single mother role with pride. My respects for this women but I have seen how much harder it can be for a single father raising his kids specially girls what can I say we're complicated lol. There are numerous organizations for single moms but we need more support for those awesome dads that are fighting for there kids. Don`t know how this organization would work but it's a thought....

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  69. I would LOVE to start a charity in my father's name. He was a Vietnam Vet who was the strongest man I've ever known yet he had the biggest, softest heart. My father was diagnosed with Prostate cancer in 1988 when they went in they found that the cancer had moved to his bladder and he had to have that removed and lived with a ileostomy for the rest of his life. From that surgery he had to have another bc his intestines were twisted and he was in tons of pain. Fast forward to 10 years. My dad would have regular scans bc of his cancer and they found spots on his skin. He had them removed them they found spots on his lung. He had that removed and underwent chemo. Because he didn't have a bladder the chemo was hard and they gave him the strongest chemo he could take without a bladder. He found out then he had cancer in his lymph nodes. My father passed away in 2009 after battling and trying his best to beat Cancer. He worked hard all his life. He didn't have insurance and hospitals turned him away and one even wanted him to pay $5K before they would do surgery. Then he heard about the VA and he was able to have the surgeries and help he needed. If not for the VA in Birmingham, AL I would have lost my father in 1988 when I was only 12. I was 33 when he passed away.

    So I would love to help out people who are like my dad. Those who have worked all the lives and can afford to go to the hospital. I would start a Charity to help not only the ones who are battling cancer but the families as well because it has a long lasting effect on everyone involved. I get so upset when I see where Angelina Jolie has these life changing procedures done so that she wouldn't develop breast cancer but they're millions who can't afford that. Like me I worry because every.single. person on my dad's side has died from cancer. A charity organization to help out with getting treatment, helping with lodging for families, or even providing Christmas for those who can't work because they are battling cancer would be a dream come true. I would also love to support and help find a cure for so many cancers that are taking loved ones away too soon.

    I know this is long but this is very near and dear to my heart.

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  70. I know charities like this already exist (Resolve) but I would make a charity for infertility...but specifically secondary infertility. I am a mother of a 3.5 year old who found out that it is unlikely I will conceive again without IVF ($15k or more each cycle)....and even then its not likely to be positive with my prognosis (diminished ovarian reserve). Most understand what its like to suffer with infertility but suffering with secondary infertility is a whole different ball game since your body did it (at least) once before but now it won't. Its heartbreaking and if I could I would help those suffering with secondary infertility get their dream family.

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  71. If I could start my own charity it would be one in which I help the families of fire fighters, EMS,and the police, My dad was a fire fighter, my husband is in EMS and I am a former Fire fighter (first female on the local company). I have seen families struggle with not only loss of lives, but after injuries from calls, and not having a holiday off to spend with family and friends. I would make sure that member we had a few holiday parties on different days of the week so that no child is left out and every parent gets to spend that special moment with their family. I would ensure that hot meals would be taken to the local police, fire, and ambulance dept on holidays. I would also have a support group for the spouses of the workers, to provide help with things like the death of member also support on how to explain to the children why mom or dad has to work and isn't here to open gifts or attend recitals. I would make sure each major childhood accomplishment was documented for the parents who couldn't attend so that the child feels the love and gets the attention they might be missing. I remember many times when my brothers and I would open up gifts and my dad wasn't home because he was on a really bad call where some one died and he would come up a bit down trodden and struggle with being happy the rest of the day. I would love to also provide grief counseling for all the men and women who have to on a daily basis deal with death. This way it doesn't go into the home and affect the family dynamic. I think this is one of the best ideas because so many times we take the men and women who are part of the fire, Ems, and police services for granted.

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  73. My charity would to carry on a family tradition and hopefully bring smiles to everyone young and old. It would be called "Blow Out Your Candles...Wish big". Birthdays are a BIG deal in our family as everyone deserves to be celebrated and not a birthday goes by without a cake. Everyone deserves a cake. My charity would be to supply birthday cakes for those young and old that either don't have family to celebrate with them or for those families that cant afford it a cake. Cakes would be decorated for all ages, and special requests (Minnie mouse, Minion, Elmo, etc) would be welcomed. I know cakes for a birthday doesn't seem like a big deal but cakes go hand in hand with birthdays and everyone deserves to feel special on their day and hopefully their big wishes come true and a smile is put on their face :)

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  74. I would have such a hard time deciding because there are so many populations of people that need assistance. My heart tells me I would want to help children that have either a medical or developmental diagnosis. I would want them to have friends to make their lives better. My daughters has a heart for children with cancer. She has been making loom bracelets for a child we know that has cancer so she can buy him Christmas presents. All the children who are suffering from illness needs to have someone like my 10 year old in their life to try to make their days brighter!

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  75. I would have such a hard time deciding because there are so many populations of people that need assistance. My heart tells me I would want to help children that have either a medical or developmental diagnosis. I would want them to have friends to make their lives better. My daughters has a heart for children with cancer. She has been making loom bracelets for a child we know that has cancer so she can buy him Christmas presents. All the children who are suffering from illness needs to have someone like my 10 year old in their life to try to make their days brighter!

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  76. I would start a charity to help anyone who finds themselves homeless or in a permanent 'lay off' situation. Living in an area that is ranked in the top 10 poorest areas in the country - I have seen first hand what job loss can do to families. The 'middle class' usually is overlooked when trying to find an agency to get help from. Helping these families with the cost of medications, clothing, food....anything that could help during their hardship.

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  77. The kind of charity I would start would be one for abused young women. I too have been in the position where I was scared to death to leave my ex. He not only physically abused me, but he mentally abused me as well. And when you leave your friends and family behind, and in the dark, and you're left with nothing but fear, you truly believe there's no way out. I would help young girls and women get back their lives and come out happy. It took me years, even now being married with kids to the best man in the world. But abuse sticks with your spirit forever. And words hurt worse than fists. So helping ones in my shoes realize they are special and can make it no matter what they've faced, would be a blessing in disguise. I even told my husband that if we ever hit the lotto, that would be the first healing house we'd open.
    Merry Christmas XOXO

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  78. The kind of charity I would start would be one for abused young women. I too have been in the position where I was scared to death to leave my ex. He not only physically abused me, but he mentally abused me as well. And when you leave your friends and family behind, and in the dark, and you're left with nothing but fear, you truly believe there's no way out. I would help young girls and women get back their lives and come out happy. It took me years, even now being married with kids to the best man in the world. But abuse sticks with your spirit forever. And words hurt worse than fists. So helping ones in my shoes realize they are special and can make it no matter what they've faced, would be a blessing in disguise. I even told my husband that if we ever hit the lotto, that would be the first healing house we'd open.
    Merry Christmas XOXO

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  79. I would love to support all the charities. One thing I would like to do, is for breast cancer patients and their families. My mother is a breast cancer survivor so this is a close one for me. I know there are many charities for this, but there are women, like my mother, who work the entire way through. She had surgery and as soon as she was cleared, she went straight back to work and scheduled radiation and treatment around her work schedule. Because she couldn't afford to be out of work. She went to work sick, when she felt like she couldn't go on, and she even went to work when she had no hair. She's a cashier at Wal-Mart, and for as many times she came home upset because of a coworker or customer, she always returned with a smile on her face. I'd love to start something where the foundation would cover a portion of the costs, or maybe covers a few household bills so that the financial stress isn't adding to the stress of the illness and recovery to begin with.
    Another thing I'd love to see a charity for, Blended Families. There are so many families with steps. Living is hard, growing up is harder, but mix in another family. Your parents split, you have two separate homes, and different environments in each. Maybe one is stable and the other not so much. Maybe they are equal. Maybe a child has been abandoned by a dead beat mom/dad, maybe abuse was involved, or even death. Either way, nine times out of ten the parents (bio and step) all have said "I have this under control" I've been there. I'm a step mom, with a step mom. I've always tried to do the right thing for all the children my husband had before I came along and before we created one of our own. I still do my best. But it would be much easier if information or even support was just a phone call away, a drive away, or on the internet. A place that would not be biased to one person or another. A place where you won't hear "Why do you do that? They are not your children." or "You're not my blood, you're not important." or the many other things that life in the blender throws at you. I know of many support groups where someone can go to vent, or ask advice. But I'd love to see a resource center for the many issues involved with dealing with steps/biological parents that you're not married to/etc. When you get married and have children with your spouse, things are easier. I'd like to see some help for people in a blended family to know that things may be rough now, but there is a possibility of peace later. It just takes one person to reach out and acquire the proper tools to help shape an environment where things get calm.
    There's so much other things I would love to do to help and reach out or support someone in need. But a lot of people are too proud or don't feel like they're in need, so they don't reach out. But I'd love to help everyone I can.

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  80. I would start a charity for people who have lost their smile. I would make it available to people of all ages and it would be a way for them to get their dental work done at no cost to them so that those that cannot get a job because of their smile can get one and those children that are teased because of theirs will no longer be teased. I would call it the A Smile for Every Mile charity. It would be a charity that would be close to my heart and I am sure many others as well:-)

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  81. I would most likely start one for pets with adoption difficulties or illnesses. Animals are not able to control their situations, they're at the whims of the humans who move them about and I would love to be able to make it a positive movement for the animals and those who choose to give them a wonderful life.

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  82. If I could start a charity it would be something for foster children. I am a former foster child and there aren't a lot of resources where I live. It would be nice for the foster kids to have someone that speaks up for them. I was in a few foster homes and I can definitely say that some of them are in it just for the money but as a child/teenager you don't get to voice your concerns because your a child.

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    1. So agree with you on this one Amanda. It would be great to be able to do this.

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  83. I would love to start a charity called Ed (Eating Disorder) for teenagers with anorexia and bulimia. Two years and two months ago my daughter, then 16 years old, told me she was anorexic and bulimic. I live in a decent sized town with a pretty big college and was shocked to find out there was no treatment facilities in our area for teenagers with ED (eating disorders, but we like to call it ED). Since that time I have driven one to two times per week an hour away for her to see a doctor, psychologist, dietitian and attend group therapy. I am a single mom of a son who is 22 and lives three hours away and twin girls who are now 18 and seniors in high school so you can imagine the expenses I have. Her father refused to help and I didn't push the issue as he is not a big part of her life. I would love for there to be help out there for these kids and their parents with paying for the expense of the bills you incur for the various doctors they have to see and the work you miss and gas you pay to get there. This disorder is bigger than people think, but you don't hear about it that often until you live it or know someone who has. My daughters twin actually researched it on the internet when we found out and was sickened to find out that when she googled it she found many links on how to become anorexic and bulimic. I watched as she stood outside the bathroom door night after night listening to her sister to make sure she wasn't getting sick and begging her to stop, even asking her if she started doing it if she would quit. Through two years of major therapy and meeting people like her she has come a long way, but she has also seen friends who have had to fly many many miles away to a facility for treatment because there is none around us. Luckily, my daughter has gained some weight and has started applying to colleges and her papers have all been in regards to her eating disorder to get the word out there. I have even told her how helpful it would be if she could get through to just one person who is doing it. It is just one terrible disease like the rest on here and I wish all of us could find the means to have all these charities started. Thank you Jen for getting me through many hours in the waiting room with my kindle reading your books.

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    1. thank YOU for bringing me with you. you're a wonderful mother.

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  84. Based on the fact that my daughter always hates hearing the fact that our dog pound euthanize's the animals they pick up and the fact that our Humane Society never has enough room to help all the animals they get in, I would open an animal sanctuary so that there is a place for all animals to live until they find their forever home. I would ensure that it is out in the country and of the city limits so I can ensure that all breeds of dogs are able to live there. I would take in all dogs not picked up by their owners from the pound to ensure that they are not put down. I think all animals should have a chance at a life and a forever home.

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  85. If I would be able to start my own charity, it would be for young girls who have no women in their life to show or teach them to become ladies with correct love, morals, cook, to be a loving women of God. To be able to pass down things that my Grandmaw Cox taught me. Sewing, cleaning, cooking, how to take care of financial things, how to care and love themselves, and children in their life. I was raised by a wonderful woman of God, I was blessed. But my own mother was not there for me. And even though I am in my 50's I still long for or morn the time that I did not have to be taught by her. (we now have a relationship) Praise the Lord for other Church of God ladies that were there for me and I would love to be able to pass on to girls, and even young men for that matter what was passed on to me from those ladies.

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  86. If I could start a charity it would be for family with children with Eosinophilic esophagitis disorder. I know what the heck is that right. Well really you would probably never hear of it unless it effects someone you know. My son was born with it. These kids have a ton of food allergies and often have to be tube feed to maintain growing. The problems these families face is the cost of formula needed to Feed their children. The cost of this formula is between 600-800 a month. Insurance companie refuse to cover this unless you put a feeding tube in your child, and state medical programs refuse to cover it because it is concidered food. It's a long battle but let me tell you I have been in these shoes and it is heart breaking having to choose to pay your morgage or feed your child litterly the only thing they can benifit from tht will not make them sick. Anways if your want to know the name of this magic formula it's neocate. I happy and thankful my baby is healthy today but is still on a very strict diet. No wheat milk soy eggs and nut of any kind. May not seem like a big deal, there are alternitives but financially it is challenging. By the way my healthy baby boy is six year old today.

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  87. It would be a dream of mine to restart something that has gone away. A free lawyer service for parents of children with hearing loss. Not only to fight the crazy battles with insurance companies on appropriate hearing devices for their children, but to also help push through the schooling process. So many parents don't know that their children have rights and the schools bully them into believing what they say is the way it should be. I am a mother of a almost eight year old who has bilateral cochlear implants, I have fought so hard, not only through multiple insurance battles, but also schools, school boards, teachers, and the districts. I would love to be able to help other parents and set their minds at ease walking into the many hurdles that come with having a child with hearing loss.

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  88. Stephanie McCauleyDecember 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    If I were able to, I would love to start a charity for families who have a parent fighting cancer, or who have lost a parent to cancer. At 8 I lost my mom to brain cancer and I feel there is so much that I would love to give back having gone through that. When my mom was sick I had no idea what was really going on. My dream would be to have a person come into that family when the parent gets sick and be with them throughout, whether they survive or pass. This person would counsel the child(ren), be there for them to help them understand what's going on. If the parent passes, they'd have a familiar face to talk to and someone who could understand what the child(ren) have gone through. For the parents, I would love to provide both monetary and emotional support. Medical bills and funerals are expensive and I'd ease the burden for families who already have enough to worry about. My mom stayed home with my sister and I and I can't imagine the financial strain that her struggle put my dad through. He was a very proud man and didn't want to ask anyone to help. For others like him, I'd love to anonymously help people. Let them know that their struggle isn't going unnoticed. I would also set up support groups for the children and remaining parent. Another thing I would love to be able to do is have someone make mention of getting as many memories put together for the family as possible. This would probably be hard to do but for those families that would like something more to hold on to, I'd have someone come talk to the parent who is sick and try to get as many memories as possible from them so that their family could have them to hold on to if they pass. It would be important to me to have the people working with the families very dedicated and knowledgeable in childcare and able to watch the child(ren) during doctors appointments or other situations where a babysitter is needed. Again, that would be another stress the parent wouldn't have to worry about.

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  89. Last night I met an amazing woman. She has five children living at home and has recently taken custody of her four grand children. One of the grand children was just diagnosed with autism. And the baby has to take medicine everyday to make sure she goes to the bathroom everyday. This woman has 9 children to take care of. I asked her what she needs and she said nothing. I said you have taken in 4 additional children under the age of 5. You must need something. She said I don't like to ask for anything. Finally she said these babies don't have winter clithes or coats or anything. I got the sizes and started a collection today. She got a bix of clothes and some jackets. I am still trying to find clothes for the baby and the 2 and 3 year old. When I took them to her she finally told me she is in dire need of diapers and a chest of drawers and some mattresses. Some of the kids are on pallets on the floor. I am looking for donations of this stuff. I will find it! If I was going to start a charity, this would be what kind. To help these selfless people who take in children when they barely get by as it is.

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    1. Sonja- she sounds incredibly selfless. Let me know if I can help her specifically in any way. Email me.

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  90. I would create an animal shelter for senior animals, those humans find are too old or too much bother. I have two senior pugs I adopted from a rescue and it's very common in society today unfortunately.

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  91. Start a self -esteem boosting group for students at risk of dropping out of high school. Include inspirational field trips, guest speakers, aid for college admissions, etc.

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  92. If I could start a charity it would be to benefit the animals, taking care of those in need and educating the public about what it means to owning and having the love and responsibility for a pet. Having volunteered at an animal shelter opened my eyes to how people treat them and it breaks your heart to see the abuse that some humans do to those they consider lesser than themselves. There is no better place to find unconditional love than in the eyes and wagging tails of your pet when you come home.

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  93. Such a super idea ster...I love you dearly..and if I won this I would give it to a girl in town whose son is battling his 2nd round of luekemia...he's 5. Ugh. My charity would be for children on the transplant list whose family cannot afford the medical bills...if they are close to the end with no donor in sight I would send the family away anywhere they wanted to make everlasting memories

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  94. As a mom and a teacher, it is so disheartening to watch kids struggle--be it behaviorally, academically, or socially-- due to lack of involvement in their lives from from their parents/guardians. It would be great to start a charity that funds after school programs specifically for these kids. They need someone to believe in them so that they believe in themselves. If you can change the way they think about themselves, you can help shape their future for the better.

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  95. Jenn.Thank You. Id I were to start a charity, it would be for more attention to caring for seniors, as I've volunteered in the past, and know how preoccupied people are in their lives and not visiting these experienced and valuable people who we often forget.

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  96. If I could start a charity, That is easy being one who has lived through some of the worst things in life, No knowing my father and mother who tired to kill me and physically, mentally abused me. To her and no I am not kidding she was an escort (yes a whore) who allowed them to use me. I was a foster kid and no group homes and such really did not care. SO I would start a place where ALL could feel safe and cared for. No more hitting yelling a place where maybe all could heal and learn to trust again. A place where there is no fear of abuse physical mental or sexual. A place that with the work you put into it shows in the end, gardens orchards, animals like pigs, chickens, dogs, cats horses. By taking the time to care for each of these things in the end you see what your hard work did /produced. Gives a person self pride self confidence shows them truth and honesty, and builds friendships and trust by working together. Getting back to nature will and can bring peace to the person and help the healing. Pain from those things takes lifetimes to get under control so they do not run your life by fear. Something I am still learning to do even after all this time. I can honestly say I have been through the rapes, molestation, physical, mental abuse to the husband who drank and beat ya to the one who called themselves your bother who touches your first car in your driveway because HE thinks you belong to him. The Peace that I found working in the country with gardening and animals was the most healing I would love to be able to bestow that one others for no one child or adult should ever have to feel like they are not worth anything for all life is worth something and so very dear. Many of our homeless are people from things like that ( I know ) many would like to work for what they get no one is really looking for handouts JUST a hand up! Its hard to go through many things yet when your told your worthless enough times you start to believe it This is why I would like to be able to do something like this. Sorry so long, and now you know why I did this anonymous and if ya can just take that gift card to the Hospital for the ones who have to be there or a homeless shelter Not for me I am fine Thank you for asking what charity it feels good to say it

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  97. I'd love to be able to work with a charity regarding kids and education. When I was younger I ran an after school program for 'at risk' kids (although I really hate that term) and was shocked to discover high school kids coming to my program who could not read. It broke my heart to see girls at 15 and 16 who couldn't read a short story or write a sentence correctly. I worked with those girls as much as I could during that time and can only hope that I was able to help them and encourage them, but it also made me sad to think of the future they could possibly have without the ability to read at that age. I would love to be able to do more work like that in the future.

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  98. I would open a homeless shelter. I wss once homeless and went through a shelter system called interfaith of ambler. This progeam helps families like mine get bavk on their feet. I am now a home owner, and I get by but give to this organization as often as I can.

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  99. I would love to start a program for low income or poverty stricken senior citizens with pets who do not have enough money to feed their pets. I would make sure that they did not have to give away their animal companions due to financial hardship. The animals would have the food and medical care that they needed and the seniors would have the animal companions that are very important to their mental well being. This program would also pay for spaying and neutering of the pets and for any adoption fees and if the person needed to be placed in any kind of care facility my program would make sure that the animals landed in good homes and never in shelters.

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  100. I'd like to start a charity to help people manage their money. It can be hard for people to do this, and people need this. The charity wouldn't charge any fees, and would work with banks or other financial institutions to waive or reduce their fees. This would definitely help a lot of people.

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  101. I would love to start a program to help parents of children in the Autism spectrum to be able to afford the speech therapy, occupational therapy, medications and even special schooling for their children. As a mother on an Autistic child it is often very hard to find all of the above at a price that is easy to afford and still be able to live comfortably. Why should our children suffer in the long run because the price of programs for autistic children/adults is beyond unreasonable.

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  102. I know you want us to talk about what charity we would start, but I have one already that is near and dear to my heart. Shrinners, they have been my saving grace for the past 2 plus years. The day I gave birth to my little man, was a day that changed me forever, not only becoming a mother, but learning my child, only mins from being born, he had clubbed feet. It scared me, freaked me out, I was overwhelmed, a frantic mess... I didn't know anything about Clubbed feet, then I think what did I do wrong, did I cause this. The Doctors were so good with me & calming me down, they were going to refer us to Shrinners in Lexington, KY. We went early morning, my little guy was 5 days old, they took wonderful care of us, wrapped his legs in casts from feet to hip, both legs, talked me through everything as I was bawling my eyes out. I was a mess that day, but I am totally blessed to have such a great organization in my neck of the woods. We have been through casts, surgeries at 7 weeks old & now the long haul on special shoes at night until he is three. It hasn't changed him one bit, he is still a happy vibrant little boy. I am so thankful for this organization bc it has been total free services bc they go on donations. So if I could say anything about any organization, I would pick Shrinners, they are AMAZING & make you feel so comfortable & have made such a huge impact on our lives!!!

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  103. I would start a transportation program for patients that need to get to their doctor and hospital appointments. I work for a physician and it saddens me when our elderly patients (or any patient) has to cancel because they don't have a ride. A lot of our patients have major health conditions, and it breaks my heart knowing that they want to take care of themselves, but are restricted due to not being able to drive or not having a vehicle.

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    1. Oh jeez. This hurts my heart. I'll drive them all around all day long!

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  104. I would start a charity to help the kids and teenagers that end up with cancer. Helping whether it be the kid themselves or the family of. It breaks my heart seeing all these little kids with cancer and it hits really close to home for me because my brother is a victim. Last November at age 19, right after Thanksgiving he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer. It was a very long struggle with those of us close to him, but he held on and fought as hard as he could. Now he is 20 years old and in remission, fingers crossed everything stays healthy. It absolutely wrecked me that he was going through something so horrible, being one of the nicest guys I've ever had the liberty to know. That being said, I would love to help people like him and younger, if I had the money to do so, I would in a heart beat.

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  105. Something for smaller communities for suicide prevention/support. I lost a very dear family member to suicide in 2005. He and I had a special bond from the day he was born and I will never forget getting that phone call. My heart still breaks and will never understand.

    Or something even closer to home is something for children to work through the loss of a parent or loved one. My son lost his daddy to a car wreck at the age of 3. He is now 7 and is beginning to finally process his feelings and it's devastating at times to see him. I think if he knew he wasn't alone he could finally be at some kind of peace.

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  106. Christmas is my most favourite time of the year and I can't stand the thought of people suffering or missing out. I love the idea of stuffing a shoebox full of gifts for an under privileged child at Christmas but this idea is already in practice with Operation Christmas Child and in America its called something else with the word hope in the title. I love the idea of helping the homeless but Crisis have that covered and you can already adopt/send packages to the military. This makes your question a really tough one, especially to come up with an answer but I might just have one. At Christmas, we're bombarded with charity adverts to help children, animals, the under privileged but no one ever talks about the elderly. It's like they have been forgotten and I want desperately for that not to be true. I'd start a charity to adopt an elder, a grandma or grandpa who need more than just some extra money for food and heat. They need a friend and I think this would be an amazing idea :)

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  107. Giving back is so dear to my heart. The feeling of accomplishment in helping someone carry their load is an indescribable feeling. Too often when thinking of charity we want to do something that helps masses of people and overlook the simple fact that when you touch one family, one person, one child that it can change the world. I have been fortunate to be a nurse in my professional life and see all too often the heavy load some people have to carry. If I had to pick one charity to start I think I would put my efforts into creating one for the children of cancer patients. We overlook the obstacles many times that they endure when their parents are suffering through treatments, procedures, and exam after exam. The charity would help those families with childcare, education, therapy, and any need that they may have. This Christmas season I am witnessing a 32 year old mother of 4 struggle though breast cancer that has spread. Her cancer relapsed last year and she found out she would again have the fight of her life 2 weeks after the birth of her first biological child as she had previously adopted her 3 other children. I can’t imagine what this Christmas will be like for those kids. There will be many questions, many memories that they will need to make, and many tears because of the uncertain future. I recently sent her a Giving Key that said ‘Believe’ because to believe in something bigger than yourself can inspire many. If I were to receive one of the Target gift cards I would donate it to her. She deserves it more than me being that she is the inspiration for this charity.

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  108. Hi J!! If I would have the opportunity to start a charity, there is no question that it would help out healthcare workers with addictions. Seven years ago, 2 weeks after the birth of my daughter, I started to bleed so severely I almost died. I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery and had to have a hysterectomy. After the surgery I became addicted to prescription pain medication and almost lost my liscence as a Registered Nurse. Luckily for me there is a program in my state that assists healthcare workers with addiction problems and I have been clean for almost six years. That program saved my life and my profession but I know they are struggling for funds to help others and that breaks my heart. I definitely would want to help anyone that was willing to get the help and looked forward to a better life like myself. And since I work with the elderly, I loved Amy's transportation idea and will drive them around with you!! Love ya

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  109. I was raised by a single mother who passed away quickly and tragically from cancer(6 weeks from diagnosis to death) when I was only 17. I felt so incredibly alone, but took solace in people who shared similar shared losses, and the strong, loving, forever bond between lost mothers/fathers and surviving children. I would start and spearhead a charity to give to grieving kids...A clubhouse of sorts. A place to go where kids wouldn't be forced to confront every single emotion unless they wanted to, a place to go and hang out and be with others like themselves. A place that offered unconditional love and warm fuzzies in a time of despair. I want to shower TLC all over soul searching children everywhere, no matter what age, and for them to consider myself and my "Place" a second home....

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  110. I would make a charity that would help the elderly with healthcare/prescription costs or other items they may need. It is hard for me to watch my grandparents daily struggle because their medicine cost so much and they are constantly having health issues. Before my grandfather passed away he was having to do at home dialysis and the cost of everything was outrageous. I think even if the charity offered to pay a powerbill a month or help cover another type of bill then that would at least relieve some stress off of them financially. They have worked so hard in their lives and sometimes things happen that you can't save all your money so as you grow older and your health declines you need assistance.

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  111. There are so many really causes world wide. I would start a charity to help families that struggle financially. It is easy to tell people to manage their money but it is quite another to think you are working as hard as you can and still getting no where. I would want to work specifically with families that need or want to buy their own home. Sometimes it is hard for some families to make that first big step without a little bit of help.

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  112. I have actually been wanting to start a charity called "Funds for Fosters". It would help foster kids in everyday life. There are different foundations that will help them with Christmas and other foundations will send them to camps for computers or instruments or just regular camps. I want to help them with things they want or kind of need. Such as to help them with dresses or shoes or hairstyles for prom. Give them some money to save up for a vehicle or an apt they want to get when they age out of the system. Just a charity that they can write to and explain when they need the money, how much money, and what they need the money for. I also want to be able to give the younger children toys and have furniture for the foster kids that have just aged out of the system. I know it is a bunch of ideas and it is a work in progress but I'm working at making it a real thing. I want to help foster kids as much as possible and lower the number of foster kids who end up in jail or prison when they age out of the system

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  113. If I could start my own charity it would benefit Hurricane Sandy victims in my state of NJ. It is incredible that so many people are still living in hotels and have not been able to receive any assistance.

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  114. My charity would be a small one, to help make changes in my own community. I've thought about starting a fund within my school district to help provide school supplies to children of my community. I was blindsided when volunteering at my daughter's elementary school to learn that so many kids can't afford the most basic of school supplies - bookbags, highlighters, folders, pens, etc. I couldn't figure out why I was constantly having the replenish my daughter's school supplies - it was because she was lending them out to classmates who needed them. Something so simple. It's so very sad...

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  115. I've always had one dream and it would be called "Housing for Wheelchair-Bound Families" and the rent would go according to their income.

    Ever since I broke my neck and became disabled myself with a nine-month-old daughter it has always been so hard to find housing that would accept my daughter, also there wasn't enough room for her and my caregiver.

    We need housing that is large enough for the person in the wheelchair and their families. Usually they have apartments that are only one bedroom and sometimes two bedrooms. And then most of them aren't totally equipped for people in wheelchairs that aren't able to get to the sink, stove, cabinets and bathroom facilities large enough that have showers large enough for wheelchairs, toilets that are put in for lower or higher wheelchairs so that the people are able to be able to use them easily. You would be amazed at how many accidents happen just because they are too low or too high. Doorways and hallways that are wide enough for any size wheelchair and rounded corners for us to be able to get through them without banging our wheelchairs into the sides of the corners without moving back and forth a few times just to be able to get into the doorways to the bedrooms or bathrooms without banging the feet of the wheelchair or scraping your arms or hands on them. Spacious rooms because they are never large enough with the apartments here. Washers and dryers so that they don't have to go out in the snow to use a community laundry room. It's their home. They need to feel at home with their families with them.


    There would be duplexes with one duplex for the manager to live in and the other side would be an on-site maintenance person. There would only be about eight ten duplexes per area because I don't want to smother the families like apartments that that hold thirty or more separate apartments that are two or more stories high.


    I would love to have a playground for children in wheelchairs and for children who are not. Children need to learn at an early age about other people with disabilities and this would be a perfect introduction. I would have barbecues twice a month for the spring, summer and early fall months for everyone who lives there so that they can meet the other families, friends and extended family members.
    There would be one community room divided into two parts. One half would be for people with disabilities meetings/parties and any other functions where families can attend even with the extended family members and friends. We all need our families and friends to help us through our good and bad times and to be included in our lives. The other half be a recreational area with exercise equipment, pool table, foosball table, a couple pinball machines and other games for adults and kids. Just some place for them to go to relax and have fun.

    From one disabled person in a wheelchair with family to share my dream with other people in wheelchairs.

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  116. First let me say that your generosity...your spirit..and your story are inspiring. As far as charities...there are so many existing charities that I would love to assist, not to mention do one..or many if I could, of my own.

    One existing organization that I find near and dear to my heart is Kate's Kart. They are a not-for-profit organization that supplies brand new, free books to hospitalized children to keep for their enjoyment. Their goal is to promote literacy and encourage children, and their families, to read on an ongoing basis. Kate's Kart was founded in 2008 by the Layman family in memory of their daughter, Katherine Anne Layman (affectionately known to family and friends as "Baby Kate"). My now 1 year old was in the NICU when she was born last year and was again in the hospital in April. Both times we got a visit from Kate's Kart, as did all the other children. Who knew that the small gesture of simply giving a child a book can mean so much.

    As far as a charity of my own, I LOVE animals so I would do something there. I would also like to establish an organization/charity to assist families of stroke victims in accessing the resources and assisting in getting the aftercare needed for their family member. My mother had a "routine" heart surgery earlier this year. Two weeks later she suffered a massive stroke leaving her disabled. She suffers from aphasia, which affects her ability to speak, right arm/hand paralysis, limited use of her right leg, etc. This was something we never expected to happen. She's only 56 years old. To give you an example and keep it short, her insurance company found her fine to come home and suddenly released her from a skilled nursing facility with just a few days notice. This was knowing that she would be coming to my home and would by herself during the day since I work full time, which is essential considering I now have another person to care for. Just assistance during those first few weeks would have been such a comfort. We had home healthcare but it wasn't daily, nor was it for very long when they did come. I was stressed enough as it was and still is, but I had to spend days at work worrying myself sick as to if she was okay or not on top of thinking about all the things that I need to do. Due to the aphasia, she can't really speak so you can't understand what she says to call. I would love to be able to help someone so they don't have to go through that, whether it be by helping to get the necessary equipment...or even an aide or help at home. That's a very basic nutshell of it.

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