For the past several years, starting on December 1, I’ve posted a list of 12 charitable organizations I support, which I’ve taken to calling The 12 Days of Charity. The list varies from year to year, though there are some perennials. I’ll be adding to this post with each charity as the 12 days progress; my goal is to update each day, if life doesn’t interfere too much.
12 Days of Charity Day 1
Today is World AIDS Day, and I’m sticking close to home this year by focusing on AID Atlanta (Twitter: @AIDAtlanta). Founded in 1982, AID Atlanta works to reduce new HIV infections, including providing testing, medical services, and an infoline, as well as case management and medical services for those living with HIV and AIDS in the Atlanta metro area. AID Atlanta produces the annual AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run (@AIDSWalkAtlanta) and the Atlanta Cotillion, a gala fundraiser that’s resulted in donations of more than $1.1 million over 11 years.
12 Days of Charity Day 2
In memory of actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident over the weekend: Reach Out Worldwide (@ReachOutWW), which Walker founded in 2010 after serving as part of a relief team responding to the Haiti earthquake. Through ROWW, volunteers with first-responder skills provide support after disasters to supplement local resources and speed up relief efforts. Recent deployments have included helping with cleanup after the recent Illinois tornadoes and sending a medical team to help in the devastation after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
12 Days of Charity Day 3
With my friend Eugie Foster going through lymphoma treatment right now, this one hits particularly close to home. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (@llsusa) supports people with blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma) by raising funds for research, delivering patient services and information, and providing public advocacy for funding and support. LLS also runs the Team in Training program, which offers coaching and training for endurance sports such as marathons and triathlons while raising funds for research.
12 Days of Charity Day 4
You Can Play (@YouCanPlayTeam) fights homophobia not just among players but also among fans and is ”dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.” YCP was co-founded by Patrick Burke, son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, who serves on the organization’s advisory board. Patrick’s youngest brother (Brian’s son), Brendan, was an openly gay college hockey player who was outspoken against homophobia in sports. He died in a car accident in 2010, and YCP was founded in March 2012 his memory.
12 Days of Charity Day 5
Based in New York City, City Harvest (@CityHarvest) is a 30-year-old food rescue program that fights hunger and reduces food waste by collecting leftovers from restaurants and delivering them to more than 500 community food programs in the city. The organization also runs food drives and supports affordable access to food to help reduce food insecurity. City Harvest delivers an average of nearly 126,000 pounds of food every day, at a cost of only 24 cents per pound, and has distributed a total of more than 465 million pounds of food.
12 Days of Charity Day 6
Médecins Sans Frontières (@MSF_USA), or Doctors Without Borders, is committed to providing medical care to those who need it most, anywhere in the world. Created in France in 1971, MSF works independently in over 70 countries to treat people who are facing war, famine, and disease. MSF’s field staff includes thousands of doctors, nurses, logistics experts, administrators, epidemiologists, laboratory technicians, mental health professionals, and others from dozens of countries. MSF USA was founded in 1990.
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