Good Causes

I watched The Blind Side last week and it made me think a great deal about the idea of doing more than just talking about what we can do to make the world a better place. Not all of us have the resources to actually take someone into our homes and make that deep a commitment to changing one individual's life, but there are other ways of making changes...

There times when everything comes together and the last few weeks have seen a sort of perfect storm of good causes that need good people coming to my attention. Today, I'm sharing them, not with the intention of pressuring you to donate, but to make you aware of them and if the spirit moves you….

Yesterday, I went to a fundraiser for the Stephen Lewis Foundation in the neighborhood.

The guest speaker was Marilyn McHarg, General Director of MSF Canada, who spoke about the work she'd done with MSF and about the millions and millions of children living in sub-Saharan Africa who have been orphaned by AIDS and who are now being raised by grandmothers. She spoke about "helping without discrimination" and given our current government's efforts to cut off funding for aid groups that provide access to abortion - family planning appears likely to be next - it's a concept that greatly needs to be discussed more. Help should be given because it's the right thing to do, not come with strings. Ms. McHarg’s speech was incredibly inspiring and made me want to chuck everything and go work in the field, but the places that need that kind of work don't tend to be terribly accessible, so the best thing I can do for them is to give the money and pass the word. Check out the Grandmothers to Grandmothers program.

Ken is doing the Ride for Life for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation again this July and this time, he and Megan are riding a tandem bike. This year, the ride hits closer to home than ever before - a dear friend of mine is losing the fight after living with HIV for decades. She lives elsewhere, so Ken's efforts do not benefit her directly, but here in Toronto, other people's friends are very much in need of what PWA Toronto offers. If Ken and Megan are taking a week out of their life to ride from Toronto to Montréal, the least I can do is donate and let people know about it.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a letter from something called The Companion Animal Wellness Foundation. I had no idea what it was about, but as I was reading, I started crying. The CAWF is a new Toronto-based not-for-profit foundation that provides financial help to economically disadvantaged pet owners whose animals need emergency and specialty veterinary care. I got the letter because the Veterinary Emergency Clinic who tried so hard to help my Mojo fight her cancer had made a donation in her memory to the CAWF - I was so touched by the continuing caring shown by this clinic. I had a credit card that enabled me to get her specialty care during her illness, so I know only a little of what it means when a beloved pet needs care and you don't have the money. I'll be signing up to make a small monthly donation in the hope that it may help someone else in the same situation not have to put their pet to sleep because the tests cost too much.