Sunday, November 30, 2008

Maybe You Can't Fix the Economy, But Here's What You CAN Do


I'm going to take a break from news about the transition, state budgets, policies, and politics to encourage you to make a difference -- bigger than you think you can -- this holiday season. This year, it's more important than ever to support the nonprofits you care about. For many, donations are down just at the time the demand for their services are rising. If you can't afford to make a charitable contribution, consider volunteeering for a local organization that provides food, clothing, or other services to people in need.

This article from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer quotes the executive director of Northwest's Child, which supports families whose children have cerebral palsy, autism, seizure disorders, and other disabilities. "We're seeing more families in crisis than ever before...and our families were in crisis before the economy crashed, dealing with the day-to-day crises and expenses of special-needs children....With our families, it isn't just about whether they can afford day care, it's about whether they can keep their child."

And I don't usually mix my personal blog with my professional job, but I work at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and around this time of year I see so many children who won't be spending the holidays at home. Instead of enjoying a traditional holiday season, many parents will be sitting at their child's bedside waiting to hear they can go home soon. Here are two ways you can help kids here in the nation's capital:
- Support the Washington Post Campaign, which for nearly 50 years has raised money for parents who can't afford to pay for their children's care. Thanks to support from the community, Children's never turns away any child in its region, regardless of their ability to pay.
- Make a general donation to Children's National Medical Center to support world-class care and research. I started working there because of the great care they provided my daughter -- so it's a cause I really care about.
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