Giving Tuesday

On January 19, 2012 I was trapped in a serious fire. Fifty-three seconds after the fireman carried me out, the ceiling and floor collapsed. That night was probably one of the scariest nights of my entire life.
I was taken to SICU and after a stay in the hospital, I was discharged home. But I had no home. And 99% of what I owned was lost to the fire.
I had to heal; physically, emotionally AND financially. And I had to find a place to do it. Rebuilding a life is not easy, nor is it cheap.
I needed help, and I received it from co-workers, friends and family. The American Red Cross paid for my first month of rent at the new place, knowing I would have to come up with a deposit and that the cost of living in San Diego does not come cheap.
At some point, in many of our lives, we need help. Putting pride to the side and asking for it is one of the hardest things in the world to do, believe me, I know. I don’t even like asking people to give me a ride to the airport when the hubs isn’t available to do it!
So first, let me put this out there: Today is Giving Tuesday. If you need help, give yourself a gift and ask for it.
I am now in a position to pay it forward. I am not a millionaire, but I believe that the gift is in the giving and every dollar toward a good cause helps. Think about companies like Starbucks. Each person goes in and spends a handful of dollars. They are a billion dollar company because of those $5 coffees. What if, for a day, everyone skipped their Starbucks and gave to a good cause?! Think of how all of those dollars would add up. Think of the difference each person would make. Don’t doubt that your dollar counts. It does.
I have personally adopted a military family this year and my Department at work has also adopted a family together. It may seem like a small token of appreciation, but to the families it’s huge.
I encourage you to take part in Giving Tuesday and to make giving a part of your life. I am listing a few of my favorite charities below with links to their websites. I am very excited to see this day has come to be! For it is true, the gift is in the giving!
Some of my favorite charitable causes:
Soldier’s Angels – Provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families and to enable our volunteers to improve the lives of a growing veteran population‎
Chemo Duck – Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program™ is a unique educational program offered by Gabe’s My Heart, a nonprofit organization that supports children and families living with cancer. Created by a mother for her son Gabe when he was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, Chemo Duck is a soft, cuddly companion that provides huggable hope and alleviates fear and anxiety. Developed with the help of child life specialists and medical professionals, the Chemo Duck Program helps introduce children and families to their new life and encourages healing through the power of play therapy.
San Diego Bulldog Rescue – San Diego Bulldog Rescue is a devoted group of volunteers dedicated to rescuing unwanted, neglected, abandoned, and relinquished Bulldogs in the greater San Diego region. SDBR also counsels and educates the public on responsible pet ownership and breed specific information. SDBR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
American Red Cross – Disaster relief at home and abroad, CPR certification and first aid courses, blood donation, and emergency preparedness.
Team in Training – Team In Training is a comprehensive endurance training program for runners, walkers, and cyclists to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  The goal of Team In Training is to increase funding to support the Society’s mission while promoting fitness and healthy life-styles. TNT is the World’s Largest Endurance Training Program!