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November, 2011: Giving is the Greatest Gift!

 

                        Diabetes is a worldwide problem.  Most diabetes you may encounter is Type 2, which usually is adult onset and can be related to obesity and other health issues.  There are related problems that can be equally if not more life-threatening than issues regarding insulin and blood sugar.  They include cardiovascular and eye issues.  Did you know that improperly treated diabetes can result in loss of vision?  November 14th, 2011, is World Diabetes Day.  Go to www.worlddiabetesday.org to learn more.  Check these websites for more information:  www.preventblindness.org and www.diabetes.org .

            November 20th-26th is National Family Week and it includes Thanksgiving.  But did you know that November 15th is National Philanthropy Day?  If you cannot offer monetary assistance, November 19th is National Family Volunteer Day.  www.familycares.org/projects/familyVolunteerDay.cfm is a good website.
            Because we all have had friends, family and coworkers experience terminal illness, seek out www.nhpco.org for information about National Hospice Month.  SUNY Downstate has a strong initiative for palliative (pain prevention/treatement during end-of-life) care.  No one wants to see suffering nor to experience it.  There are ways we can be there for those who have terminal illness or disease.
           

The Five "Ps" of Wise Giving

Wise giving is about more than just the amount you give. It’s more than just the check you write occasionally.  Follow the five "Ps" of wise giving to get you started,
1. Passionate. Spend some time identifying what causes are most important to you. The environment? Healthcare? Housing? Education? Children? A particular country? The more passionate you are about the cause, the more likely you are to get involved beyond just giving money.
2. Proactive. There are some great resources online for such a search, starting with Guidestar, Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau.
3. Prepare. Get an overview of the organization, its mission and its programs. Financial data is also helpful. Something to consider is spending a little time volunteering at an organization.
4. Plan. Once you have prepared a list of charities with which you are comfortable, spend a few minutes deciding HOW and HOW MUCH you want to give.
5. Powerful. Give for the maximum impact possible, which means knowing all of your giving options. Check out 25 Ways to Make Your Gift Go Further and learn about any number of ways to support your favorite charities.    http://www.afpnet.org/files/GivingHeart/GivingHeart_5Ps.html

What do we all have to be thankful for this year?  We can be thankful that someone we know may have returned from Afghanistan alive, even if horribly wounded.  We can be thankful that we have people who love us.  We can be thankful we are not homeless and have jobs.  We can be thankful that we are a community and we can show one another care and concern.  Be well, be kind, be who you are meant to be!  Blessings.