Tag Archives: ALS

Places to Give Love and Support

Back when I failed the ALS ice-bucket challenge (because ice-cold water + head = crippling migraine), I donated to the ALS Association (http://www.alsa.org/) and spent a little while drawing your attention to other worthy establishments.

If you are in the giving mood right now, for whatever reason–needing to spread joy, needing to help ensure safety, needing to effect change, what have you–please consider the following.


RAINN (https://rainn.org/): This is the nation’s largest anit-sexual violence organization.

From their ‘about’ page: “RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.”


The National Suicide Prevention Life Line (http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/): This is run by The Mental Health Association of New York City, with support from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, and others.

From their ‘about’ page: “The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 160 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.”


NWA Women’s Shelter (http://nwaws.org/ ): This is my local women’s shelter, serving all of Northwest Arkansas.

From their ‘about’ page: “The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter provides free emergency shelter, food, and clothing to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. We provide a free 24-hour crisis phone line and services to clients. We also offer court advocacy, Spanish bilingual services, children’s advocacy and programming, community education, support groups, counseling, and a volunteer program.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate; therefore, our clients are from across all demographics in terms of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and educational background. We assist any person who meets the criteria for emergency intervention and assistance due to domestic violence or sexual assault.”


The NWA Food Bank (http://www.nwafoodbank.org/): This is my local food bank.

From their ‘about’ page:

“The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank was founded in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization to serve four Northwest Arkansas counties by providing an affordable and credible food source to our partner agencies serving the hungry.

The NWA Food Bank currently has about 180 partner agencies ranging from food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and many more. Since 1988, the NWA Food Bank has grown to serve 180 partner agencies and distributed 8.2 million pounds of food in 2016.”


If you’d like to help shelters and food banks in your own community, a simple google search should heed results, or you can take a look at a handy dandy in-network map like the one provided by Feeding America: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/.


Thank you.



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Confessions of an #IceBucketChallenge Loser

I’m an #IceBucketChallenge Loser.

I was tagged for the Ice Bucket Challenge–which, if you don’t know, is a viral campaign aimed at raising both awareness and money for the ALSA (http://www.alsa.org/)–by my brother. I’ll have to concede, as rapid temperature changes of the skin and scalp (like those caused by, I donno, a bucket of ice water on a hot day…) are one of my migraine triggers. However, my conciliatory donation to the ALS Association has been made.

This challenge has become a phenomenon, and I’m glad to have participated in it (even as a loser). While we’re all thinking about giving and supporting those with difficult medical conditions, I’d thought it would be nice to consider a few other foundations that could always use help.

1. Relay for Life is an annual run in which teams commit to participating in a relay in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone whose life was not touched by cancer in some way. You can find out more about running and donating at http://www.relayforlife.org/

2. Operation Smile helps fund surgeries for kids with cleft lips and cleft palates. This medical condition isn’t simply an aesthetic problem. Many children who suffer from cleft palates cannot eat properly, and one in ten children with the deformity dies before turning one (many of malnutrition): http://www.operationsmile.org/

3. The American Heart Association supports heart disease research, education, and provides tools individuals can use for staying healthy and active. Heart disease is a general term that covers a myriad of cardiovascular conditions, which are, collectively, the number one cause of death in the US: http://www.heart.org/

4. Alzheimer’s is a frightening disease that strips the sufferer of who they are long before it kills them. According to the CDC, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America supports research, education, but is especially focused on backing caregivers and helping them to ensure a good quality of life for those they care for. http://www.alzfdn.org/

5. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. There are several different types of diabetes, all with their own causes and sets of symptoms. What ties them together is the sufferer’s inability to properly produce insulin (which helps the body regulate its glucose levels). http://www.diabetes.org/

And, last on my #IceBucketLoser list: Any guesses as to the tenth leading cause of death in the US? It’s suicide. The CDC tallied nearly 40,000 cases in 2010. Anxiety and Depression disorders are among some of the most treatable medical problems in the world, yet according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only one third of sufferers ever receive any treatment–let alone the treatment they need. The ADAA supports better education, understanding, research, and treatment of a variety of anxiety disorders, from depression to PTSD to OCD. http://www.adaa.org/


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