It’s that time of year for shopping and digging a little deeper to support worthy causes.
The appeals are relentless: junk mail, phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts. Every day, starting in earnest at Thanksgiving and not letting up until New Year’s Eve. As a former fundraiser, I’ve learned over the years to ignore most of those appeals.
But the truth is, most people really do want to help. And every donation helps.
Early on in the writing of the Friend Grief series, I knew I wanted to designate a charity partner for at least one of the books. I researched organizations, met with a few of their founders. One decision came easily.
The second book –Friend Grief and AIDS: Thirty Years of Burying Our Friends – could’ve benefitted many terrific organizations. But I kept coming back to one that produces remarkable events, is run by the amazing Tom Viola, and awards millions of dollars in grants to over 400 AIDS projects around the country. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the best run, most effective nonprofits you will find anywhere.
The fourth book – Friend Grief and the Military: Band of Friends – posed a unique challenge. There are many organizations serving veterans. Unfortunately many of them are poorly run. Too many are scams. It took a lot of research, but by an odd coincidence – or fate or divine providence – I found Military Outreach USA. They work with over 20,000 faith communities around the country to educate about moral injury and how to help veterans affected by it.
When you purchase those books – print or e-book – 25% of the retail price is donated to those organizations. None of that ‘a portion of the profits’ nonsense: I wanted my readers to know exactly what their purchase meant.
I don’t sell enough to write big checks to them at the end of the year, but I’m glad to be able to support their work. I hope you will be, too.