This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is way important to me. Way. This week I am choosing to tell you about the causes that are most important to Sluiter Nation. The ones we spend our money, our time, and our prayers on.
10. Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure: Cort and I have had friends and family who have been touched by breast cancer. This past fall we chose to raise money for and participate in the Grand Rapids Area 5K. It was one of the biggest blessings to me to be so close to so many survivors and family/friends of survivors. Reading the names of who people were racing for made my heart swell. If you would like more information or to donate, please go here.
9. Hospice: Hospice of Holland has been specifically close to our hearts. They came in the final moments of Cort’s dad’s life. Cort’s grandpa was also blessed by one of their nurses to guide him and grandma through his final days. Hospice does everything from make patients comfortable in the last moments, to helping the family understand each step, to helping pay for meds. They are truly a blessing. To learn more or make a donation, please go here.
8. JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation): My very best friend since middle school, Tonya, got the news eleven years ago–just before getting married–that she had JD. I read up on it and was devastated for her. I pledged to her that I would do anything I could to help her stay healthy and alive. I need her and love her. Each year that she has participated in the walk, I have pledged. I hope to walk with her some day. If you would like to pledge to a walker or donate, please go here.
7. The American Cancer Society: As I said before, many of the women in our lives have battled breast cancer. We have also had members of our family battle other types of cancer, particularly lung cancer. Six years ago, Cort’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. Five and a half years ago that lung cancer claimed his life. I hate cancer. HATE it. It was by far the most devastating thing I have ever had to witness. Not just what it did to my father-in-law (which was ugly and evil), but what it did the family and friends who had to witness it. If you hate cancer? Please consider donating.
6. Alzheimer’s Association: A decade ago Alzheimer’s stole my grandmother. Alzheimer’s may as well be a cancer of the brain. I forced my beautiful, lively grandma jo to forget the year, what she was doing, how to live on her own, how to care for herself, who her family was, and finally? how to live. I can’t bear to think of anyone else having their mind taken this way. Please consider donating.
5. American Heart Association: Heart disease runs in Cort’s side of the family. Both his dad and his grandpa were going to cardio-rehab before they died of other things. OTHER THINGS! Heart attacks did NOT claim their lives–even though they both lived through them! This is because of the amazing strides in heart care! But there is more work to be done! Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in women? It so is! Please help!
4. Postpartum Depression (and other postpartum mental illness): This one is extremely important to me. It’s not a donation thing this time…it’s more of an advocacy thing. Someone recently said to me that she thinks PPD is over-diagnosed. After repressing the need to smack her, I calmly told her it’s not OVER-diagnosed, it’s just more common because women are finally speaking up when something isn’t right rather than thinking they can just get through it. Amen to that. Want more resources? Here is my favorite list.
3. Project: Purse and Boots (the American Stroke Association): My lovely friend, Lori, has launched a crusade against strokes. Yet another evil thing that has affected people we love. I raised my hand HIGH when she asked for volunteers to host “pursey” and try to raise some money to fight strokes. If you want to read more about Pursey’s travels all over the country? Go here. If you want to donate? Click this button:
2. Blankets For Hope: My lovely sponsor, Erika, from Bird E Studios has started the most beautiful charity. After her wee cousin, Cullen, was diagnosed with cancer, she knew she had to use her talents to make him something that would help him feel safe and loved. So she made him a fleece blanket. After finding out what a comfort it was to him, she decided to dedicate 15% of all her shops sales to materials to make more blankets for more children with cancer. Cancer is evil enough attacking adults, but children? It breaks my heart to think of the little ones having to battle such pain. Purchasing goods from Bird E Studios is one way to donate to Erika’s cause, but if you would like to donate directly, you can do so here:
1. Heroes for Holden: Anyone who is on twitter knows Jen (@thenextmartha) and her blog The Martha Project. Most of the time her blog is so funny I have to make sure I am not drinking any liquids for fear or spitting them on my computer screen. But this weekend, Jen posted about Holden, a little boy who had his genitalia mutilated at only 5 weeks old by his drug addicted mother. (you can read the entire story on Jen’s blog). She could not NOT do something, so she started a crusade. Heroes for Holden was an established cause to donate to, but Jen decided she could advocate and raise money for this sweet little boy who is now two years old and facing years of surgeries, hormone treatments, and psychological sessions. Please…PLEASE help this little boy.