Give the Gift of Charity

As we enter the holiday season and the close of 2017, what better way to show your appreciation than to give the gift of giving.  We all are busy decorating our houses and shopping for those perfect gifts for loved ones as it’s an exciting time of year.

What if we all donated a little time and or money for those who may not be as fortunate as us?  Here are some suggestions we came up with to share the love with some strangers this holiday season.

  1. Small monetary donations – get the kids involved.   Let your kids know that you will be spending some of their gift on charities and make it a positive and learning experience for the children.  Let them choose the charity to which they will donate that extra $10, $20 or any monetary donation.  Imagine if 100 kids donated $10, that’s $1000 for people who are in need!  Here are some organizations they can look into:
    GoFundMe – Together as a family you can look in your community for people who are in need of medical equipment, help with medical assistance, etc.  Imagine following that person on their journey and know you helped them.
    Non-Profit Organizations for people with disabilities – Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Rett Syndrome, etc. all have local chapters and are in need of donations.
    Non-Profits Near Me is a website that you can research what organizations are in your community that you may want to help.

2. Volunteerism – not all of us can afford to give to an organization financially but what about our time?  Giving 5 hours, 10 hours can go a long way not only for the non-profit organization but what we all get out of helping those less fortunate.  Some great organizations are:
Best Buddies – Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
MDA Summer Camp Volunteer – Spend a week at MDA Summer Camp! Volunteers provide campers with around-the-clock care and become a youngster’s friend for a week.

charity holiday cards

3. Get and Give – Many non profit organizations have Christmas Cards available for purchase and those monies help fund the charity.  This is another fun way to get involved in a charity at a small level and feel good knowing you did something good.  We buy Christmas Cards anyway…why not get and give?  Here is an example of a Children’s Hospital in AZ,

Remember that every little bit helps…especially if more of us give those small amounts of time and money go a long way.  Happy Holidays from Ability Center.

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Books, Movies and Documentaries on / by People with Disabilities

We’ve come across some fabulous books and movies on people with disabilities; either written by or written about.  Here are some of our favorites – feel free to share any you think are noteworthy!

Too Late to Die Young by Harriet McBryde Johnson
Summary: Due to a congenital neuromuscular disease, Johnson has never been able to walk, dress, or bathe without assistance. With help, however, she manages to take on the world. From the streets of Havana, where she covers an international disability rights conference, to the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, to an auditorium at Princeton, where she defends her right to live against philosopher Peter Singer, she lives a life on her own terms. And along the way, she defies and debunks every popular assumption about disability.

This unconventional memoir opens with a lyrical meditation on death and ends with a surprising sermon on pleasure. In between, we get the tales Johnson most enjoys telling from her own life. This is not a book “about disability” but it will surprise anyone who has ever imagined that life with a severe disability is inherently worse than another kind of life.

For Sale on Amazon –

The Lost Puppy – A positive story for any child with limited mobility who is a wheelchair user. by MRS Kate Gaynor
Summary:  Children with limited mobility can often feel somewhat isolated from their peers as a result of times in the past when they were excluded from certain activities. Through the experience of the main character, this book encourages children to look at their wheelchair as playing a positive rather than a negative role in their life. By reading this story with a young child, it also gives parents an opportunity to discuss any feelings of anxiety that their child may be feeling

For sale on Amazon –

Movies / Documentaries
It’s Not Yet Dark – by Frankie Fenton (Also a book)
In 2008, Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (also known as ALS). He was given four years to live. In 2010, in a state of lung-function collapse, Simon knew with crystal clarity that now was not his time to die. Against all prevailing medical opinion, he chose to ventilate in order to stay alive. Here, the young filmmaker, a husband and father of five small children, draws us deeply into his inner world. Told in simply expressed and beautifully stark prose—in the vein of such memoirs as Jean-Dominique Bauby’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—the result is an astonishing journey into a life which, though brutally compromised, is lived more fully and in the moment than most, revealing at its core the power of love its most potent. Written using an eye-gaze computer, It’s Not Yet Dark is an unforgettable book about relationships and family, about what connects and separates us as people and, ultimately, about what it means to be alive.


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