You Can Tell Me Where To Go -To Pledge-A-Post

Here's how I feel about all of you who read this blog. Thank you!

Back in April I made a promise to myself and my faithful readers (all six of you) that I would pledge $10.00 for every post I wrote this year. I promised I would tally up how many posts I wrote to come up with a total amount to donate (up to $500). I called the idea “Pledge-A-Post”. I hoped doing this would get me motivated to write here and my goal was to write once a week.

Yeah, that worked. (Sarcastica font.) I wrote only sixteen posts last year. Sheesh. It just didn’t happen.

What did happen is life: Taxi-ing, feeding, shopping, birthday-ing, traveling, painting, switching around rooms for the kids, more painting, wife-ing, basketball, soccer, hip hop class, cleaning, avoiding cleaning, running, PTA-ing, hiking, sleeping, snuggling, reading, aunt-ing, volunteering, remodeling, homework helping, gardening, sister-ing, eating, cooking, doing dishes, friend-ing, working, and mothering. It all happened. Lots and lots. Sometimes most of these things happened in one day.

I know. I know. Plenty of you do all of these things AND manage to post on your blogs every single day -and your blogs KICK A**. And you work, and cook, and clean, and sew, and grow your own food, and make your own bread, and have time to brush your teeth and comb your hair and wear clothes that match and don’t look like you slept in them. HOW IN THE HECK DO YOU DO THIS?!?!? I clearly don’t know.

You people are amazing. Any tips or advice on how I can be more like the folks who exist like that last paragraph will be gladly appreciated.

Anyway, I didn’t post here as much as I wanted, so I didn’t have as much money pledged as I wanted. But guess what? You’re not the boss of me (and I know you didn’t say you were) -and this is my blog and I can do whatever I want.

So I’m donating $500 to charity. And I’m saying it’s because I posted here AND on momcentral.com as a part of my Pledge-A-Post promise to myself. Because if you total up all those posts, I DID write a post at least once a week. So WAHOO!

Plus -here’s some really awesome news -I got a matching dollar amount. Stacy DeBroff gave me matching funds to add to my Pledge-A-Post total because she knows how much this process meant to me all year. So WAHOO…AGAIN!

This means I have a total of $750 to donate and YOU get to tell me where to go…and spend it. That’s right. My faithful readers, YOU get to help me decide.

So, tell me the non-profit organizations near and dear to your heart; share their links, share their stories and why you feel connected to them. You know I feel passionately about supporting survivors of suicide, progeria, Stand up for Skateparks, brain tumor research, Make-A-Wish, creating parks for kids to play in, heart health, cancer research, charities for and about kids, reading, and art therapy. What organizations do you feel passionately about and why?

No, I won’t donate to the Human Fund. Don’t ask. (Or you can ask, because that would be funny, but I won’t donate there.)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving -I’m so grateful to everyone who reads this blog and shares their thoughts with me. I’m grateful for my family and friends and have so many blessings in my life. While Pledge-A-Post didn’t get as huge as I envisioned back in April, I’m thankful for the chance to give and look forward to you helping me.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Blessings all around.

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3 Responses to You Can Tell Me Where To Go -To Pledge-A-Post

  1. Andy Slack says:

    Eileen,

    Bish told me I needed to read your latest CC-blog post and that I needed to respond because if she did it herself, she wouldn’t do justice to the story the same as me. For once, she was right… :-)

    I propose that you donate your $750 to http://www.cureals.org. This web site and charity was (un) fortunately founded by a friend of mine from high school who has been living with ALS since 1999 named Matt White. His goal was, and fortunately still is to raise $1,000,000 for ALS research before he dies. And he fortunately is still with us which increases his chances of reaching that goal someday.

    Matt was the guy that everyone wanted to hang out with. He was smart, fun, athletic, and always the life of the party! Much like you I would say! :-) He had graduated from Butler University in IN and was making a name for himself in the radio business doing sales, and eventually he became the sales manager at Q101 in Chicago (think Mancow). Then the diagnosis came – ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease at something like age 32! Once he came to terms with what would happen to him, he set a goal to play as many of the top golf courses in the world while he still had the ability to do so. Matt LOVED to play the game of golf! We used to play together some back in high school, and he was always a good player.

    I was fortunate enough to help him with his goal of playing some of the top golf courses. In 2001, soon after 911, I was at a fund raising event back in Chicago to help raise money for his long term care, and spoke to him and his best friend Steve Sanner about the fact I had access to both Cypress Point and San Francisco Golf Club. His friend Steve said “If we do it, we need to do it soon as he has almost lost the ability to play anymore.” I was able to set it up for them to come play SF one day and CP the next day about a month later. Matt could barely hit the ball 40 yards off a tee, but had the greatest time out on the courses as he was with his friends and in a beautiful setting playing the last rounds of golf of his life!

    As a finale we were able to get him onto Pebble Beach to play #7 as his “last golf hole.” He played it twice, and got double bogey 5 as his best score. We then popped a bottle of champagne and toasted to his last round. It was a bittersweet moment. All I could do was look away over the Pacific Ocean and try to hold back tears. Here was a person that had so much going for them, and then got kicked in the balls (sorry, but that is about as good of a description as you can find for this type of news) with the news of ALS.

    Since then, Matt “retired” to FL and bought a big house so that friends and family could come visit him. His health has declined to the point that it is even difficult now to tell when he ‘blinks” his eyes which is one of the only methods he can still communicate with those around him in answering yes/no questions. Fortunately for him he has had his parents and many others around to help care for him. And even better, a few years back, he reconnected with an old flame from high school and they have now been happily married for 5+ years (I think?). Matt was featured on CBS Sports 2 years ago when the Butler Bulldogs first made it into the NCAA Final Four as he was asked to address the team prior to their game, as well as attend the games and root on his Bulldogs as they almost pulled off the impossible.

    But the really important part of Matt’s journey is that he has, and continues to help raise awareness of ALS, as well as continues to raise money to fund research on the causes and a potential cure to ALS through his foundation. In fact, there was a major breakthrough in research at Northwestern University on ALS within the past year, and Matt has been a part of raising the money that helped them get to that point.

    So, that’s my story, and that’s the cause that I think you should donate the $750 to. I realize it may only be a “drop in the ocean” compared to what they will eventually spend, but just like all the other great causes out there, every dollar helps. I have been fortunate enough to go visit Matt numerous times in Chicago and FL, and each time I see him, it has an affect on me like no other thing in my life has/does. Not marrying my best friend, not watching my 2 cute daughters be born and now slowly grow up, not having to put my best friend of 15 years, Zoysia, down 4 summers ago. To spend time with them both, “talk” to Matt and be able to tell the same old person is still inside that bag of bones body and enjoying himself is a very grounding experience! It makes you appreciate all we have in life.

    Matt and his wife Shartrina are living their lives to the fullest and seem to be enjoying every minute they have together… despite all the limitations he now has. If you are ever in the Sarasota, FL area and want to meet 2 of the neatest people, let me know and I’ll set it up!

    Please go to http://www.cureals.org and read more about Matt, and all of his friends that have helped to raise money for ALS research!

    I think it is great you pledged to donate this money to a good cause, and also got some matching funds too! Good for you and I hope whichever direction you choose, it can help out a cause that is near and dear to many people. I also hope I’m not the only one to make a pitch to you on here!

    Thanks,

    Slack

    PS – Does M1 want to go out and play dolls with me? :-)

    • Eileen says:

      Hi Andy! I felt so grateful for your response here. I also felt a bit relieved that other folks didn’t take the chance to tell me where to go (that could have gotten personal!). Seriously, I thought more people would have organizations they wanted money donated to! Maybe others didn’t think I’d actually donate the money. Who knows? I’m grateful you suggested this charity and I’m honored to *meet* your amazing friend, Matt.
      Thanks to your thoughtful suggestion, and your support of the Calandro Clan through the years, I felt honored to donate to http://www.cureals.org in honor of Matt. He sounds like an incredible inspiration to so many people out there.
      Thanks for being a Calandro Clan Fan, Andy, and for your contributions through the years -you and yours are good people!
      And M1 would be happy to play dolls with you any time. You just bring your favorites over. You’d be hard pressed to find any dolls here. Unless it’s a Star Wars action figure. We’re lousy with those at our house!

  2. Pingback: Please Help Someone Smile Today | CalandroClan.com

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