What’s worse than being diagnosed with a terrible disease?
Being diagnosed with a “rare” terrible disease. There is no profit incentive for pharmaceutical companies to invest millions or billions of money to find a cure for a disease that one or two or ten people are diagnosed with every year. The good news (if you can call it that) is that the US government sets aside large amounts of money for scientists to try and find cures for these rare diseases.
Recently the world was inundated with people posting online videos of pouring buckets of water to raise awareness (and money) for the ALS organization. Roughly 30,000 Americans will be diagnosed with this horrible disease every year and unfortunately up until recently it wasn’t something that most of us talked about or even understood. Thankfully millions of dollars was raised and everyone started talking about a disease that doesn’t get the PR that cancer or heart disease gets. We decided that today’s post would spotlight two charities that don’t get the exposure that charities such as St. Jude’s, United Way, or Salvation Army get.
I found out about these two organizations by listening to the morning radio Kidd Kraddick Show.
Kidd’s Kids is a non-profit organization that takes roughly 50-60 chronically or terminally ill or physically challenged children and their families to Disney World once a year for a trip of a lifetime. Years ago when the late Kidd Kraddick (founder of the organization) was expecting a baby, he and his wife were told that she would probably be born with lots of problems and never have a normal life. Kidd and his wife prayed and prayed and promised God that if their baby was healthy they would not forget and would spend the rest of their life doing good for kids who had problems. Thankfully their baby was born healthy and they did indeed live up to this promise.
The first couple of years they took kids to Sea World, but now they organization has grown through donations from individuals and corporations so that they can take these ill children to the most magical place on the planet, Disney World. For one week these children get to feel normal. It is also nice that siblings (and parents) are able to join because for these families, much of their life revolves around the sick child’s illness. They just had their fundraising day where people called in or texted donations. If you would like to donate, it is still not too late. I’m spotlighting this particular charity because it does not get the exposure that Make a Wish or other types of charities receive. Southwest Airlines donates a plane and pilots and flight attendants who all work for free because this is such an inspiring organization. The next time you fly Southwest, look at the plane and see if you are on “the” Kidd’s Kids Plane. Another very generous donor is Raising Canes. They gave 15% of all the sales the other day and are always giving the organization donations. How lucky are we that are kids were born healthy! It could have easily gone the other way.
I also heard about this company on the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show. This is not necessarily a non-profit, but it might as well be. Here is a brief synopsis on the background of the company. This company specializes in producing clothing that fits people with Down syndrome and others who have unique body shapes. Karen Bowersox started the company out of Mentor, Ohio after her daughter challenged her to find a solution to her 4 year old granddaughter with Downs Syndrome who could never find clothes to properly fit. Karen searched and searched and could not find anything for this group of special people. She has mortgaged her house and cashed out her 401K trying to start this business. She is trying to spread the word about the company because they are running out of money. To hear her tell a story of 15 year old Down Syndrome kids who have to ask other kids to help them unzip their pants is heartbreaking. Downs Designs provides clothing designs that give dignity and actually fit people who have different body types. She is not looking to get rich. She is looking for money to provide designs for Kaki shorts, black pants, etc.
It would be nice if her line could have a few new designs. Someone suggested she start a Kickstarter project. She asked for $5,000. That shows you that she is not in it for the money. She is just trying to keep this wonderful company afloat. After her interview on the Kidd Kraddick show the wonderful listeners donated $20,000. She made sure people were not just giving money. For different donation amounts you got t-shirts and clothes. You could also donate the clothes to families with special needs kids who are cash strapped.
So there you go. These are two, special organizations that make everyone who have healthy children more appreciative. Like Kidd Kraddick used to always say “it is insurance”. I know that everyone has their own organizations they give to. If you don’t and are looking to give a few dollars, I would suggest either one of these wonderful groups. We are so blessed!
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan
“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa