Giving Tuesday is a wonderful idea. Here in the United States, last Thursday was Thanksgiving, a day where we count our blessings, gather to eat a large meal with family, and spend time being thankful for the things in our lives we may not usually give time to be thankful for. I found that this Thanksgiving I was thankful for not ending up in the psychiatric hospital since 2004, our kitties, my DH, my parents, running water, a roof over my head, food, my Medicare, and my many books. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012, and you'll find many different places, from Facebook to potentially your employer will match your donations on Giving Tuesday.
1. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI saved my life, and I will be forever grateful for it. Learning about mental illnesses, not just me, but my family too, helped save my life. I found out I am one in many, not just some freak of nature. I found out that I can be successful in life with a mental illness, and there are different definitions of success. Volunteering at NAMI for years gave me not only a voice with my legislators and with the community, but it also gave me a purpose. I highly recommend NAMI as a charity to give to. On Charity Navigator rates NAMI three out of four stars.
2. Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is a charity I've only recently learned about. They do actual research to cure mental illness. Of all my medical conditions, my Bipolar Disorder Type 1 is the most disabling. A cure for bipolar couldn't be more exciting. The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is awarded four out of four stars on Charity Navigator.
3. The Ehlers-Danlos Society
The Ehlers-Danlos Society, formerly the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation (EDNF) is controversial in the EDS community. They were a big part of changing the definitions of every type of EDS, and took away a lot of people's diagnosis that have hypermobility type EDS and replaced it with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD). HSD will not be taken as seriously, as you can have HSD if you have only one hypermobile joint. So, it will be easy for doctors to dismiss anyone with the HSD diagnosis, even though there are different levels of HSD. It's just not ever going to be taken as seriously as EDS. I absolutely do not support these changes. Now you're probably wondering why I included them on this list. The reason is simple, they fund a lot of EDS research and actively work for EDS awareness. I'm not sure if they research the so called "Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder," though, when they say they're researching EDS. So give to this charity with caution. Charity Navigator doesn't have information on The Ehlers-Danlos Society or EDNF.
4. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Network C.A.R.E.S. Inc.
I support EDS Network CARES because they spread awareness about EDS and fund research on EDS. It was started by a woman who lost both her husband and son from vascular EDS. As far as I know, EDS Network CARES wasn't involved in the reclassifications of EDS. Again, I am very much against these reclassifications of diagnosis. Charity Navigator doesn't have a
I think St. Jude's Research Hospital. They treat any child with cancer, and never charge a dime. They've come under fire for how much they spend on advertisement, yet with the amount of money they take in with their advertisement I think it's worth it. Charity Navigator gives St. Jude's three out of four stars.