And a portion of the proceeds goes to....

It is very important to me to give back to help make my corner of the butterfly patch a bit brighter.  To that end, 5% of all profits goes to each of the lovely charities listed below.  I'm exquisitely picky about who to support and trust both of these charities - the first one I've seen in action and the second is run by my some dear members of my family.

Because no one should feel alone and we all need each other.

BRIGHTER TOMORROWS

Cancer is a short, little word that describes a horrific reality for far, far too many people.  At my day job, I work as a Donor Operations Specialist for Be The Match Biotherapies - where I help save lives.  A major part of the reason that I work with Be the Match is because the biological chaos that is cancer has touched people I love. 

 

In 2014, all of my Momma radar was pinging that something was wrong with my then 2-year-old son (Bug).  His health was doing weird things and it didn't make sense.  Several months of back and forth to the doctor later, we finally had a diagnosis that shattered our world: cancer.  Specifically B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or B-cell ALL. 

 

After the dust settled and chemo started dripping, our little family began down the 3 year journey of childhood cancer treatment. 

 

It was awful.

 

BUT the cancer was vanquished and today Bug is a thriving young man who is quickly getting taller than his Momma!  CURED!!  YAY!!!!!

 

A bright spot in the midst of treatment was Brighter Tomorrows.  Basically, they create community for families affected by childhood cancer no matter the diagnosis.  The support of this community is absolutely invaluable.  We found other parents who actually understood, and to whom we didn't have to explain the procedures and medications...the other parents already knew.  Bug found children with tubes and meds just like him - I cannot put into words how much this helped him.  It was like suddenly he didn't feel so alone.

Let's let the organization explain what they are all about in their own words: 

"Brighter Tomorrows is a non-profit organization founded in 2007 on the belief that no family should ever have to face a childhood cancer diagnosis on their own. Brighter Tomorrows believes that every family who has been touched by a childhood cancer diagnosis deserves a compassionate, loving support system.

 

Our mission is to welcome parents, caregivers, children, family and friends to share experiences, provide resources, and offer breaks from the rigors of a cancer journey. We are here to support the newly diagnosed, the survivors and the bereaved.

 

The organization strives to alleviate some of the stress and financial burden on families by providing monthly family gatherings, family care kits, quarterly events, bingo nights, an annual retreat and much more!

 

We are primarily funded by personal donations and appreciate your support!

 

To learn more about Brighter Tomorrows, go to www.brightertomorrowshope.org."

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QUEEN’S GUARD
There is no room in this world for hate and persecution for any reason.  Unfortunately, this is an ideology that not everyone shares.  Members of the LGBTQI+ community have received more than their fair share of other’s hate and condemnation. 

 

Many have declared with loud voices that this is NOT OKAY.  

Many others have physically stepped forward to stand as a shield between LGBTQI+ individuals and the vitriol the world throws towards the entire community. 

Through an organization called Queen’s Guard of Alaska, my brother-in-law and sister do both.  

They, of course, say it best: 

“The Queen's Guard of Alaska was created in 2019. It was born of the need to protect, protect our friends, our families and our community.  We saw the bigotry spewed through megaphones, hateful signs, and screams. We wanted to drown that out, let the community know we are here to be that barrier of love. We stand up between our community and the hate with drums, songs, and signs of love. 

We counteract negative and hostile protests with positive, peaceful, non-engaging support of

LGBTQI+ youth, adults, and allies. 
 
Our goal is to educate through positive and respectful means. We recognize that LGBTQI+ people

are disproportionately at risk of abuse from society and within their own families, and face many

other discriminatory obstructions due to their gender, sexuality, and so on. We know this needs

to change, and we are here to show our LGBTQI+ communities that we hear them and we are here.

The Queen's Guard is a community of gay, trans, pansexual, asexual, non-binary, ally, etc. people

who aim to show you that you're not alone, and that you are loved and supported, through all stages

of your journey.”

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