We in Chicago are finally starting to celebrate Springtime. This year it is a particular relief, but I suggest that it is always a time for feeling grateful. In that spirit, I thought I’d highlight a few people that I know who are doing something to make a difference in the world in case you are in the mood to contribute:
Grace Oliver is the niece of my work friend Steve, and is battling brain cancer. As it happens, brain cancer took my grandfather 20 years ago and recently Carole, one of the awesome neighborhood moms of my childhood. The Oliver family is participating in the 2014 Breakthrough for Brain Tumors 5K in Chicago next weekend. They are rocking the fundraising, and right now my friend Steve is half-way to his goal of $2,000 in donations collected. And you will not believe how many people have joined this fundraising team.
Shannon Long is a friend from high school that has supported the National MS Society for several years, in part by joining the Walk MS event each year on the North Shore of Chicago. This year’s walk is on May 4 in my hometown of Glenview. The team is just past the halfway point of their $2,000 fundraising goal.
Big Ed is a dog trainer that I met through a local rescue group called Secondhand Snoots. Big Ed’s Dog Training recently opened a new facility and some friends started a fundraiser to help with the start up costs. It may seem weird to participate in a fundraiser for a business, but Big Ed is actively engaged with the Chicago area rescue community and has been trying to keep rates low in order to assist small local rescues in preparing homeless dogs for adoption. I have seen two of Big Ed’s pack walks and met many of his former students. Dude’s got game. I don’t expect these donations to be tax deductible (for those that care) but I am certain they will go to a good cause.
Dana Hopkins is a new friend that owns the title “Survivor” several different ways. She is also an artist and activist working on a couple of different projects right now, including a short film. She is fighting some online body shaming demons and morons by participating in a photo series of her lovely, nekkid, cancer-surviving body. And she is in the middle of a series of surgeries designed to repair some of the damage from cancer treatment and reconstruction that has left her with rather debilitating pain. Also, she has a spectacular service dog named Wilbur. Dana has a fundraising page on Indiegogo that tells her story far better than I can. Survive and Inspire.
And. Because all blog posts need a good picture, here is one of Wilbur that I took this weekend: