I’m going to be 50 years old in September of 2016. The thought of that both hurts my head and makes me itch in unspecified ways.
But it also makes me feel incredibly lucky. Considering all the crap that has gone wrong with me over the years, not the least of which was a fun little joy ride with cancer, the fact that I have made it to 49 is quite the accomplishment if I do say so myself. Add in the facts that I have a job (that drives me crazy, but it’s a job), I am very well paid, I get to do stuff outside the job that makes me happy (I’m writing TV movies!), and I have friends that I adore, and it all adds up to a pretty good total for almost 50.
I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion and considered all sorts of 50-related things: a bucket list of 50 items, trying to take a bunch of weekend jaunts so I could say I had visited all 50 states (I have 13 left), and the like. But the realities of my schedule and my attention span led me to keep nuking the various options as being too time consuming and/or too pain-in-the-ass-ing.
So instead, I have decided to do something proactive and yet not have to actually get out of my comfy chair to do so – I’m going to give $50 to 50 different charities before I turn 50 years old. This page tracks who I have given to so far with links to my blog postings about them and the charity itself:
1. The Trevor Project
Providing suicide prevention hot lines and education programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
2. AIDS Project Los Angeles
Provides services to persons in the Los Angeles area living with HIV and AIDS.
3. The Innocence Project
Legal services and resources designed to help people who have been incarcerated wrongly.
4. The Neon Museum
Rescues and restores classic neon signs from businesses in Las Vegas.
5. Brussels Terror Attack Victims’ Fund
Fund for the victims of the March 2016 bombing of the airport in Brussels.
6. Los Angeles LGBT Center
Services and programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth and adults in Los Angeles.
7. Esophageal Cancer Action Network
Advocacy and education programs designed to inform about Esophageal Cancer and its causes.
8. Bill Foundation
Rescues shelter and street dogs in Los Angeles
9. Southern Poverty Law Center
Tracks, monitors, and reports on more than 1,600 hate groups.
10. First Book
Provides books to children in need.
11. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
HIV/AIDS service organization based in New York with programs nationwide.
Provides technical education and mentoring to underserved youth.
13. Modest Needs
Crowd funding of specific short term emergency needs for families and individuals.
14. Puppies Behind Bars
Arranges dogs to go to prisons where they are trained to be service animals for wounded veterans or law enforcement canines.
15. Historic Savannah Foundation
Leads the preservation efforts of historic homes and buildings in Savannah, Georgia.
16. Fisher House
Manages residential facilities near VA hospitals so the families of wounded service members can be nearby.
17. Girls Inc.
Dedicated to empowering young girls to be smart, strong, and bold through education and mentoring programs in the US and Canada.
18. Equality Florida’s GoFundMe Campaign for the Victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting
For obvious reasons.
Pulse Nightclub Victim’s Fund
19. Orlando LGBT Organizations’ GoFundMe Campaign for the Victims of the Pulse Nightclub Shooting
This is a different one than #18 but doing the same good work. Both deserve a donation.
Pulse Nightclub Victim’s Fund
20. One Orlando Fund
Another organization that is supporting victims and their families of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.
21. National Compassion Fund
National crime victims’ organization raising money for the victims and families affected by the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
22. Free Speech TV
National, independent news network committed to advancing progressive social change.
23. Physicians for Reproductive Health
Works to improve access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion, especially to meet the health care needs of economically disadvantaged patients.
24. Assist the Officer Dallas
Benefits the families of police officers affected by the shooting in Dallas.
Providing clean, safe drinking water to communities around the globe.
26. Habitat For Humanity Los Angeles
Building affordable housing for those in need in the Los Angeles area.
27. Rosie’s Theater Kids
Providing access to arts and arts education to underserved youth.
28. $50 for 50 by 50 #28: Planting Peace’s Crowdrise Campaign for Baton Rouge Police Officers
Support for the families of the officers killed and injured in Baton Rouge.
29. Americans for Responsible Solutions
Gabby Giffords PAC to advocate for common sense gun control legislation.
30. Everytown for Gun Safety
A coalition of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and those affected by gun violence.
31. Violence Policy Center
Works to stop gun death and injury through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration.
32. Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
A coalition of 47 national organization working to reduce gun violence.
33. The Dizzy Feet Foundation
Supports dance education in the United States through grants which support programs serving low-income populations and educational institutions.
34. Children’s Defense Fund
The child advocacy organization that Hillary Clinton worked for.
35. Compassion & Choices
Working to expand and protect end of life options for the terminally ill.
36. Safety For All: Yes on Proposition 63
California state ballot measure that would ban the possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines and require a background check to buy ammunition.
37. Horizons Foundation
Works to provide support charities, organizations, foundations, and groups working on behalf of the LGBTQ community.
38. $50 for 50 by 50 #38: States United to Prevent Gun Violence
An alliance of state groups that works together to prevent gun violence.
39. Stop Handgun Violence
Stop Handgun Violence is committed to the prevention of gun violence through education, public awareness, effective law enforcement and common sense gun laws.
40. $50 for 50 by 50 #40: Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center
Provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue.
41. Stupid Cancer
Addresses young adult cancer through advocacy, research, support, outreach, awareness, mobile health and social media.
42. Cancer Sucks
The organization is run by volunteers that have all been touched by cancer and focused on raising as much money for cancer research as possible.
43. Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Relief for the victims of the historic flooding in Louisiana.
44. Cancer Support Community
Ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community.
45. Livestrong Foundation
Working to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.
46. Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Museum at the Atlanta History Center is one of the largest history museums in the nation, featuring award-winning signature exhibitions that tell the story of the region’s people, from its earliest settlers to the international city of today.
47. Lowndes County Interpretive Center
Museum and teaching facility dedicate to the Selma to Montgomery March.
48. The Clinton Foundation
Builds partnerships between businesses, NGOs, governments, and individuals everywhere to work faster, leaner, and better; to find solutions that last; and to transform lives and communities from what they are today to what they can be, tomorrow.
49. Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders
Providing housing assistance, counseling, and other services to seniors in the gay community.
50. Charity Navigator
Tracks charities and rates them based on a variety of criteria so you can choose the best ones that will be using your donation wisely.