I’m going to be 50 years old in a little under 6 months. 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 a third TV movie!), 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. As of today there are 177 days until my birthday so that means 2-3 donations every week.
I’m going to blog and Facebook (yes, it’s a verb) about this, not to get attention for myself but to hopefully draw attention to the worthwhile organizations that I am going to be supporting. I know that $50 to any single organization isn’t going to be life changing for any of them, but maybe you’ll consider donating also to the ones you agree are worth knowing about. Every little bit counts.
I also want to hear from you. If you have suggestions of worthwhile organization to support, send me an email. There are thousands out there so coming up with 50 shouldn’t be hard!
My inaugural $50 for 50 by 50 is going to an organization that I think does some incredibly important work: The Trevor Project, which is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are 4 times more likely and questioning youth are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. It gets even worse for transgender youth, a full quarter of which have attempted suicide.
The Trevor Project runs 24 hour crisis intervention services plus online chat and text intervention support; produces educational material and support training; and runs community services around the country to support LGBTQ youth.
This is important to me because I remember what it was like to be questioning my sexuality when I was a kid. Coming from a very religious household, the thought of it terrified me and I remember praying, asking to not be gay. I was bullied, I was rejected, and I considered suicide – I even made a half-hearted attempt at it when I was 16. I wish an organization like The Trevor Project had been around when I was a kid.
To learn more or to donate, please visit thetrevorproject.org.
$50 for 50 by 50 #1: The Trevor Project.