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 for the Orlando Pulse Massacre Victims
Equality Florida’s campaign to raise money for the victims and families affected by the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
19. Pulse Tragedy Community Fund
Orlando LGBT organization’s campaign to raise money for the victims and families affected by the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
20. 20. OneOrlando
Orlando community fund to raise money for the victims and families affected by the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
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
The Assist The Officer Foundation provides financial assistance to officers who are facing the loss of income due to a serious injury, life-threatening illness or other catastrophic event. Immediate assistance is also available to an officer’s family in the event of the death of an active officer.
We are an international nonprofit organization that has positively transformed more than four million lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we have been pioneering innovative, sustainable solutions to the global water crisis for 25 years, giving women hope, children health and communities a future.