$50 for 50 by 50 #44: Cancer Support Community

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC) is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research and advocacy. The organization includes an international network of Affiliates that offer the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.

Learn more at cancersupportcommunity.org.


$50 for 50 by 50 #43: Baton Rouge Area Foundation

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

For days, relentless rains fell and rivers swelled. Communities across South Louisiana flooded. Even people living on high ground were forced to flee to makeshift shelters, where they are being cared for by more fortunate neighbors.

History shows, over and over, that you can’t wash away the people of Louisiana. They come together to take care of each other. But they could use your help too. Please give to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation Flood Relief Fund.

With no time to waste, the Foundation will send staff members across South Louisiana to find where needs are the greatest. Our research will ensure that your donations go quickly and directly to nonprofits that are doing the most for people who call Louisiana home.

The Louisiana Flood Relief Fund welcomes your donations, and we ask you to share this site with anyone who wishes to help.

Contributions to the Fund are tax deductible.

To learn more, visit classy.org/events/louisiana-flood-relief-fund/e91206.


$50 for 50 by 50 #42: Cancer Sucks

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

Cancer Sucks was established out of the pain and frustration that comes from losing a loved one to cancer, combined with the desire to do what we can to prevent anyone from experiencing the same loss. The 1996 death of Donna Holland White was a devastating event and one that will never be forgotten. While undergoing treatments, surgeries, and the emotional roller coaster that comes with cancer, Donna still had time to think of others by making arrangements to have her body donated to cancer research at the time of her death. Cancer Sucks is a living memorial started by her family and dedicated to Donna. 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. Corporate partnerships fund our overhead expenses allowing us to donate ALL the proceeds from our events to cancer research. For more information on Corporate Partnerships, volunteer opportunities, merchandise, donations, or to start your own Cancer Sucks fundraising event contact us today.

To learn more visit cancersucks.com.


$50 for 50 by 50 #41: Stupid Cancer

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

Four years ago today, I wrote a post called 21 Words, which I still think is the best piece of writing I’ve ever done. It came from a pretty dark place – I was heading in the next day for a huge, life-threatening, life-changing surgery to battle esophageal cancer, and it does a good job of summarizing my life up to that point, I think. It also offers a lot of advice to the future me about how to live a better life should I actually, you know, live. To sum them up they would be: don’t be so afraid, take more chances, and be passionate about things.

I may not have totally lived up to that in the last four years. I’m still a creature of habit and inherently lazy when it comes to making change, but in the last four years I have traveled more, written more (published a novel and on my sixth movie), opened myself up a little more, and gotten involved more so I think I’m doing pretty good.

To mark the anniversary of my four years post-surgery and a little more than three years in remission, I am going to be making all of my 50x50x50 donations this week to various cancer charities.

The first one is Stupid Cancer. Founded in 2007 by Matthew Zachary, a young adult brain cancer survivor, Stupid Cancer has become the largest US-based charity that comprehensively addresses young adult cancer through advocacy, research, support, outreach, awareness, mobile health and social media. The organization has proudly emerged as the dominant support community and social influencer for this underserved population and now serves as a bullhorn for the young adult cancer movement.

Stupid Cancer proudly supports a global network of patients, survivors, caregivers, providers and advocates to ensure that no one affected by young adult cancer go unaware of the age-appropriate resources they are entitled to so they can get busy living. Our innovative and multi-award-winning programs—such as CancerCon, Instapeer, The OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults, The Stupid Cancer Road Trip, The Stupid Cancer Store and many others—have brought the cause of ‘cancer under 40′ to the national spotlight and rallied a brand new generation of activists to give a much needed voice to our forgotten population.

To learn more visit stupidcancer.org.


$50 for 50 by 50 #40: Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.
Those of you who may have known me back in junior and senior high should probably know that I was bullied… a lot. I was fat, so that made me an immediate target, and I wasn’t exactly the definition of manliness, which didn’t help. I was beat up, teased, taunted, called every name in the book, and just generally made to feel like crap on most days.

Bullying doesn’t just make you childhood difficult, it makes your entire life harder. The self esteem issues it creates can last a lifetime and to this day I still battle some of those demons that came into my life when I was young.

Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students.


PACER engages communities to recognize that bullying is a behavior that has affected too many for too long. Preventing bullying begins with creating social change with bullying being recognized as a serious issue that impacts educational performance, physical and emotional health, and student’s safety and well-being.


PACER provides free, innovative web-based information, ideas and actions that can be shared in communities across the nation to address bullying. Resources include engaging websites designed just for students, literature for parents to help their children through bullying situations, classroom toolkits for educators, and much more.


PACER activates individuals to take action — on both a personal and community level. Everyone can participate in signing a petition, sharing their own story, or contributing a message to “I care because.” They can also coordinate and participate in high profile events such as National Bullying Prevention Month in October, Unity Day or a Run, Walk, Roll Against Bullying.

To learn more visit pacer.org/bullying.


$50 for 50 by 50 #39: Stop Handgun Violence

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

Stop Handgun Violence is a non-profit organization committed to the prevention of gun violence through education, public awareness, effective law enforcement and common sense gun laws.

With 88 gun deaths in the U.S. everyday—more than Columbine and Virginia Tech combined—it’s time we start putting lives before politics.

We are not calling for restrictions to our Constitutional Rights, but just common sense legislation that will help save lives.

Help us prevent firearm violence through public awareness, sensible legislation and support for law enforcement – without banning guns.

Learn more at stophandgunviolence.org.

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$50 for 50 by 50 #38: States United to Prevent Gun Violence

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

States United to Prevent Gun Violence is a grassroots network of 30 state affiliates working to make our communities and families safer. As part of our 50 State Solution to end gun violence, we support existing state-based gun violence prevention groups and bring new partners into the movement. Through cooperative efforts with our 30 state groups – and our combined 150,000 grassroots supporters – we are working to build healthy communities by reducing gun death and injury through stronger laws, community education and grassroots action.


Americans have the right to be safe in our homes, schools, and communities and to live in a country free from the fear, loss, and grief caused by gun violence. States United and its grassroots affiliates are unified in a state-by-state and national effort to:

  • Make all Americans safer by keeping guns out of the hands of felons, terrorists and the violent mentally ill through background checks for all gun purchases.
  • Keep women and children safer by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.
  • Protect families by demanding that gun-owners take responsibility and keep guns in the home locked, unloaded and safely stored.
  • Educate parents and children to talk about the risk and dangers of gun violence in the home and on our streets.
  • Prevent mass shootings by banning military-style weapons from our communities.


As the umbrella organization of 30 unique state groups, States United provides vital resources and support to help each state work effectively and intelligently. Additionally, we work on the national level to raise public awareness and engage our supporters in the ongoing conversation about gun violence in America.


  • Develop effective policy initiatives and best practices for gun safety.
  • Organize local action to highlight gun violence impact in the community.
  • Keep close watch on dangerous gun lobby policies and proposals.
  • Communicate effectively with community leaders, the public and the media.
  • Contribute fact-based input to local elected representatives and members of Congress about stronger gun laws.
  • Assist our state groups in engaging supporters with a shared online communications system for emails, action alerts, petitions and fundraising.
  • Collaborate with our organizational allies to maximize advocacy impact and create positive change.
  • Connect our state groups to resources for building coalitions and grassroots activism within the GVP movement.
  • Provide technical support support for website development, action alert creation and social media toolkits.

Learn more at ceasefireusa.org


$50 for 50 by 50 #37: Horizons Foundation

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

Horizons Foundation is a community foundation rooted in and dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, and we exist to:

  • Mobilize and increase resources for the LGBT movement and organizations that secure the rights, meet the needs, and celebrate the lives of LGBT people.
  • Empower individual donors and promote giving as an integral part of a healthy, compassionate community.
  • Steward a permanently endowed fund through which donors can make legacy gifts to ensure our community’s capacity to meet the future needs of LGBT people.

Horizons Foundation envisions a world where all people live free from prejudice and discrimination, and where LGBT people contribute to and thrive in a vibrant, diverse, giving, and compassionate community.

To learn more visit horizonsfoundation.org.

$50 for 50 by 50 #36: Safety For All – Vote Yes on Proposition 63

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.
This is not a charity, per se, but rather to support a California ballot initiative.

Normally, I’m dead set against the propositions. I do not believe that a 50% + 1 vote, which represent a tiny fraction of the state’s population, should be making decisions that affect the entire state’s population and sometimes beyond. People, as we all know, are often ill-informed and/or easily swayed and should not be put in charge of this kind of thing. This is why we have a representative form of government.

But sometimes a proposition comes along that I feel very strongly about. There are a few on November, 2016’s ballot including proposition 62, which would abolish the death penalty; proposition 64, which would legalize marijuana sales in the state; and, the topic of this post, proposition 63. The measure would prohibit the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and would require most individuals to pass a background check and obtain authorization from the California Department of Justice to purchase ammunition.

I am one of those liberals who wants to take your guns – freely admit it. I think the world would be a better place if all guns were rounded up, melted down, and turned into playground equipment. The second amendment is an antiquated idea based on the realities of the world 240 years ago; an idea that is just as out of touch with current realities as the idea of black people only being counted as 3/5ths of a human being or women not being allowed to vote. We changed those things when the world evolved. Why can’t we do the same with the second amendment?

Having said that, I understand that this is not something we will ever achieve, at least certainly not in my lifetime. So instead of advocating for an unrealistic nirvana, I will advocate to pass as many restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns as we can get. Proposition 63 will not solve the problem – it may not even help the problem all that much – but if anyone is stopped from buying ammunition that would have otherwise gone on to kill someone(s) it is absolutely worth it.

Join the cause at safetyforall.com.


$50 for 50 by 50 #35: Compassion & Choices

I’m turning 50 this year and instead of whining about it, I’m trying to do something positive by donating $50 to 50 different charities before I’m 50 years old.

Across the nation, we work to protect and expand end-of-life options — and to ensure healthcare providers honor and enable patients’ decisions about their care. To make this vision a reality, Compassion & Choices works nationwide in state legislatures, Congress, courts, medical settings and communities to:

  • empower people with information and tools, including our free consultation program, to receive healthcare that is consistent with their values and priorities as they approach the end of life
  • advance policies that allow people to make fully informed decisions about their healthcare, such as improving hospice and palliative care and ending unwanted medical treatment
  • authorize and implement medical aid in dying to allow mentally capable adults in their final weeks or months of a terminal disease to advance the time of death and end unbearable suffering

It’s our belief — and our experience for the past 30 years — that the path to change starts with individual supporters.

To learn more visit compassionandchoices.org.