Whether you are affected directly or not, if you take the time to look around you, it is not hard to find a worthy cause to support. Whether you provide support with money, by participating in fund-raising events, or simply giving your time, supporting a worthy cause will be personally fulfilling. Everyone in life has a choice, they can choose to take responsibility for themselves and/or their children or not, the can choose to take responsibility when faced with life’s challenges or not, and they can choose whether to get involved in a cause or not.
I’ve always been drawn to causes that I have been personally affected by. Whether it was a friend or relative that drew my attention to the cause, I have found that once I personally have seen the impact a condition or disease can have, not just on an individual, but on all those around him or her, I am much more passionate about the cause.
Start by educating yourself on the issue. If you know someone who has been impacted, think about what they needed most, was it a cure… emotional support… education and retraining… mental health resources. Then look at the organizations that support this cause. Which one is the most focused on what you think is important. Finally find out how to help. Volunteer, participate in events, get on mailing lists, participate in a local chapter of the organization.
For me the choice was easy. I support charities that work to help children with Autism. My son has high functioning Autism and is a bright, happy young man with a great sense of humor and unlimited potential. Unfortunately not everyone can see that potential, it takes patience to get to know him. Once you know him it doesn’t take long to realize that it was worth the effort. He gives so much more than he gets. One great local organization is the National Foundation for Autism Research. They support people working to educate and otherwise assist children with Autism. I can’t think of a more worthy effort. They have an annual 5K Race for Autism trough Balboa Park and I will be out there running it every year… bringing as many friends as I can.