46 Charities Brought to You by the K-DEER Community
Posted on November 30 2017
In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we recently asked the K-DEER community to share with us the causes that made an impact on their lives. We were blown away with the many inspiring and heartfelt responses we received! Thank you to all who contributed and for bravely sharing your inspirational stories. We hope this list will bring awareness and with every new awareness, brings hope. We are honored to be a portal to advocacy for these incredible and worthy causes. Please leave a comment below if there is anything you'd like to add!
- The K-DEER Team
1. Sunrise Day Camps
My life changed forever when I became a counselor at Sunrise Day Camp the nations ONLY dedicated day camp for children with cancer and their siblings to attend FREE of charge. It is also the most magical place in the world where kids can go to just be kids, it is the place where EVERYONE is always smiling and love is in the only thing in the air. Working there has changed my perspective on life and showed me the importance of it. Every single day 43 children are diagnosed with cancer, that means 43 parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and best friends lives will never be the same. - Elana B.
2. Project Morry
Project Morry has helped countless children fulfill their dream of a higher education and they provide support to not only the students but their families in ways I have never seen other programs do. Need help filling out college paperwork? They're there. Need a mentor to get you through your high school classes? Go to your meetings and you have all the help you would ever want or need.- Kristen B.
3. Carly’s Kids
Cary’s Kids was developed to honor my sister who passed away from gastric cancer at the age of 24. My sister was very fond of volunteering her time at a small school in Mississippi while studying at Boston College. Carly’s kids was developed to provide education for children in need, as well as supporting educational research for the prevention and treatment of esophageal and gastric cancers. I miss my sister so much and would greatly appreciate any support for her charities. - Alison I.
4. Dear Jack Foundation
The Dear Jack Foundation not only offers assistance to young adults battling cancer, but to their caregivers as well. This is exemplified by their Breathe Now program, which “utilizes yoga, meditation, and breath work during pivotal stages of adolescent and young adult cancer treatment and survivorship to heal the mind and body and help restore balance and peace.” To me, as a long time Andrew McMahon fan, avid yoga practitioner and recently, a thyroid cancer survivor - the inspiration of Andrew’s own story and the comfort of his amazing music that I have loved deeply for so many years were invaluable to me during a time in my life when I felt powerless, afraid and was physically unable to lean into my yoga practice for comfort and peace. - Kelli C.
5. With My Own Two Hands
A few years ago, I started helping With My Own Two Hands, a non-profit that provides water, agriculture and education to orphans and girls rescued from forced marriage and female circumcision in Kenya. I had met the founder when I began taking her yoga class. After I had been working with WMO2H for a while, my son asked how we could help the children in Kenya. We found out that one of the orphanages needed a playground. My son suggested that we organize a fundraiser at his favorite park during the summer. I cried when we received the photos three months later of the playground that our family and friends ended up funding at the park party. - Jennifer G.
6. Days For Girls
This organization has been an inspiration to women and girls across the globe. While providing reusable/sustainable feminine hygiene products that would otherwise not be available, girls are able to continue their basic education, gain confidence in themselves, and their communities, and go on to spread positive changes by sending the message that their lives matter and by providing them the support they can make positive changes first within their communities by giving back & then worldwide. Once the veil of shame, repression, stigma, of menstruation (being a woman in a patriarchal societies) is lifted & the necessary supports & resources are introduced, their lives change & all women & the world is uplifted to greater potential. - Kimberly H.
7. Holton's Heroes
Marina Del Rey, CA
On December 19th, 2014 my nephew Holton suffered a traumatic brain injury in the hands of his nanny. He had a cracked skull, blood in his brain and was without oxygen for a very long period of time (he was 11 weeks at the time and before that, perfectly healthy). Because of that injury, he is now 3 years old and has cerebral palsy, he is blind and a quadriplegic. On the first anniversary of Holton’s injury (Dec 19, 2015), my brother and sister-in-law decided to “get the day back” and they started their own non- profit to help kids just like Holton. Holton’s Heroes Non-profit was created to help children with post-birth traumatic brain injuries. To date, we have helped 21 children all over the country and raised over $125,000! EVERY penny goes to help our “heroes”. We have supplied families with wheelchairs, standers, etc and even built wheel chair ramps and inside therapeutic walking devices. - Lauren L.
8. I AM THAT GIRL
I AM THAT GIRL is a movement inspiring girls to be, love and express exactly who they are! They give girls the empowerment, safe space, and sense of self worth they deserve; the tools to be the leaders they were born to be. There has never been a better time to stand up for girls. The future is female. Let's give girls the tools to lead it. - Kelly M.
New York, NY
In my younger days, I was considered an at-risk youth. 5 years ago i became a mentor to a younger version of me. She was miss popular in her neighborhood high school of at-risk youth. Though a freshman, she was already getting into fights and arguing with her teachers. Her career focus was on becoming a rapper. Through iMentor, I met with her once a month, emailed her weekly and watched her change her focus to getting high grades, taking college level courses, and staying out of trouble over the next 4 years. She is now in her Sophomore year of college at SUNY Albany loving her time in school and continuing her focus. All this to say, iMentor provides what many of these kids don't have which is a view of the opportunities they don't easily get to see and an adult that cares about them succeeding in life. - Ifeoma O.
10. The Cradle
Both of my children were adopted through The Cradle (they are now 10 and 6 years old), and my son received wonderful care from The Cradle nursery for the first few weeks of his life. My family wouldn’t be the same without The Cradle, and so many people all over the country have benefited from its support for nearly 100 years. The Cradle has been open since 1923 and is the only remaining adoption agency in the country that maintains an on-site nursery to care for babies awaiting placement for various reasons. They also provide ongoing support for those considering adoption placement, birth parents who have placed childeren for adoption, adoptees, and adoptive families. Over the years, The Cradle has helped place more than 15,000 children into permanent homes. - Holly B.
11. On River Time
5 years ago I was asked to join the board of directors for a charity that funded life experience trips for abused and neglected children. The charity On River Time has become a huge part of my life, I attend all of the trips we take the kids on and every story I hear shocks me while their courage inspires me. - Theresa L.
12. Make A Wish Foundation
I help to deliver wishes to children with life threatening illnesses for Make A Wish South Florida. On average I deliver about 8 wishes a year as I do work full time as a Teacher. This past year, I delivered one wish that was particularly special to us. I helped to deliver the wish of a horse to Madison, a child with bone cancer. It was a special with and was our chapter's 11,000 wish to date! Click here to view the video. - Aleesha W.
13. Child Mind Institute
New York, NY
My niece has Borderline Personality and is on the autism spectrum and my nephew has dyslexia, speech apraxia and ADHD. CMI has helped both of them and many children like them manage their issues and have a chance to become successful adults. - Alissa E.
The Casey Cares Foundation provides fun-filled activities and experiences to critically or terminally ill children and their families. CaseyCares understands that when a child is sick- the entire family is affected. Experiences range from a night out at the movies to trips to DisneyWorld. And everything in-between. Gifts are sent to children on their birthday, and entire families are treated to professional baseball games or football games. CaseyCares also provides new and fun pajamas for children in hospitals, because something as simple as a favorite cartoon character on jammies can make a sick child smile. Casey is a fellow mom and member of the community, and I have watched her tirelessly give so much of herself to children and families that need so much more than any of us can give. Casey has three children and she has taught philanthropy to them, which is one of the very best gifts that a mother can give to her children. - Linda B.
Ty was a vibrant little boy. He was 2 months shy of his third birthday when doctors found a mass at the base of his skull. He was diagnosed with a rhabdoid tumor, a very rare and aggressive cancer specific to pediatrics. He fought bravely for over 2 years, showing strength only superhero’s possess. He earned the nickname SuperTy. He passed away at home in his parents’ arms on October 17, 2012. Ty’s mom Cindy created TLC to raise awareness for pediatric cancer and to help fund the development of more effective and less harmful treatments for a range of high-risk pediatric cancers. Unfortunately most people do not know how little funding goes to pediatric cancer research. Those of us who know Cindy are well versed in this and are outraged. We support this foundation so one day soon, no other child or family has to go through what Ty and his family did. - Elizabeth C.
16. Africa Yoga Project
Co-founded by Baron Baptiste and Paige Elenson almost 10 years ago, this non profit organization empowers youth in impoverished countries in and around Africa. AYP has taught 300 leaders and counting to become powerful contributors to their communities. I had the pleasure of going to Kenya this year to assist in the 200 hour teacher training and I was blown away at the results of this unique experience. They are in 13 countries and are changing lives every day. - Melanie G.
I have had the chance to work with several teachers trained by the Africa Yoga Project and I am in their awe. The program has trained more than 300 yoga teachers from 15 different African countries, who teach 300+ classes in marginalized communities, reaching 6,000+ people weekly. This truly is a world-changing charity - Julie B.
17. The Trini Foundation
The Trini Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the life-changing practice of Ashtanga yoga to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Their mission is to provide yoga as a tool to aide in the recovery process and help those who are suffering maintain long-term sobriety. - Monica K.
I’ve been teaching yoga for nearly 20 years. Five years ago I attended the first annual Yoga Service Conference with the intention of learning more about how I could bring yoga to individuals with mental, intellectual and physical disabilities (which is my specialty). At the conference, I was blown away by not only how much amazing work was being done in the world to serve so many vulnerable populations, but how much work was still needed to be done. I returned home with a dream to create a yoga service organization in my community. I reached out to fellow teachers and by the end of our first “meeting” on my back porch in September of 2012, six yoginis had committed to forming a non-profit which would organize our current local events, encourage sustainability, support yoga teachers interested in working in diverse populations and bring yoga to our neighbors most at risk. I never imagined that 5 years later we would have created what we have. - Rochelle J.
Cystic Fibrosis is the charity I give as much money too as I can. My cousin Mikey is now in his early 30's and got married last year to an amazing girl who was suffering from breast cancer when they met. They both have to face the reality of an early death, but Lara is clear now, but Miley needs a lung transplant. Mikey is an amazing artist and musician and does as much as his failing health will allow. He also makes the most amazing wooden drum kits from scratch when he has the energy. I have attached a photo of them both. - Joy E.
20. Crohn's and Colitis Foundation
When I was 30 years old and in the best shape of my life, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease. While I was studying to become a doctor of physical therapy, I was also fighting a losing battle with my body. After two painful years of sickness, exhaustion, drugs, holistic remedies, and horror stories of losing control of my bowels in public places, my doctors had to remove my entire colon. Lucky for me, I live in NYC and have access to the very best surgeons and doctors who performed two advanced procedures that now allow for me to live a normal life. I have been able to carry two healthy babies to term, graduate from NYU with my doctorate, and I have recently opened my own women's health physical therapy practice here in NYC (reformptnyc.com). - Abby B.
21. Connecting to Cure
Los Angeles, CA
I chose to become an NP in the field of pediatric IBD due to my own struggles as a child with Ulcerative Colitis. I moved to Los Angeles to work with the best in the field, not knowing a single person on the west coast. This foundation, run by Stacy Dylan has been a godsend to our patients and has personally helped me to start one of my dreams. They have been funding a monthly yoga group for my patients which has been wonderful! They also raise funs for the research that is being conducted where I work, at Cedars Sinai, in finding a cure for Crohns and Ulcerative colitis.- Morgan C.
22. Michael J. Fox Foundation
New York, NY
My father has been living with Parkinson’s Disease for the past 12 years. It’s unbelievable how many people are living with Parkinson’s and how many people have lost their lives to Parkinson’s Disease. It’s heartbreaking to see someone you love go through this disease, and there’s still no cure. The funds that are donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation are used towards funding research and finding a cure. - Melissa A.
23. Charcot Marie Tooth Association
Charcot Marie Tooth, or CMT is a genetic neurological disorder that affects the extremities of one's body. It causes depletion of motor and sensory neurons of the arms and legs over time. Approximately 1 in 2,500 people have this disorder, which is actually more than those with Multiple Sclerosis. The reason most people haven't heard of CMT is because it's often misdiagnosed. Unfortunately, there are numerous types of CMT, which makes this a tough disease to eradicate. The reason I care about this organization is because my father has CMT2A. He developed this disease in high school when he wasn't able to keep up with the kids on his track team. He's now in his mid-50s and has difficulties walking, balancing, feeling his legs, hearing, numbness and tingling in his feet, and his hands have tremors. I have 7 other people in my family with this disorder; and luckily it's male dominant in my family, so my sister and I only had a 50% chance of developing CMT. The CMTA is working to find cures for all types. Some of their current breakthroughs include stem cell models for CMT1A and drug screens for CMT2A. This is very exciting, because there is finally hope! . - Anna S.
24. Unity Health Care, Inc
District of Columbia
Unity Health Care, Inc is a nonprofit a safety-net provider to many people who otherwise would go without medical and dental care, and treat everyone even if they cannot pay for our services. We are a Federally Qualified Health Center, which means that we do get some money from the government to care for our patients, but we also rely on fundraisers and donations to help defray the cost of running our clinics. I have been working as a dentist here for over six years, and I cannot imagine working anywhere else. The doctors, nurses, medical assistants, techs, dental assistants and physician's assistants that I work with are perpetually caring and giving to our patients, working long and sometimes stressful hours, but all love what they do because they are helping people, some of whom have nowhere else to go. I have seen patients cry with relief that I am able to give them dental care, after being told by other places they did not have money to get their infections treated or their teeth fixed. - Amanda J.
This charity has had an impact on my because it was founded by a long time friend of my family, Al Musella. Al’s wife and I grew up together and when her sister (his sister-in-law) Lana was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1992, he stepped up in the most amazing way and found treatment options that would help extend her life. His efforts eventually became the Musella Foundation which is dedicated to helping brain tumor patients through emotional and financial support, education, advocacy and raising money for brain tumor research. Al is a podiatrist and a father, he had no special training in oncology or fundraising but he had a sincere desire to save his sister-in-law’s life. He gave her 8 more years than the best doctors thought she would have. That passion is inspiring and it serves as a reminder to me that one person can make a huge difference. - Tara H.
Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports is an amazing non-profit nestled in the mountains of Vermont. I started out as an intern for Vermont Adaptive, and now work there full time. At Vermont Adaptive, we offer year-round programming to athletes of all (dis)abilities, cognitive & physical, regardless of their ability to pay. Being apart of the Vermont Adaptive tribe has opened my eyes in many ways. I am a very active person and have been that way my whole life. Yoga, spinning, kickboxing, running. I am ALWAYS moving. Not everyone has it that easy, and Vermont Adaptive has made me realize that. Any type of adaptive sporting equipment does not come cheap, and is not the easiest to come by. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, you deserve to get out and get moving. Vermont Adaptive makes this possible for so many people. - Dominique G.
27. The Lupus Foundation of America
Philadelphia Tri-State Chapter
I have Lupus, my brother has Lupus and my sister Maureen died from complications from Lupus. I talk about Lupus because of Maureen, the years she lived with Lupus, and the challenges she faced. If you are not familiar with it, systemic lupus can be a debilitating and deadly disease that attacks tissues in the body and when it decides to go after vital organ tissue it typically shortens lives. I have been fortunate to have been able to keep my condition reasonably controlled through medication for more than 25 years. However, my sister was not as fortunate, Lupus impacted everything- her kidneys, heart, muscles. She faced extreme fatigue, but she never let the disease define the person she was. She was strong and she fought to the very end. She was very sick, but the one thing about Lupus is that you don't always look as sick as you are. I want to find a cure so that others do not have to leave with pain that my sister, Maureen did. - Annemarie
28. Alzheimer's Association
Alzheimer’s Association is near and dear to my heart. My mom suffers from it and I’ve called them in the middle of the night crying my eyes out with grief. They don’t charge for the immense support. - Juanita B.
29. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Since being diagnosed with CLL almost 2 years ago, I've used information and support groups from their organization to help my family understand what it is and how we can combat it. Aside from that, they do amazing work in the realm of research to help find cures. - Rachel M.
30. Joey’s P.A.W.
Joey’s P.A.W. was formed on the inspiration of a pup named Baby Joey. Joey was found at six weeks old with both of his rear legs intentionally severed and left to die. A compassionate passerby took Joey to receive medical treatment where Second Chance Rescue stepped in and welcomed Joey into their rescue. Joey was placed with his foster mom, Regina Mendoza, of Camp Second Chance Rescue. Regina took Joey to Water 4 Dogs were he was measured, fitted and molded for his prosthetic legs, and was also introduced to water therapy. With the help of Merrick Dog Care and donations Joey received his prosthetics from OrthoPets: Orthotics and Prosthetics for Animals. - Jamie M.
31. Catsbury Park
Asbury Park, NJ
Catsbury Park is a nonprofit founded in 2016 with the goal of finding furrever homes for cats and kittens. We are currently house 17 Cats in our cat cafe of the same name in Asbury Park, NJ. Many of our cats have medical costs and we have ongoing cat needs like litter, food, cleaning supplies. We pull cats from shelters are get them into our cafe where they are up for adoption and get to hang out with visitors getting love in a cafe free environment with lots of fun heading places, comfy beds and plenty of toys and treats. - Cherilyn W.
32. Twin Cities Pet Rescue
TCPR is a small, foster-based nonprofit animal rescue with a mighty mission: to find permanent, loving, stable homes for animals in need. TCPR's mission goes further to specialize in helping animals with special medical or behavioral conditions that require a little more time, energy, and money, and that are often overlooked by other rescue organizations. TCPR and K-DEER encompass so many similar qualities that enrich the lives of others and help provide support well beyond "just another pet" or "just another legging" by giving back to the community and providing ongoing support to improve the lives they touch! - LaToshia N.
33. Hounds in Pounds, Inc.
Georgia and New Jersey
This rescue is special to me because my family has been involved with them since 2015. I’ve volunteered at events, conducted home checks and interviews for possible adopters, helped foster, and adopted dogs from these kind and compassionate women. They run solely on donations from the public and are currently in an emergency position. Their funds are dangerously low due to the holiday season. Many people dump dogs before having company over, or simply leave them out in horrific conditions. Their motto is “Every Heartbeat Matters” and they truly, truly live by those words. They never turn away a dog. - Kristen G.
34. The Gentle Barn
Santa Clarita, California
Ellie Laks, the founder, had a lifetime vision of saving animals while teaching kindness and compassion that came to fruition with the first location in CA. The Gentle Barn takes abused, neglected and unwanted animals into their care and they teach them love and compassion so that they may let go of their pasts. In turn, these animals show love and kindness to at risk children and people everywhere with terrible pasts that they, too, can let go of their pasts and learn to love and be loved. Of course, they also teach that animals are sentient beings and hope to give all animals the love that they deserve. - Melissa H.
35. Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release
Penn Valley, CA.
I have been a volunteer Raptor Rehabber for 9 years for this organization. Our mission is to rescue, care for, and release orphaned and injured native wildlife. We rescue an average 1200 Raptors, songbirds, small mammals, and bats every year. We are entirely funded by donations and small grants, we get no government funding. Our budget is about $70,000 per year, and it is always a struggle to make ends meet. I'm attaching a picture of one of our non-releasable education ambassadors, whom we take to schools and community groups for the purpose of educating people about wildlife, the environment, and conservation. - Karen K.
36. Special Pals
SO many "shelters" are not shelters at all. Special Pals does a lot of good for the community with adoption events, low cost spay/neuter and more. - Colleen S.
37. Bow Wow Revolution
This completely volunteer organization based in Chicago pulls smaller breed dogs from Chicago Animal Control Shelter, places them with foster volunteers and when ready finds them forever homes. Many of the pups they rescue are seniors or have medical issues. Without this organization these babies would have been euthanized. We have fostered for them four times and adopted two pups from them. Jen Freels is the founder and I cannot say enough about the work she does. Above is Millie our latest foster who came to us a broken little girl sick as can be. She is adopted now and her new family loves her madly. - Alison M.
38. Austin Pets Alive
In addition to helping make Austin the largest “no kill” city in the nation, during Hurricane Harvey, APA! saved 5000+ pets. Their rescue work allows them to save dogs and cats most at risk for euthanasia such as kittens who need to be bottle fed and animals with curable diseases like ringworm. They also work to train dogs with behavioral challenges and save puppies with parvovirus with a program they pioneered. Additionally, they work to spread the no kill mission by leading the American Pets Alive conference each year and teaching their strategies to shelters across the nation. As a volunteer, I have gained so much knowledge about animal rescue and made tons of friends (both human and four-legged!) through APA! - Alicia C.
We have adopted 2 dogs from them and 4 cats they are Truly a Life saver. The First dog I got Saved my life. I was losing a battle with illness and He gave me the will to fight and my daughter adopted a dog one year ago. She is a Panda German Shepard and was abused, in very sad shape, weighed 20 lbs and was just skin and Bones. One year later she is amazing and my daughter loves her so - Kathy W.
I have 4 adopted fur-children. They have filled my life with unconditional love. And, they have filled my heart with joy. This organization is there when disaster's hit. They try to reunite pets with their families or find new forever homes for displaced animals. - Megan
41. Home For Good Dogs
Berkeley Heights, NJ
This is a dog rescue organization that truly works to save dogs. They rescue dogs from high kill shelters in the south, provide veterinary services and then bring them to NJ. They do not shy away from dogs that are ill or have been badly mistreated. They rehabilitate them and make sure they have a great home. It is truly run by volunteers and an amazing staff. They are working to build a larger facility in South Carolina so they can rescue even more dogs. My Cub Scout troop collected leashes and tower supplies last year for them and Home For Good dogs invited them to be part of an adoption day. What a blast my scouts had! This organization truly reaches out to their community and appreciates volunteers big and small. We rescued our sweet girl Sandy from them in September 2015. She is a great girl! - Erin K.
It’s been 70 days since Hurricane Maria struck and devastated the island, leaving many with no electricity or water. And STILL to this day, many areas are without power, clean water and necessities. My grandfather and uncle are currently living through this situation and while they are struggling, they are lucky enough to still have a home. - Mercedes R.
I work for Rise Against Hunger, an amazing organization dedicated to ending hunger by 2030. We’re doing this by nourishing lives, empowering communities and responding to emergencies all over the world. So far we’ve been able to impact over a million lives and have packaged over 350 million meals, which are distributed through transformational feeding programs such as schools, maternal and child health clinics and vocational training programs. - Toni M.
My best friend Nicole and her incredible family lost her brother 6 years ago, Joey was KIA in Afghanistan. The D’Augustine family has gone above and beyond running a non profit in Joeys name. Running a successful charity golf outing, Secret Santa for the Veterans and those are just a few. - Amanda T.
Santa Barbara, CA
Unite to Light is a nonprofit that manufactures and distributes solar lights to people without electricity across the world. Over the last 6 years we've distributed 80,000 solar lights. Our focus is on providing tools to people in need: children learning to read and study, midwives and health clinics, and disaster response - both natural and man-made. Between now and the end of the year our efforts are going to raise funds to send solar lights to help the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The Rohingya Muslims are fleeing genocide in Myanmar and over 600,000 have crossed into Bangladesh. Bangladesh is having trouble suppling basic needs for the refugees. We are working with an on the ground aid organization there called RTMI and the UNFPA to bring light to the refugees. For every $10 we raise, we are able to send one solar light. While a light might now seem that important to you and I, we have actually found that this simple tool can provide hope, dignity and protection to those without electricity. Imagine you're a mother with a sick child. With no electricity, you might have a candle if you're lucky, but when it gets dark, there is no way to help your child. Communication, mobility (using the latrine), and even personal safety are all inhibited by the dark. A light allows you to better protect your children, communicate with your neighbors, ask for help. Imagine losing everything and living in the dark.- Megan B.