Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Million Ways to Help!

Today at work a discussion about GoFundMe pages was brought up.

This new "crowd funding" seems to have taken off.  I remember when I first became aware of GoFundMe I thought it was a pretty cool idea.  What a cool way to raise money or help support a family or cause.

Now, not so much.

I recently became aware of a page that was created by a young lady who carried a unborn child that she said had been diagnosed with a number of medical conditions and abnormalities.  She wasn't someone I knew personally, but we shared a few mutual mom friends.

What I witnessed from this mother was abuse of what these pages stand for.

I was disgusted by the constant requests for "help" and endless posts on her FB page to the link of her GoFundMe account.  When I noticed that her goal amount more than doubled I was infuriated and her explanation was not convincing or justified. I became privy to some information about this young lady using other individuals; who in my opinion really needed help themselves, & reciting and posting her sob story to anyone and any support board who would listen.

Her stories didn't really hold up all the time and it became apparent that she was using her unfortunate situation and her unborn child for financial gain.

People like her really make it hard for families and individuals who really need help.

But there are other ways that people can provide support without having to fall victim to a scam or a con artist.

Here are some ways that you can lend your support to a family of a child with special needs or a family who is really needing help during a hard time.

1. Proactively calling and doing a welfare check.  It's as simple as picking up a phone and calling so that they can hear your voice. Usually people will text and say "let me know if you need something". Honestly, the individuals probably won't. Take the extra step to reach out on your own.

2. Preparing a meal.  Hospital stays, multiple appointments among other things are physically and mentally exhausting.  Taking a family dinner is a great way to show your support. It's one less thing that someone in the home has to worry about doing and it offers a break that the family may not get often.

3. Donating to their preferred charities. It's simple and tax deductible.

4. Being great company. If your time allows just sitting and talking will allow mom or dad to escape for a little while. You may find it surprising that they would just like to hear about you and your family and what's going on in your world.  The conversation doesn't have to revolve around their child and his/her problems or issues. It's a mental break.

5. Offering to do laundry, wash dishes, run errands, or even be their chaueffer etc.   I know the laundry may be a little personal, but towels, baby clothing, bedding etc. It couldn't hurt.  Running the errands for the family(stuff still has to get done) or even driving mom/dad around to run their errands. How often are they in the passenger seat?

The list is short, but I just wanted to give some suggestions that I thought were reasonable and not too time consuming because everyones time is valuable.

I think it's a great starting point and someone may just take you up on your offer!




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