Give and Get: Why Engaging in Your Community Matters

Give and Get: Why Engaging in Your Community Matters

 

All around the world, there are organizations whose sole purpose is to help others. Most of these, are nonprofit organizations. With so many causes that need the support of society, it isn’t hard to find one that you can help. Being a part of a community, of any size, includes giving to those who are less fortunate. There is great value for all parties when community involvement and engagement has a strong presence. Here are just a few ways that you can gain from giving.

 

Perspective

One of the most powerful takeaways from working with those in need is a new outlook in life. Especially for first time volunteers or donors, seeing the people who need the aid from nonprofits, can leave a lasting impression. These encounters often help us see that what we have is good. Life could be a lot worse and getting a glimpse into that life can drastically jolt one’s perspective. There is no greater gift then understanding the true meaning of being grateful for what you’ve got in your life.

 

Business Benefits

If any for-profit company doesn’t give back to their community, they are doing it wrong. Sure, the CEO can write a check every year, but the entire company does not benefit from the donation. Coming together and collaborating to help others is a fantastic way for teams to bond. Many organizations offer incentives to companies who send large groups to volunteer. In addition, it is a great way to build up a positive reputation within your community. Patrons are more likely to choose a business who partakes in philanthropic acts over ones who refrain.

 

Health & Wellness

If the first two reasons weren’t enough for you, this will surely spark your urge to get your charity on. Those who participate in volunteer opportunities gain countless health and wellness benefits. Mental and physical health, both improve from partaking in charitable acts. Choosing an event that includes physical activity (5k run, donation drive, children’s activities)  keeps one in shape while contributing to the community. Additionally, those who work closely with nonprofits often have less stress in their lives. Less stress means a clearer conscious and improved mental health.

 

Non Profit Spotlight: Fight Colorectal Cancer

Non Profit Spotlight: Fight Colorectal Cancer

Also known as colon or bowel cancer, colorectal cancer is the growth of cancer in the colon or rectum. It may be caused by old age, lifestyle and in rare cases, genetic factors (non-polyposis cancer that is hereditary). Other risk factors are diet (processed meat and alcohol), obesity, an absence of physical activity and smoking. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease are also a risk factor. The associated symptoms of colorectal cancer include weight loss, changed bowel movements and blood spots in the stool. Treatment is usually a combination of radio and chemotherapy and surgery. Surgery can cure cancer confined to the colon walls, if widespread, it cannot be cured, but is managed to improve the symptoms and the patients’ quality of life.

 

About Fight Colorectal Cancer

Founded in 2005, Fight Colorectal Cancer is an organization that aims at reducing deaths attributed to the disease. It also aims at finding a cure for colorectal cancer. The organization advocates for research into colorectal cancer and also offers training and provides grants to scientists working towards a cure for the disease. They do this through what they term as five ways to fight. They include:

 

  • Patient resources

 

    • It creates a resource center that is credible and contains resources that have been medically reviewed. This helps patients in making informed decisions concerning their health. The educational materials, found free online, give information on diagnosis, available treatment options and how to handle life with colorectal cancer. This keeps patients constantly informed.

 

 

  • Research

 

    • The organization follows studies that cover the basic biology, prevention of the disease, its treatment and how to survive it. They involve their researchers and help fund any project that may be groundbreaking in the field of colorectal cancer. The organization also has medical experts on its medical advisory board.

 

 

  • Advocacy

 

    • The organization, through forming coalitions with policy makers and other regulatory agencies have managed to build solid relations with leaders to ensure colorectal cancer and persons suffering from it are considered in policy decisions.

 

 

  • Awareness

 

    • Through awareness programmes like One million strong, kids awareness activities, online ambassadors; and events like sparks of strength luminary event, the organization has managed to create awareness around colorectal cancer.

 

 

  • Philanthropy

 

    • Fight colorectal cancer also encourages donations from members of the public. This can be through fundraising programmes, personal donations or donations to its research programmes.

 

Non Profit Spotlight: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – JDRF

Non Profit Spotlight: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – JDRF

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or JDRF is dedicated to supporting patients with Type 1 or juvenile onset diabetes and their families. The foundation also promotes research toward eliminating the disease and advocates for legislative support for patients and families. Since its inception, JDRF has contributed $2 billion in research funding toward the disease.

Research

Through its fundraising activities, JDRF helps to pay for life-saving research into the causes and prevention of juvenile diabetes, as well as daily management of its symptoms. The organization is currently involved in several different research fronts, including the artificial pancreas and beta cell replacement.

The artificial pancreas is a new medical device that provides blood sugar control 24 hours a day. Monitoring blood sugar levels, the device provides the patient with a targeted amount of insulin and other hormones to stabilize the patient. This device has the potential to greatly simplify the lives of Type 1 diabetics.

With beta cell replacement, patients may be able to stabilize their condition for months at a time. The small implant delivers insulin-producing cells directly into the bloodstream. When approved, this implant will revolutionalize diabetes treatment.

Advocacy

JDRF is an important voice for patients and their families, encouraging lawmakers to consider the needs of Type 1 diabetics when making health care and financial decisions. JDRF is also involved in securing research funding through government programs. The organization has also been a strong supporter of protections for pre-existing conditions, benefiting not just Type 1 diabetes sufferers, but patients with all chronic diseases.

Recently, their Coverage2Control program has successfully persuaded some of the largest insurance companies to cover the artificial pancreas system. The JDRF also supported the coverage of insulin replacement systems through Medicare.

Family Support

JDRF is involved in providing day-to-day support for patients and their doctors. The JDRF web site features a wealth of health care information for child and adult patients with the condition. The web site provides one-on-one support for patients as well as hosting online support groups. The web site also has a section focused on the day-to-day care of the disease, including symptoms and treatments.

Leadership for the Community

Combining research, advocacy, and patient support, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is an invaluable part of the medical community. Its research promotes better living for patients with the condition.