Giving Tuesday

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s nice to have a day dedicated to charitable giving.  Each year in November, I use the tip money I receive through my job to donate to a cause that is meaningful to me and receives good reviews.

This year I chose the Guide Dog Foundation and Vet Dogs.  It is located in my home state, and I have bought holiday cards from them in the past.  They have sent me a quarterly newsletter and I have been so impressed by their dedication to the animals and their human companions.

Video: VetDogs, youtube

Last year I gave to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and I continue to foster an elephant there.  It is an amazing organization in Kenya, dedicated to rescuing elephants (and rhinos and giraffes).

Video: DSWT, youtube



Jared Leto’s World Wildlife appeal

I got an email from actor Jared Leto.  Not a personal email, although he used my name.  Rather, he is an ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund, and they are currently running a fundraising campaign to save Asian elephants in Myanmar.

Last week I posted about the current crisis in Myanmar, and how poachers are now selling elephant skin as “medicine”, even though there is no real scientific evidence that elephant skin has any benefit for human health.

Jared writes:

Elephant poaching rates since January have already surpassed the annual average for Myanmar—this is truly a crisis. Most of the poaching is happening in two areas: Bago Yoma and Ayeyarwady Delta, where poachers can gain easy access. At this rate, wild Asian elephants could vanish from these areas in just one or two years…

WWF has an emergency action plan to stop the poaching. With your support, WWF will train, equip and deploy 10 anti-poaching teams to the most vulnerable areas, and implement a thorough plan to stop the slaughter.

So far, the campaign has raised $80,000.  The goal is $230,000, so if you’re looking for a good cause for donatations, please consider this!

Sana Sana

I began my work as a full time massage therapist last November. One way I tried to promote the business was to give my November tips to a charitable organization.  Last year, thanks to the generosity of clients, I was able to donate just over $200 to lung cancer research to the local university. One of my friends had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and one of my mother’s friends had died of the disease that year, so the donation was personal as well.  In the end, I decided that the personal reasons far outweighed the business ones.

So this fall, I began to brainstorm which organization would be meaningful for this year’s donation.   I saw a story on BBC at the beginning of September that discussed the dire situation of elephants. In one decade, numbers had declined by a third.  An aerial census in Africa shocked even the experts.

At the end of November, I began to read the elephant orphan profiles at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  It was so hard to decide on which four elephants to foster as each elephant has an amazing story.


Sana Sana’s story was one of the ones which touched me most.  She was found alone, injured by a hyena, and weak from lack of nutrition.  Mourning her family, she remained separate from the other elephants at the Trust, but elephants are very family oriented and many of the older orphans encouraged her to join their group.  Today she is a happy, healthy elephant.

photo: Sana Sana, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust