Helping our friends

In case you haven’t noticed – who could miss it – the US Economy is still weak. And I know from personal experience that community based organizations are the first to take a financial hit: I voluntarily left a small agricultural museum when we were struggling. After the events of September 11, 2001, tourism dropped dramatically and we were barely hanging on.

But that was then and this is 2009. Smaller support and advocacy organizations are feeling the heat. Donations are down across the board. A friend works with a community food bank, and according to him, “We’re keeping the lights on and not much else.”

So… how’s your Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) support group doing? They may have a policy of not releasing financial information, but if you have been a member for any length of time, you can tell. But I know from experience that a lot of them are hurting – and they are cutting services to the bone, just trying to survive.

Your CHD organization would certainly appricate a donation, and every little bit helps. To be completely honest, I’m going through my own money crunch right now and I haven’t donated to the ACHA in a while… but as soon as I work this out, I am going to.

Another thing that you can do is learn how to share your story. With everyone cutting back, your support group’s Outreach and Advocacy programs have certainly been reduced. No one’s telling about all the great things that they are doing and the people that they are helping.

And that’s where all of us can help. If you have a CHD or you are the parent of a Cardiac Kid, you’ve got an amazing story to tell. Think it through, write it out, and learn how to tell it. I wrote about how to tell your story back in December; you can read those posts HERE and HERE. And be sure to mention your support group – they’re the gang that will ride into battle with you; and they are there for you through thick and thin. This time they are hurting and its only right that you come to their rescue.

There are approximately two million of us living with a Congenital Heart Defect. If we all start telling our stories, we can raise awareness and help our support groups survive the economic downturn.

It’s up to us;

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