Christmas Causes

More and more I hear that my friends and their spouses are donating to charities in lieu of giving gifts to each other for Christmas. In fact, my parents decided to do this instead of gifting myself and my husband last year. My husband and I routinely donate to our church, missions, and various charities throughout the year. Here are some of my favorite causes/charities that I have a personal connection to that you may consider donating to this year!

This one is very personal to me. I lost a very good friend, college professor, and mother figure suddenly in September. We lost Marilouise (Mel) due to a brain aneurysm at the age of 56. I met Mel and her family shortly after I started my college career. Not only did Mel welcome me as her children's caregiver, but as the member of the family. Being 4 hours from home the clan became my family. 

She had a brilliant, creative mind and loved passionately. Mel had a huge influence in making me the strong, female voice that I am today. She was brave, loud, and always stood up for what she believed in. She lived selflessly, even donating a portion of her living to a former Clarion student. I know most people in this blog world didn't know her personally, but if you're a theater junkie, want to honor a fierce feminist, or honor a mom, think about donating! She was also a yoga instructor and life coach. Donations can sent to:
Marilouise Michel Theater Scholarship Fund
c/o the Clarion University Foundation, Inc.
840 Wood Street
Clarion, PA 16214

Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. MHA's work is driven by their commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services, early identification and intervention for those at risk, and integrated care and treatment, with recovery as the goal. MHA's current work is guided by the Before Stage 4 (#B4Stage4) philosophy - that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process. As an individual who has dealt with anxiety and depression for over half my life, Mental Health American is a charity that I often donate my time and money to.

I had open heart surgery 31 years ago for a congenital heart defect known as an atrial septal defect (ASD). Approximately 1 in every 100 children are born with a heart defect, but only 20% have access to the cardiac care they need.The mission of ICHF is to bring the skills, technology, and knowledge to cure and care for children with congenital heart disease in developing nations. ICHF does this regardless of the country of origin, race, religion, or gender. Volunteers of ICHF have operated on children through medical missions trips in countries/regions including North America, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia, the Caribbean, Central America, and Europe.  The organization's goal is make the need for ICHF obsolete through education of local healthcare professionals which is provided through missions.


  1. What a wonderful selfless post. Thanks for sharing these causes.

  2. I really love this idea. We're aiming for a much more minimalist Christmas experience for us and our kids, and I love the idea of keeping in the season of giving. This is truly beautiful (and humbling!)

  3. This is seriously such a wonderful and caring idea ♥ I will be keeping this in mind for next year!