Through volunteering with local nonprofits
The impact volunteering has made on my life is far grander than I could have predicted. If you live in Tulsa, it is impossible to not be involved with an organization. Tulsa is constantly named one of the top philanthropic cities in the country. The opportunity to discover a new community with volunteering is endless.
Melissa Bryce Gamble, who founded the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders (GFPD), invited me to volunteer with her organization over 3 years ago. This simple invite allowed me the avenue to feel the impact of volunteering. Despite her daughter losing her life far too young, she channels that tragedy to help other families impacted by the same disease. I not only could not properly pronounce the disorders correctly, I did not immediately see what I could do to help this organization. But I am a huge believer in fate, so I knew there was a reason that she asked me to be part of something so special to her. Once I found my place to help, I was more than invested in this organization. I am proud to have been the chair for the now-yearly fundraiser Hues for Hope. This event was inspired by the fact that Melissa wears pink in honor of her daughter Ginny. No matter what happens in life all of us have to find moments of joy. Colors, lights and art help these kids and families deal with a disease that is selfish.
The organization that is the closest to my heart is 12&12. Having the opportunity to lead a group of volunteers to help others dealing with addiction is humbling. Over the past year I have been told more than 10 times that the services offered to addicts today could have saved my Dad. That is forever in my mind. This volunteer group is brand-new to the organization. Our mission is to spread awareness about the services 12&12 offers, to help break the stigma of addiction, to help raise funds for the organizations and to plan 12&12 Day! Currently we are working on finding in-kind donations to offset the daily costs. It is still shocking to me how many people feel uncomfortable talking about someone who is suffering from addiction. But I know we all have our own pace in life. I just want everyone to know I am always here to listen and never judge. Without my community when my Dad was suffering, there is no way I would be able to have the life I do today.
Since people know I love learning about other nonprofits, my family got the chance to tour Dream Houses for DVIS. This is one of the most clever fundraisers I have ever seen. Local companies created these stellar play houses. Anyone has the chance to have one of these houses. All you have to do is purchase a raffle ticket until April 20 at dvisdreamhouses.org. I'm hoping we are one of the lucky winners. If you have time this week to stop by Woodland Hills Mall, you can see these impressive play houses. Because of this fundraiser I will now continue to follow this organization.
After my experience with GFPD, I realized 100% that everyone can help support a non-profit. And I can never say thank you enough to each person who has supported causes very close to my heart. If you bought a raffle ticket, liked a post on social media, provided a potential sponsorship name, asked me about the non-profit or made a donation, you all helped this nonprofit. This year I am trying to do better about sending more formal thank yous. So please for now accept this as my HUGE THANK YOU! All of those things that may seem small are not. And these organizations and volunteers appreciate these gestures more than words can express.
If anyone reading this would like to volunteer with any of these organizations, please let me know. We would love to have you. And here are some important dates to put on your calendar to support these non-profits!
DVIS- Raffle tickets are on sale until 4.20.19 http://www.dvisdreamhouses.org/
Go Red for Women Lunch 5.10.19 https://ahatulsa.ejoinme.org/
Hues for Hope - Fundraiser for GFPD 10.4.19 https://www.huesforhope.org/
12&12 Day- 12.12.19 - https://12and12.org/
The beautiful thing about these communities is they leave a permanent impact on your heart. They also remind you life is way too short and spend your time just as you would like!