by Holly O’Driscoll
The whole Komen-Planned Parenthood kerfuffle (I LOVE that word) has me thinking — why donate to a mega charity that pays its CEO $400,000 or more a year (both Koman & PP do!), when so many local non-profits need funds to help people right here. Small donations made by many people could help so many of our neighbors. Think what local charities could do with those two salaries ($800,000-plus). An even better plan: Donate money if you can, but find a way volunteer TIME. Nevada has about 3,000 registered non-profit organizations — likely a cause for just about everyone.
Here are a few options:
Moms On The Run is a Reno-based non-profit organization created to assist local cancer patients during their treatment when it is at times very difficult to keep rent paid, buy groceries and pay for other living expenses. Pinocchio’s Bar & Grill is sponsoring its 12th annual Mother’s Day race with a 5K & 10K run, plus walking events on Sunday May 13. All the money raised helps LOCAL women with cancer. My daughter for years played in charity basketball games to benefit Moms on the Run; other groups host concerts, fashion shows and more.
Casa de Vida, Reno offers support to teens who choose to carry their pregnancy to term. Casa de Vida is a private, nonprofit corporation providing a home and support services for pregnant young women. While some teens facing a crisis pregnancy have the support of a loving family, many others are less fortunate. They are frightened, disillusioned, and often without a safe place to live. Casa de Vida is a place to call home for any young woman facing this difficult situation.
Children born into sad situations, without supportive adults in their lives abound. Poverty, neglect and abuse are realities for so many in this area. Volunteering in a school as a tutor, teacher’s aide or other support person helps children in need. A teacher friend told me that working one on one with a child for just 15 minutes a week can spur tremendous educational gains. Washoe County School District, the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brother Big Sister, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and so many other organizations always need help — and money.
Washoe County Health Services and HAWC Community Health Centers offer low-cost help to the uninsured and under-insured and working poor in the Reno/Sparks area.
For 10 years, HAWC, which is supported by federal grants and donor gifts, serves women, children and the homeless — regardless of ability to pay.
Let’s piggy back on the buy-local/buy “Made in the USA” movements. Donating and volunteering locally can make a huge difference. This week I read that it takes more than 5,000 entry fees in a “Race for the Cure” event just to pay the CEO’s salary. Wow … I had no idea. My money — and time — may be better spent right here in Reno. Consider it. It’s good business.
Know of a charity that helps local women, cancer patients, children or pregnant teens? Spread the word — and add a note here.