If you're expecting a tax refund this year, you've probably already decided what you're going to do with the money and thinking of fun ways to spend the extra cash! The simple truth is that giving a small portion of money away is one of the best ways to become more mindful of how others need our help.
Here's an opportunity to support charitable causes in the ostomy community and do something that can make a big impact in the lives of ostomates. No matter what your circumstances (other than extreme exceptions), donating to charity gives you a chance to give a little back. How about these ideas?
Give to the United Ostomy Associations of America.
The victories that are won for ostomy awareness wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of the United Ostomy Associations of America. Their mission is to make the world a better place for ostomates. Giving a donation to help UOAA’s advocacy efforts, educational programs and ostomy awareness campaigns benefits all of us.
Sponsor a camper for Youth Rally 2018.
Use your tax refund to sponsor a child who would like to attend summer camp. For more than 30 years, Youth Rally has been a community for young people to meet others who live with similar medical conditions. Your donation will make a difference in the lives of young ostomates.
Buy an “Awesome Ollie” ostomy bear.
Do you know a child with an ostomy? Spend your tax refund on a toy that is cute and cuddly with a red button for a stoma with a removable velcro ostomy pouch. Dawnette, the voice of Awesome Ostomy, created AWESOME OLLIE and her goal is to secure funding and provide free Awesome Ollie Ostomy Bears to children’s hospitals all across the United States.
Donate to Friends of Ostomates Worldwide–USA.
The mission of Friends of Ostomates Worldwide-USA (FOW-USA) is to provide ostomy supplies and educational resources at no cost to ostomates in need around the world. They rely on monetary donations to ship products all over the globe. Support their mission by donating to FOW-USA. You can also donate new unused ostomy supplies, all brands and sizes are accepted, including pediatric. Donors pay for the shipping costs at their own expense. Ship or bring your supply donation to:
4018 Bishop Lane
Louisville, KY 40218-4539
“GoFund” ostomates in need of financial assistance.
There are ostomates who pay out-of-pocket (retail prices!) for ostomy supplies, miss work while recovering from surgery, or may have medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. When they need financial assistance, many turn to GoFundMe and set up a personal donation page. Use your tax refund to show fellow ostomates that we’re all in this together — it's definitely needed.
Support advocates in the ostomy community.
There are several individuals who care so much about ostomates, that they spend almost all their spare time advocating for the ostomy community. It's so important to support their efforts because without continuous involvement, ostomy awareness could not move forward in a positive direction. Here are just a few amazing advocates who accept donations on their website:
Before you spend your tax refund, ask yourself — how can I use this money in a way that will benefit ostomates? And if you didn’t receive a tax refund this year but still want to make a difference, you can help us grow by sharing our articles, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join OC Weekly to stay connected!