Because each of us are philanthropists every time we give.

Happy National Philanthropy Day! This most generous of holidays was founded to promote giving and celebrate ‘the love of humankind’. In 1986, President Ronald Reagan was the first world leader to declare November 15 as an official day to honor the charitable work everyone does to positively impact their communities. 

#philanthroship for ostomates was created as part of our commitment to give back to the ostomy community. Many are astounded when they first hear about people with an ostomy who are living without modern day supplies. I often am asked: How do they live? What do they use? Why don't they have ostomy supplies?

It’s a big problem and there are many reasons why, here are just a few:

- Unfortunately, many brave ostomates return home from the hospital with the *shocking* news that necessary supplies aren't covered by their insurance policy.

- Some ostomates do not have health insurance and cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket because of the high cost.

- Sadly, ostomates are dealing with emergency situations, such as a natural disaster.

Here's the other issue. Many people would like to donate their excess ostomy supplies to those in need, but sometimes that requires shipping and the expense of postage often stops them. This is the reason why #philanthroship for ostomates was created — philanthropy + shipping. A campaign started in July, 2017 to help cover the cost of postage when mailing donated ostomy supplies to those who need it most.

Recently natural disasters have topped headlines all around the world. There has been so much devastation it has left a lot of people feeling heartbroken. When Hurricane Harvey slammed the Texas Gulf Coast in August we connected with Pia Chaudhury from Houston. Her father was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer and had colostomy surgery this past April. The damage she described was upsetting, “Our house and cars could not be salvaged, and all of his colostomy supplies didn’t make it.” Pia was dealing with an unlivable home, no transportation, and completely overwhelmed finding a new place for her mother and father to live. She reached out to an ostomy manufacturer who told her to contact the local ostomy support group for help, which led her to us. We shipped Pia’s father enough colostomy supplies to last several months and told her to call back if he needed more.

“Donated ostomy supplies were much needed from a financial perspective to recover what was lost, but also to give us peace of mind. It was one less thing to worry about while we were trying to rebuild our lives and continue with my father's cancer treatment. We truly appreciate your help in our greatest time of need.”

– Pia Chaudhury

I'm so grateful for every gift because without this pay-it-forward initiative would not exist today. I wish to offer a special thanks to the following people for generously giving of their time, contributions and donations:

Emily & Matthew Boa; Patrick Devereaux; Joann Dentinger; Suzanne & Christopher Doré; Christin McClurern, WOCN; Amanda Parrin; Kemp Family Foundation; Robin Glover; Tanya Vo, WOCN; Donna Luce; Ralph Hartsock; Stacey Morgan; M.R. Grant; Eileen Kersul; Dave Darnell; Rita Whitney, WOCN; Daisianne Younger; Seth Weatherly.

Philanthropy has many meanings – kindness, goodwill, and generosity – but the most important definitions are the ones we make. So many of you have helped promote this campaign, and to me that is philanthropic. I am honored to be part of such an amazing and supportive community.