Monday, September 28, 2009

Help Me Help Others

I feel like I have so much to give, but not enough resources to do the things I want to do. My goal in life is to help others. I understand that I am doing that with my blog and that just by sharing my story it helps people, but I want to do so much more. I see all the people hurting around the world; I hear all the stories of others who need help. It saddens me to think that I cannot do everything and help everyone.

There are people out there who have lost their homes, their jobs, their family and they have nowhere to turn. There are people with disabilities who need medical equipment, physical therapy, even remodeling done on their homes that they aren't able to get around in. I've always said that I wanted to start a nonprofit organization to help others in need. I'm just not quite sure how to go about doing that. If anyone has ideas let me know.



Teoni said...

In the UK, we have a system where we have to register the system..Also, for young adults there are oppurtunities to receive grants from organizations.
Alot of people also write to big stores/brands :)

Not sure if its the same there though obviously :P
Take Care x

Steph said...

Pay it forward. Have you ever seen the movie? Random acts of kindness, keep it going. It works wonders.

Anonymous said...


I found this information on the "Christopher Reeve Foundation" website...

The Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Program awards grants to non-profit organizations that provide services to individuals with paralysis.

Quality of Life grants, conceived by the late Dana Reeve, are awarded to programs or projects that improve the daily lives of people with paralysis, with some emphasis on, but not limited to, paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries. She started the Quality of Life grants program to recognize and support organizations that help disabled individuals, their families and caregivers in ways that more immediately give them increased independence, day-to-day happiness, and improved access.

Funding is awarded twice yearly to programs in three broad categories that are called the ABCs of Quality of Life: Actively Achieving, Bridging Barriers, and Caring and Coping.

Actively Achieving projects enable people with paralysis to get out and live -- ride a bike, compete in sports, climb a mountain, hike a trail, train for a job, play with friends on a totally accessible playground, work out in a fitness program and much more.

Bridging Barriers projects help people with paralysis to overcome obstacles to full participation in society --operate voice-activated computer technology, modify homes and buildings to make them wheelchair accessible, help with legal problems, access transportation services, and more.

Caring and Coping projects help take care of both the individuals with paralysis and the people that care for them -- caregiver support and respite, peer networks, support groups, counseling, consumer and healthcare professional educational conferences, specialized training for healthcare professionals and more.

Some Quality of Life grants are funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Award #1U59DD000338). These grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that address that needs of people living with paralysis caused by spinal cord and other injuries, diseases and birth conditions, including (but not limited to) stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral scleroses (ALS).

The Reeve Foundation gives special consideration to organizations that serve returning wounded military and their families, and to those that provide targeted services to diverse cultural communities.

Since 1999, the Reeve Foundation has provided almost 1,600 grants totaling nearly $13 million to organizations worldwide that help improve opportunities, access and day-to-day quality of life for individuals living with paralysis and their families. This program recognizes the unique and numerous needs of these individuals and the importance of providing services and programs that enable them to participate in all areas of life.

Jenni, this sounds like a wonderful organization. Perhaps you could start a "Jenni Taylor Foundation" and they could help you with a grant to get it started..... or maybe they could provide you with some funds that would allow you to pursue your writing or public speaking goals. At least its a place to start to get some ideas on how you can be of help to people facing similar issues. Just a thought....

Matthew Smith said...

Hi there,

Sorry I took so long to respond.

I think you need to know exactly what you want to do with this organisation and who you want to help. As Anonymous pointed out, you won't be the first person in this situation to do this. Besides Christopher Reeve, there's Cindy Donald in Georgia and Hilary Lister here in the UK, and I believe Kim Robbins (AKA WildKat) may be setting one up in Canada. The last two, for example, are to fund sporting activities for disabled people, specifically sailing in Hilary's case, more generally in Kim's case.

You'll need quite specific goals if you want it to go anywhere, let alone if you want funding. What did you think of the idea I mentioned in my post on Hilary Lister which you commented on, i.e. a foundation to provide company and entertainment, and other things beyond basic care for severely disabled (or, perhaps, elderly) people?

cmh said...