I posted this on the Celtic Thunder forum earlier in the week and I'm sharing this here so more people can see it. Sharon has requested that we not send gifts to Ireland. The hosptial is unable to accept any gifts due to their own policies and the shipping of gifts to Ireland is starting to become very pricey for the lads. They now have to pay a customs fee on every gift mailed and if that fee is not paid (because they're on tour or something) then the gift is returned to the sender. And giving gifts on the road can add up a lot in luggage fees when it's time for them to go home. I'd love to see a move toward no physical gifts but I know that won't happen.
So, I have put together a list of various charities. Personally, I feel that giving to a charity in someone's name is much nicer than a physical gift. You're helpling someone else and I know all of the lads would appreciate that. And, most charities will send a card to the person to let them know. And if they don't you can make one yourself.
I'd like to see this become a "Thunderhead Community" thing so if you feel I've left out a charity or there's one you'd like to add please do so. I'd love to see the list grow and let people pick and choose as they wish.
1. Tír na nÓg G.A.C
This is the sports club in the Moy that Ryan played for in his youth and continues to support.
Tír na nÓg is Ryan Kelly's charity of choice. This is the one that him, his family, and his friends care the most about. If you are planning on giving please make this one your first choice. The others are here if you want to choose a second one. If you give please post in this thread so we know.
2. St Patrick's Cathedral
With Ryan's love of NYC and since St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland I felt this one was an obvious choice. You can light a "virtual" candle and any money you donate goes to the church.
3. Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
I chose this one because it's close to me due to a spinal injury I suffered in my teens but because of Christopher Reeve's close ties to the theatre and Ryan's love of theatre. If you choose this option you will be asked where you want your funds sent. I chose Born for Broadway
because they had their last event the same night as Ryan & Neil's last Yonker's concert. The foundation also has a store
if you have a birthday or something coming up and think someone would like something. I'm planning on getting one of the polos for my brother.
This is a charity that was suggested by Sharon herself and I thank her from the bottom of my heart for reaching out and helping us out.
5. Celtic Thunder's African Charity
Celtic Thunder's African Charity is always a good option.
6. Broadway Cares
This is another one I chose due to Ryan's theatrical background. They also have a store
to check out. I'm kinda in love with the sheep that sings "the Lonely Goatherd" from Sound of Music. I wish I had a kid to buy it for ;)
7. "Gracie's" Goal
For those of you who don't know "Gracie" is Ina Greenglass from Travel Concepts which is the travel agency Phil Coulter's Tranquility Cruise runs though. Some of our fellow cruisers have run into some hard times and are seeking help.
8. Soldier's Angels
An "adopt a soldier" program with other ways to help out.
9. The Children's Rare Disease Network
"The Children's Rare Disease Network is committed to developing an online community, programs, and resources that will provide a platform for communication and outreach across the entire spectrum of rare disease charities and related organizations."
"GOAL is an international humanitarian agency dedicated to alleviating the suffering of the poorest of the poor. We are a non-denominational, non-governmental and non-political organisation."
"Headway provides support and services to people affected by brain injury. Founded in 1985, we also work to heighten public and political awareness of acquired brain injury and the impact it has on individuals, families and carers"
12. Camphill Communities
"Camphill Communities of Ireland is part of an international charitable trust working with people with intellectual disabilities and other kinds of special needs."
13. Gilda's Club
"GCNYC has offered a place where men, women and children living with cancer – and their families and friends – can join together to build social and emotional support as a supplement to medical care."
14. Smile Train
Smile Train - "Every year, thousands of children in developing countries are born with disfiguring clefts"
15. Over The Moon
Know someone who recently had a baby? Looking for something for your own little ones? "Over the Moon" is a 2-CD set and a book of lullabys and artwork by many of Broadway's brightest stars and designers. Proceeds go to (16) The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
, (17) Young Survival Coalition
, & (18) Public Interest Projects
19. Red Cross
We can never forget the Red Cross and the fact that they're always there when they're needed.
Many etsy shop owners donate money made from sales to various charities. Another good option if you have a gift-giving event coming up.
21. Doctors Without Borders
"a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization that aims first and foremost to provide high-quality medical care to the people who need it the most. It does not promote the agenda of any country, political party, or religious faith, and, as such, endeavors to communicate its history, background, and capabilities to all parties in a given situation so that it may gain the necessary access to populations in need."
22. World Wildlife Fund
"For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature."
23. Alex's Lemonade Stand
"Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is the living embodiment of Alex’s spirit of determination and hope. Like Alex, we believe that every person can make a difference. Together, we can bring about a cure. Please join us in “making lemonade” today!"
24. The Bucket List Foundation
An organization that grants wishes to terminally ill seniors.
25. Skin Cancer Foundation
One of the most preventable forms of cancer yet can be one of the most deadly if not caught/treated. Those of is with the "Irish" skin need to stay on top of things and get a "mole check" once a year by a dermatologist.
Far too many animals are neglected & abused and need caring people to help and watch out for them.
27. National Endowment for the Arts
"When you contribute to the National Endowment for the Arts, you sustain a long tradition of support for the arts and arts organizations across America. And your donation is fully tax deductible."
28. Operation Homefront
"Through generous, widespread public support and a collaborative team of exceptional staff and volunteers, we aspire to become the provider of choice for emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. Where there is a need we do not provide, we will partner with others for the benefit of our military families. "
29. Prevent Child Abuse
"Our national campaign and local programs, prevention initiatives and events help spread the word in your community, creating awareness that prevention is possible. We are a family of friends, professionals, volunteers, donors and parents who are preventing child abuse and neglect before it ever starts."
30. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
"The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, (NCMEC), is a private, (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization which was created in 1984. The mission of the organization is to serve as the nation’s resource on the issues of missing and sexually exploited children. The organization provides information and resources to law enforcement, parents, children including child victims as well as other professionals."
31. Survivors in Action
"Survivors In Action, Inc. is a national advocacy group urging oversight of crime victim resources to ensure no victim is left behind. We are dedicated to improving response efforts for crime victims as they navigate through the process of finding assistance."
32. NFL Charities
"NFL Charities is a non-profit organization created by the 32 member clubs of the National Football League to enable the teams to collectively make grants to charitable and worthwhile causes on a national scale. Since its inception, NFL Charities has granted more than $140 million to more than 1,400 different organizations. "
33. Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation
"The mission of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation is to extend the reach of the Celtics championship legacy into our community. The Shamrock Foundation benefits our children directly, through programs that provide education & support. The Shamrock Foundation also partners with community based organizations that provide healthcare, shelter & vital services for children in need."
34. One Simple Wish
An organization that grants wishes for needy children. With this group you are able to grant a wish in someone else's honor. Always a nice option for Ryan or one of the other lads.
35. Keep On Keeping On
"Our focus is to both assist and raise awareness for those living with severe physical disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy and Muscular Dystrophy. It will forever be our duty to help others see more than just a "chair" or a disability, but to see an individual who has a lot to offer. We believe that anything is possible, and we will never give up on those who need our help most. We live by a simple motto: As long as you have a pulse, you must never give up, you must always...Keep On Keeping On!"
36. Save the Music
"The VH1 Save The Music Foundation was founded in 1997 as a public affairs initiative of the VH1 network. The Foundation’s core mission is to restore instrumental music education programs, ensuring that every child has access to a complete education that includes the benefits of music instruction. Since its inception, The Foundation has remained faithful to and focused on making our mission come to life."
37. ALS Association
"Established in 1985, The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure."
38. Reading is Fundamental
"We prepare and motivate children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. We inspire children to be lifelong readers through the power of choice. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own. The seeds of inspiration in these books have motivated children to follow their dreams and achieve their potential. Yes, it seems incredible for a book to launch a life, but it happens every day as hungry, inquisitive young minds reach out and grab hold of the new people, places, and ideas that books bring them."
39. Make-a-Wish Foundation
"The Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded in 1980 after a little boy named Chris Greicius realized his heartfelt wish to become a police officer. Since its humble beginnings, the organization has blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, reaching more than 250,000 children around the world."
40. Ronald McDonald House
"Many families travel far from home to get treatment for their seriously ill or injured children. Often, it can be a long time to be away from home, or to divide a family. And, for children facing a serious medical crisis, nothing seems scarier than not having their mom and dad close by for love and support."
41. The Andi Foundation
"The mission of The Andi Foundation is to allow young women to fulfill dreams they never thought possible by following Andi’s example of drive, determination, hard work and passion."