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A Cause Close to My Heart

My grandma was the matriarch of our family, raising eight children, including my dad, and watching 18 grandkids grow up. Later in life, she’d see many of those grandkids have children of their own, witnessing eight grandkids running around before she passed. Now, that number is up to 14.

If you’re keeping count, that means I have 30 cousins on one side of my family (we don’t make distinctions between first or second because we’re all so close). You should see how packed the house gets during Christmas…good luck finding a seat.

It was a major heartache for my tight-knit family when my grandma passed from Alzheimer’s Disease a few years ago. As I’ve grown older, it’s become increasingly important to me to participate in Alzheimer’s Disease education and research, especially as we come up on November: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Last year, I walked in an Alzheimer’s Walk, holding a purple flower for my grandma. I’ve made donations and I’ve taken time to learn about the disease and how it works.

But a cure for this illness will take time. It will take a lot of people caring about this cause to provide funding and show support. As such, I feel it’s important to remind people how to give wisely during November to ensure their donations will truly have an impact. Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific offers these tips:

Do Your Research: Check out different charitable organizations before picking one to donate to. We suggest using Give.org to find BBB vetted charities you know you can trust.

ID the Intention: As you do your research, it’s critical to identify how much of the donated proceeds go directly to medical research or help families of those suffering with Alzheimer’s. Avoid vague appeals that don’t detail the intended use of funds.

Crowd-Fund Carefully: There is not a lot of verification needed for someone to set up a crowd-fund. So if you choose to donate to one of these efforts be careful that you’re not giving your money away to a scammer. Don’t assume sites on social media are safe places to enter your credit card or personal information just because the cause seems just.

During the month of November, and even throughout the year when different walks are taking place, joining the fight against Alzheimer’s is something we can all do. I treasure my big family and the memories I have of my grandma – so it’s only fitting I support a cause dedicated to memory-care, until we find a cure.  

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Written by Danielle Kane

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