Get Involved in Charity, Make a Difference This January

Charity in the New Year

With the holidays coming to a close, you can help the world become a better place even if you maxed out your credit cards in December. This month doesn’t require monetary donations to charity as much as it requires help in getting the word out about issues that affect so many of us, and Everlasting Footprint encourages you to donate in alternate ways.

Every month is a good month for giving to charity. But here are some ways to reach out in January 2015:

Blood Donor Awareness Month

This month focuses on the continual need for blood donations. Because of the holidays, people traveling, and the hurried schedules at this time of the year, blood supplies dip down, sometimes to critical levels. Also, because of the cold in different parts of the country, people tend to avoid going outdoors on trips to donate blood.

 Did you know that just one pint of blood can save up to three lives?

National Blood Donor Month - give to charity Jan 2015

What a miracle that with less than an hour of your time, your charity may play a critical role in someone else’s life. You may make charitable blood donations at community blood centers or at a bloodmobile.

The practitioner will ask you a few questions to determine if you are eligible to donate blood. If you overall feel healthy, but have a history of certain illnesses or have taken certain medications within certain time frames, you may be eliminated from donating blood. If you are between 16 and 18 years old, you must weigh at least 130 pounds and have parental consent; if you are over 18 years old, you must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate blood to charity.

The Blood Center’s website lists all the requirements, and Red Cross also provides information about donating blood.


Thyroid Awareness Month

Thyroid Awareness Month - give to charity Jan 2015

Unless you or a relative have a specific thyroid problem, you may not even know all the things that the thyroid gland does. It plays a role in the health of your heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and skin, and it helps regulate these organs’ functions. As an act of charity this month, educate yourself and your loved ones about the importance of thyroid health.

Located in the base of the neck, your thyroid can have many problems that are not discovered unless you have a body scan for a different reason. A person’s thyroid may be underactive or overactive. Thyroid problems often run in families and are more prevalent in women than men. If a parent suffers from a thyroid problem, then doctors recommended that children be checked for any issues.

Symptoms of thyroid problems range from a rapid heart rate to drowsiness and fatigue. There can be a tendency to gain weight or the inability to maintain a healthy weight. Depending on whether there is too much or too little of the hormone produced, symptoms can vary widely. Often, patients may need to take a synthetic hormone replacement for the rest of their lives.

An endocrinologist is the type of doctor that works with the thyroid gland. Increase your awareness of the thyroid and thyroid problems with information from the American Thyroid Association.


National Stalking Awareness Month

In the past twenty years, Americans have become more aware of harassing and stalking behavior. January has become the national month to bring awareness to the dangers and issues of stalking, and to help people engage in stalking prevention. As an act of charity  this month, educate yourself and those around you about stalking behaviors.

Legal definitions vary by state, but basically stalking is unwanted attention, harassment, pursuit or following of another person that causes them emotional upset.

National Stalking Awareness Month - give to charity Jan 2015

Stalking may escalate into vandalism, cyber-stalking, breaking and entering, physical attacks, destruction of property, or acts of terror. Stalking behavior is often slow to get started, but once the stalker’s behavior is entrenched, it may be hard to stop. The stalker becomes obsessed with the other individual and cannot leave him or her alone. The stalker often views himself or herself as the victim, which can make the crime more dangerous and difficult to stop.

Stalkers usually share many characteristics including not handling rejection well, feeling entitled or jealous, and acting in controlling, manipulative, narcissistic, and somewhat obsessive/compulsive ways. They often enjoy scaring or keeping in suspense the person with whom they are obsessed. Victims of stalking are encouraged to act at the very first signs of stalking. Tell the stalker that no relationship is welcome. Personal boundaries are important.

If stalking escalates, seek legal action immediately and report the behavior to the police. Know your state’s laws, keep all evidence, and have a safety plan in place. Tell your friends, let your employer know, and don’t keep the unwanted and harassing behavior a secret from the people close to you. Everyone should be aware of the signs of stalking in order to help their friends, too.

Find out more about charity events and prevention education at the official website for National Stalking Awareness Month.

Please, consider who you can help this January, and give to charity in any way you can, including spreading awareness of these important issues.

Photo credits: Lane Blood Center, Grave’s Disease and Thyroid Foundation, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

About Cindy Readnower

Cindy Readnower, MBA, specializes in sales, marketing, and entrepreneurship. An award-winning certified Life Coach, business consultant, and publisher at Skinny Leopard Media, she helps writers produce and promote their books. She is a newspaper columnist, author of "Inherited Secrets," and a blogger.

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