How to Be a Better Westchesterite
No one can do everything; everyone can do something. Here’s our list of 82 organizations you can help to make your little corner of Westchester a better place to be.
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Save a Life
It doesn’t cost you a cent, takes about an hour, hurts only for a second or two, and is just plain good karma. Everyone has blood to spare, yet there’s not enough to go around, and there is no substitute for the real thing. Knowing you can save a life (sometimes up to three lives with just one donation) brings about a noble afterglow (that’s dopamine at work). You can donate whole blood every 56 days and platelets every three days. And did you know that the one pint they take equals one pound? So you leave feeling righteous—and thinner (unless you overdo it with the free Lorna Doones and Oreos offered while you recover—but that is totally up to you). Call (800) 933-2566 to donate.
DONATE AN ORGAN
It costs nothing to turn over your driver’s license and sign the donor agreement on the back. If, God forbid, you or a loved one dies unexpectedly, the organs can save a number of lives. Call the New York Organ Donor Network (646) 291-4444 or visit
donatelifeny.com. Of course, you don’t need to do something as drastic as dying to make a difference. There are currently nearly 105,000 people on the national waiting list for a kidney, and healthy folks really only need one. After searching for (and finding) a kidney for their father, three sisters from Pleasantville launched a non-profit organization to help others with their search. The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America provides matching services all across the country; the group is already responsible for two transplants. Visit floodsisters.org for details.
GET MOVING! RUN (WALK, BIKE, SHOOT HOOPS) FOR THE CURE
Even if those big-ticket gala dinner dances are out of your range, you can support all the major charities just by getting out and moving. Here are some worth supporting:
Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk
American Cancer Society Relay for Life
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Guts & Glory Walk
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Walk and Fun Day
MHA (Mental Health Assocation) on the Move
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Bear Mountain Walk for MS
Tappan Zee Bridge Ride for MS
Pediatric Cancer Foundation Annual Bikeathon
Miles of Hope Hoops for Hope Women’s Basketball Tournament
United Way 5-K Health Walk
Support Connection Support-a-Walk
Walk to Cure Diabetes
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night Walk
Sound Shore Stride & Health Walk
Make-A-Wish Foundation 2.5-mile Walk For Wishes
Junior Achievement Bowl for Kids
Burke Rehabilitation Wheelchair Games
SHELTER ABUSED WOMEN
Organizations like My Sisters’ Place (914-683-1333, mysistersplaceny.org) and Hope’s Door (formerly known as the Northern Westchester Shelter, 914-747-0828, northernwestchestersheter.org) provide a safe haven (and a variety of other services) for victims of domestic violence. Ways to help? Plan and implement fundraising events; provide childcare at the shelter (help kids with homework, take them on outings); assist with community outreach and awareness; perform administrative duties (data entry, mailings, filing, answering phones); participate in Adopt-a-Family (donate specific items to a particular needy family); or offer a service in your field of expertise. In addition to volunteers, the organizations can use furniture, toiletries, and clothing for women and children.
Continue reading for more ways to become a better Westchesterite...