I'm hoping it's going to be a very charitable weekend. We started with Pat's Run, which benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation. It continues tomorrow with my 40th Birthday Party. Yep, even though my actual birthday falls on a Saturday and is uber convenient for party-throwing, we decided to plan it around Pat's Run so my sister Katie could come out and do both! (I also think her kids are on Spring Break so that makes it a little easier to travel too).
I'm really not into focusing on me all that much, but I figure what the hell I'm turning 40. I also went to a friend's party a few months ago at Skateland*, and had such an awesome time that I decided that is what I wanted to do. A roller skating party, and people are dressing up in their decade of choice. I also decided that rather than gifts, I'm hoping people will donate to a few charities that are important to me:
CASA: Voices for CASA Children is the non-profit that raises funds to help educate and train new Court Appointed Special Advocates in Maricopa County. Currently there are less than 400 CASA's in the county, and over 7,000 children in foster care. As you have previously read, I was one of those foster children in Maricopa County once upon a time, and am currently on my first case as a CASA.
Planned Parenthood: Conservatives are trying to do everything in their power to defund this very important organization. Arizona has a bill out there now. A reminder: only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does are abortions. It's about women's health- exams, physicals, breast screenings... all for women who don't have access to insurance. They even offer men's health options. Access to health care is not a bad thing, and in this time more than ever they could use a donation.
Leukemia Lymphoma Society: Leukemia took my foster dad at least 20 years before his time. That's really all I have to say about that. There is also a great need for marrow transplants. If you haven't been swabbed- perhaps you might consider? You never know when you might have the opportunity to save a life, like my friend Amy did when she donated a kidney now one year ago!
The best part? It will make you feel good to give too. See, I'm giving YOU a present for my birthday! So thank you everyone for considering!
*I do wish I could have invited all 300 local people I know via the social media scene, but you know, you have to cut it off somewhere. I hope that if you read this and wonder why you weren't invited, that you understand. And hey you can still donate! Nope, no shame in me at all tonight, but I've been awake since 4:30 this morning so my gauge is off. ;)