12 Hours 2 Give to 12 Charities

12 Hours 2 Give


The 12 Hours 2 Give event is being sponsored by Marla Murasko Enterprises, Inc.  This event was created to take a moment of your day (12-12-12) to celebrate and share all the unselfish and tireless work individuals and charities are doing to help make the lives of others more fulfilling. For those individuals that are diagnosed with a disability, suffer from a disease or have been hit with hard times these organizations bring hope. This event is not only to help spread awareness about these organizations, but will provide you a way to give back to an organization for the holidays.  The holidays are about giving, so why not give to a charity that can make the lives of others better?

I chose 12 organizations that are close to my heart, and this is the reason why I want to share them with you. The holidays are about giving and this is a way for me to give back and pay it forward to these organizations by creating this event, in hopes that people like you will take a moment to give back to them by donating.

12 Hours 2 Give is about…

          • A minute to make someone’s life better
          • An hour to recognize these organizations by sharing this event with others
          • A time for you to give back to others in need

Let me share with you the charities/organizations that I have chosen for this event and why:

1) Down Syndrome Research & Treatment Foundation – VISION: Not a Cure, but Treatments to Improve Memory, Learning, Speech, and Ultimately Independence

DSRTF’s vision is a world in which people with Down syndrome are fully included in academic and social environments and where they can live independently as adults, if they so choose.

Why this Charity?  As you all may know my son was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome, and although he is a high-functioning child he still struggles cognitively at times.  So although this isn’t a cure for Down syndrome and not that I want it to be, the research they are doing is wonderful and if it will help individuals diagnosed with Down syndrome live more fulfilling and productive lives why wouldn’t I be an advocate.

Check out their work they are doing wonderful things.

2) Headbands of Hope – is a registered LLC founded by a college student by the name of Jessica who was doing an internship for the Make A Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina.  She got to work with the girls and grant their wishes, and realized very quickly how they were changing her life.

One day she realized while pulling her hair back in a ponytail all the young girls who are loosing their hair due to cancer treatments and struggling with loosing their identity and struggling with self esteem issues because of loosing their hair and decided to create Headbands of Hope.

For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.

Why this organization? I had the great opportunity to meet this inspiring young woman who is making a difference at a conference I attended, and realized very quickly after hearing her story that I wanted to help.  See my mother was diagnosed over 15 years ago with breast cancer and I can remember taking her to the store to find a wig since she had just lost all of her hair to chemo.  She hated the wig and never wore it.  So this instantly hit home with me.

See how St. Baldricks is doing research to find cures for childhood cancer.

3) Healthy Child Healthy World – ignites the movement that empowers parents to protect children from harmful chemicals.

With a growing body of evidence linking everyday environmental contaminants to asthma, learning disabilities, obesity, cancer and more, Healthy Child translates the science and inspires parents and caregivers to create healthy environments where families can flourish.

For the past two decades Healthy Child Healthy World has been the nation’s leading organization of its kind. We:

Expand awareness of unnecessary toxic risks to children’s health;
Encourage easy actions and responsible lifestyle choices;
Advocate for corporate policies and government legislation that protect children from environmental health risks; and,
Engage communities to take collective actions to create a healthier world.

Why this organization? I found out about this organization as I was doing research on ADHD and the different additives (food dyes), hormones, etc that are added to our children’s everyday foods.  I am trying to bring healthier food to my families table and am trying to educate myself, which I think this organization is doing a wonderful job at.

4) Make a Wish Foundation -  grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Since 1980, the Make-A-Wish Foundation® has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work. The Foundation’s mission reflects the life-changing impact that a Make-A-Wish® experience has on children, families, referral sources, donors, sponsors and entire communities.

Why this charity? I have no personal connection to this organization thankfully, but I know of the wonderful work they are doing granting wishes to sick children and bringing some joy to their lives.  I have seen children benefiting from their work and have even donated myself over the years.  I fully believe this is such a wonderful organization and love the work they do.

5) March of DimesWhen you walk in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. We’ve been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $2 billion to benefit all babies.

Why this charity? The work and research that they are doing for parents to have full-term healthy babies is amazing.  Everyone knows someone who has had a preemie, or a sick baby and can connect with the mission of the March of Dimes.  I know first-hand what it is like to have a baby that you won’t bring home from the hospital because of difficulties from a diagnosis.  Here’s our story.  We didn’t need March of Dimes because we knew of Jacob’s diagnosis, but for those that don’t it’s nice to know that the March of Dimes is there for them bringing them some hope.

6) Mended Little Hearts – is a program of the Mended Hearts Inc., a non-profit, volunteer-based organization providing hope, help and healing to heart patients and their families since 1951.

The Mended Little Hearts program works nationally and in communities to support children with congenital heart defects and their families.

Our Mission – The Mended Little Hearts’ mission is to provide hope and support to children, families and caregivers impacted by congenital heart defects in order to extend and improve quality of life.

Why this charity? I know firsthand what it is like to know that your child (in my case unborn child, I found out when I was 4 months pregnant that my son had a congenital heart defect) will have to have open-heart surgery to correct an issue with their heart.  I can remember during my ultrasound hearing the perinatologist say “your son looks fine, but he has a whole in his heart”.  I can remember just sitting on the exam table being scared and at a loss for words as the tears were building up. I was thankful for the incredibly technology and medical staff that helped me with my son after he was born.  Thankful for knowing this in advance to prepare and educate myself about CHD.  This organization helped to connect me with other parents of CHD children to form a bond a connection.

7) No Kid Hungry – The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending childhood hunger a national priority.

We’re ending childhood hunger by connecting kids to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals. This work is accomplished through the No Kid Hungry network, made up of private citizens, government officials, business leaders, and others providing innovative hunger solutions in their communities. These partners work together, implementing solutions that break down the barriers that keep kids from healthy food.

No kid should ever go hungry.

Why this charity?  I don’t have personal experience with this organization thankfully but I know firsthand there are many children that go without healthy, nutritious food or a meal at all and I just don’t believe that  a child should go hungry.  I served on the board of our local food pantry, and saw families come in to utilize the services we were providing and it made me feel good knowing we could help.

8) Partnership for a Healthier America – (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most importantly, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased, third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making to show everyone what can be achieved when we all work together.

Partnership for a Healthier America compliments the Let’s Move! a comprehensive initiative, launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams.  It brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity.

Why this organization? I love the idea of giving our children healthier choices when it comes to eating and staying healthy.  I have seen the ads on Sprout for the “Let’s Move” program and love the mission.  Let’s get our kids up and moving and show them how getting healthy will bring them a better future.  There is too much obesity in our nation and our children should not have to suffer from that because of poor health and eating habits.  I love to see the government, private sectors, schools and communities getting on board with this movement.  Being a PTO mom I suggested that our school do a Dance Marathon for the kids and parents to enjoy together to help raise funds for equipment for a playground.  It was well received and we are looking to do another one in the Spring.

9) Reece’s Rainbow -  Their mission is to rescue orphans with Down syndrome through the gift of adoption, to raise awareness for all of the children who are waiting in 25 countries around the world, and to raise funds as adoption grants that help adoptive families afford the high cost of adopting these beautiful children.

Reece’s Rainbow is a registered 501(c)3 charity which advocates and fundraises for the international adoption and rescue of children with Down syndrome specifically.

Why this charity?  I love the work that Reece’s Rainbow is doing providing hope to orphans diagnosed with Down syndrome and connecting them with loving families.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

10) Save the Children – is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world.

When disaster strikes around the world, Save the Children is there to save lives with food, medical care and education and remains to help communities rebuild through long-term recovery programs.

As quickly and as effectively as Save the Children responds to tsunamis and civil conflict, it works to resolve the ongoing struggles children face every day — poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease — and replaces them with hope for the future.

Why this charity? – Because it’s about the children and helping them through tragedy and devastation.  When Hurricane Sandy hit I was an emotional wreck.  I personally didn’t get effected since I live in the Midwest, but my childhood memories did.  See I have been going to the Jersey Shore since I was a child and to see my childhood memories washed out to see really hit home for me.  I watched for days the videos that showed the devastation and wanted and needed to help.  Save the Children was right there for these children providing them basic necessities such as nutritious food items, baby blankets, clothing and hygiene supplies and I am so thankful for what they have and are doing for our children.

11) St Jude’s Children Research Hospital – The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.

Why this charity?  Again I have no personal experience of having to use this charity thankfully, but if I did I know they are there.  The research and help they are providing families is incredible and I am very thankful for what they do.

12) The Heart Institute for Children- is dedicated to clinical excellence, education and research in the field of congenital and acquired heart disease in children and young adults. Clinical care includes the latest and the most advanced technology. Research is directed towards clinical cardiology as well as basic molecular biology.

Specific funds:

Fund 0121 – Pediatric Cardiology

Fund 0158 – Pediatric Surgical Heart Inpatient Unit (PSHU)

Fund 2144 – Pediatric Cardiology Research

Fund 2150 – Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery Research

Fund 2159 – Children’s Heart Research and Education

Why this charity? – I know firsthand the wonderful work they are doing at this hospital. When my son was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, we went to the best Dr. Ilbawi who headed up the Heart Institute at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oaklawn, IL.  I remember going to talk to him before Jacob was born to talk to him about Jacob’s condition and how he was planning to help him, and when I left his office there was a young girl who was flown in from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit for her to get surgery from Dr. Ilbawi we were impressed.  We spent several days in their PSHU unit and was very impressed with the high quality care we and Jacob received from the staff.  We knew Jacob was in the right place.  Now he is a thriving six year old who loves life and we are so thankful to the care Dr. Ilbawi and his staff at the Heart Institute did for our son.

You can go directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise to see all the organizations and the monies we have collected by clicking here.


Please share this event on your Facebook Page, Pinterest, Website and Twitter, please make sure to use hashtag #12Hours2Give by using this link: http://www.crowdrise.com/12Hours2Give