Thursday, December 4, 2008

$450 Billion

Getting Christmas gifts is great. One of the benefits of being a father of 4 boys, is that I get to play with a lot of cool toys without people thinking I'm immature. I remember the year the boys got remote control cars. Before Christmas I would get too excited to wait. As soon as the boys went to sleep, I would unwrap the cars and race them in the basement, then re-wrap them and put them back under the tree.
One year Santa brought a Foosball table. That Christmas Eve, Santa had an especially difficult time putting the table together (his efforts were not helped by the few glasses of wine he had in the process). Well, he did get the table together, but it slipped from his grasp when he moved it to the basement...breaking the table. That morning the boys woke up to an apology letter from Santa, along with a detailed explanation as to why he needed the help of Fed-Ex to deliver the new one in a few days.
Great memories. But most of our memories are the times we have together. The stories and the fun.
This year, $450 billion will be spent on Christmas gifts. A whole lot of that will be done with credit cards, increasing that amount significantly for those who take a while to pay off those cards.
So, is it possible to celebrate the season with your family for less than that? Is it possible to to have a good Christmas without spending money? Is it possible to spend any of that $450 billion on a gift that will have a longer lasting value?

18 year old Saulo Morris was diagnosed with leukemia last March. When the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted him to grant his wish, Saulo asked that the $6,750 donation be given instead to Doctors without Borders for work in Africa. In a letter to the foundation, he wrote: "I thought of all the shiny new things I could ask for... but then I thought could someone else put this wish to better use? The answer was yes." This past October, while waiting for his own bone marrow transplant, he lead a drive that added 833 people to the National Bone Marrow Registry. Saulo said, "Even if we don't find a donor for me, we can help other people." He also raised $20,000 for the registry.

This Christmas, would you would like to shift a little of the $450 billion in shopping money to help find a cure, to do something with a longer lasting benefit?
There are over 90 different unique types of childhood cancer, divided into 12 major categories. It costs an average of $1.3 billion to bring a single childhood cancer drug from research to reality. The fedural budget to help this cause gives a total of $180 million to all childhood cancers combined. To find a cure, we need everyone in the fight.
There are many great organizations. Here are a few that focus exclusively on childhood cancer.

And do not forget The Bone Marrow Registry is one of the easiest ways you can save another persons life.


Saulo Morris passed away two days ago.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Was Saulo from Pheonix?