and Charitable Giving

Giving; this is one of the most difficult topics for me to address.  You see, it’s not really about money. It’s much more about the investment of time.  I don’t know how many times I have been asked to respond to the question:  “How are you doing?”  If I would have been totally honest, it would have taken me a good hour or more to answer this question.  But I had too many pressures and responsibilities, so I gave the polite short answer, “Fine, we are fine.”  In retrospect, I was actually being more impolite than polite.  I was closing out an extended family member or friend. If I considered all my regrets, this one would top the list. You see, the Bible clearly encourages us to love our neighbor as ourselves and this too is a two-way street.

            Perhaps a better question to consider asking a special needs parent might be:  “What can I do for you?”  Now, honestly, this is also a question which might require a lengthy answer for a special parent.  It would still be easier to say: “Oh nothing, we are fine.”  However, I encourage special parents to take the time, and let others be a closer part in their daily lives.  This might involve interaction inside the home or simply letting someone cut the grass or take out the trash.

            God does take care of all of our daily needs, but how often do we muddy up the water by saying “No, I’ll handle this my way”.  We are made to care for one another.  The gift of time is special for both the receiver and for the giver.  If you don’t personally know a special family, then I offer the list of these charitable foundations who may work on your behalf. You may also choose to give to a local charity in your area.  Giving draws us all closer together.


The Verland Foundation is a professional and caring Health Care Provider serving the greater Pittsburgh area. They were there for our family when we came to the realization that we were no longer able to care for our daughter in our own home. That was twenty years ago, and Joy still loves her new home. The Verland Staff are now part of our family and have faithfully served and provided loving care for Joy through good times and bad. Every individual under their care receives the same meticulous supervision and respectful attention.

If you are looking for a donation opportunity where your support will directly make a difference in someone’s life, please consider giving to Verland by clicking onto their website. Also, if you looking for a meaning experience to volunteer your time, the individuals love visitors.

The McGuire Foundation Fund

McGuire is a spiritual based professional and caring facility that serves a wide range of special needs individuals.  McGuire Memorial’s main campus, located in the Western Pennsylvania town of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, has served those in need of specialized care since its founding in 1963.  McGuire weaves spirituality into everything they do, knowing that God has a greater purpose for every human being.  Programs include residential services, day services, and a private school specifically designed for special needs children.

Part of the residential program are community homes.  The homes are spread throughout the New Brighton and Beaver neighborhoods.  The homes are specifically designed for individuals using wheel chairs and mobility issues.  McGuire staff provide a safe and loving environment where compassion reigns. If you are looking for a donation opportunity, McGuire has several options that you can consider that will make a difference in a resident’s life.  Please consider giving to McGuire Memorial by clicking onto their website. Also, if you are looking for a meaningful experience to volunteer your time, the individuals at the main site would love to meet you!

– Brian, Lindae, and Mitchell

The NORD Foundation

Since 1983, NORD has been a national steward and a steadfast partner helping those who battle and care for rare diseases – feel seen, heard, supported and connected. We’re a full-service, mission-driven nonprofit reimagining a future where every person with a rare disease and their families live their best lives.

Lissencephaly Foundation Inc.

The Lissencephaly Foundation was formed by a mother of a Lissencephaly child and a close friend. Their aim is to provide emotional support for all interested Lissencephaly families and to help provide needed equipment if and when it is needed. Our daughter’s needs are now all provided for her, however for many families who still care for their loved ones at home there are still needs not yet met. Lissencephaly is one of our daughter’s main diagnoses. It is literally translated as “Smooth Brain”. Please do not equate the term with the absence of thought, these children understand many things. The issue is that they have far fewer Neurotransmitters on their Cortex and those it makes it very difficult for information to pass through the Cortex.

Please consider giving to this worthy cause after visiting their website, thank you.

Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is another institution I feel should be up for your consideration as a donation possibility. My wife and I recently used their “Second Opinions” program to help evaluate our personal feelings with regards to achieving our daughter’s optimal treatment plan. This program allows anyone to receive expert advice without leaving your own doctor or traveling across the country with a special-needs individual.

The Second Opinions program does not take insurance, so it is strictly out of pocket. This assures there are no conflicts of interest or issues which might strain a relationship with your local medical professionals. After our appointment we felt more informed and assured that we were pursuing a viable treatment plan for our daughter. She is among the 90% of Rare Disorders for which there is no FDA approved treatment plan.

The Make a Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation, how can I thank them enough? Almost twenty years ago our daughter, Joy, was granted a wish. The wish wasn’t for a grand trip to an amazing theme park, although those experiences are all wonderful. We lived on the opposite side of the country from the majority of our family. Joy’s wish was to see her extended family one more time. The Wish Foundation included travel arrangements for an aid to travel with us for Joy’s comfort and our own, tickets to local attractions and a generous budget for our stay. The trip was wonderful, and it was the last time Joy would see some of her relatives. We will be eternally grateful for their generous support.