EDITORIAL: October is a special month

Awareness and fundraising campaigns can inundate, but try to pick a charity that resonates to you

We wonder if our readers feel inundated with requests to donate funds, or with stories about various health-related charitable causes (we’ve got a few in this issue alone).

If so, it’s no surprise. A quick count of health promotion days listed for October on Health Canada’s website found 36 separate days, weeks or the whole month dedicated to raising awareness and/or funds for a particular group, initiative or medical research and support.

One would have to be living under a rock to not know this is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the pink apparel everywhere is a giveaway. Mental Health Awareness Week just wrapped up, and ADHD Awareness Week is just getting underway.

These specially designated time periods run from the obvious – Canadian Patient Safety Week springs to mind – to the specific, such as International Stuttering Awareness Day or Rett Syndrome Awareness Month.

Those who have given in past find themselves receiving personally addressed letters in the mail, either electronically or printed, from charities you may never have even heard of.

Fundraising for research into diseases or to support people suffering the effects of certain health conditions or illnesses is a challenging business these days. Groups more often look to public campaigns, with general reductions in support from the various levels of government.

From a potential donor’s standpoint, choosing which organization(s) to help can be a bit mind-boggling. We’re certain that the multiple choices and the number of “asks” that happen frequently in our lives becomes overwhelming for some people – they simply determine to block out all requests and not give to any of them.

But everyone has the ability to give, no matter if it’s a few dollars, or a few hundred. And for people who insist that financial giving is not an option, perhaps volunteering for a charitable organization is. Find a charity or non-profit group that works for you and you’ll feel great for the giving. Making a positive choice always feels better than not making one at all.