i so wish i were making these donations in my name only and not in remembrance… but i cherish this bittersweet holiday custom because it brings me in close touch with austin and his beautiful mind and heart. remembering him this way expands that beauty in the world in ways that i hope honor his memory and spirit.
in part because i love prolonging this communion with austin and know what an exacting person he was, and in part because there is so much need in the world, these decisions always take me the better part of a day, but at last in the quiet after christmas, here are my donations for this year, all with 4 star ratings from charity navigator and a couple of them with matching funds for end of year giving--two kinds of efficiency that i'm sure would please austin.
With $1000 i am making the following donations in austin's name:
Given austin's love of music and desire to share that love, i am again donating $200 to Education Through Music which offers music appreciation, the chance to learn to play an instrument, and the joyous possibilities that music brings to elementary and middle school children in New York City's underserved schools.
Sharing austin's commitment to social justice and the intertwined injustices of race and poverty and their exacerbated consequences this past year, i am donating $200 to the Equal Justice Initiative, which "provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners… and litigates on behalf of … those whose trials are marked by racial bias…"
In keeping with the concerns of social justice and the global consequences of violence and environmental disasters, which have worsened desperately over the last year i am making donations to two organizations that deal with the problems of refugees,
I am donating $200 to International Rescue Committee, which is a venerable organization of longstanding--spurred at the suggestion of Albert Einstein--that assists refugees in over 40 countries providing urgent care immediately following crises, and working to restore health, safety, education, wellbeing and power to people affected by conflict and disaster, and
$200 to American Refugee Committee, which is a newer organization working in a small number of countries focusing on providing opportunities and expertise to refugees and displaced people and the communities who host them. their projects help people rebuild their lives with dignity, security, health, and self-sufficiency, and they seem deeply concerned with social justice issues on the ground.
finally, this year i am making donations to two organizations that engage austin's passions with science and the environment,
I am donating $100 to the acadia center, which is research-oriented and works at the intersections of energy and climate change. they examine power generation, land use, transportation at all scales and already have a track record of offering effective means to help mitigate environmental destruction and reduce carbon emissions.
I am again donating $100 to wild earth guardians, which protects and restores wild lands, life, and waterways in the US west, including many places in New Mexico, among them his beloved Jemez Mountains where they are part of a collaborative effort to restore riparian habitats and other projects intended to support resilience in the face of climate change.
i hope these donations are a fitting way to celebrate austin and in some small way further his presence in the world--a gift who keeps on giving.
Thank you for including me again this year. In memory of Austin, I would like to donate $1000 to The International Rescue Committee which restores safety, dignity, and hope to millions of people forced to leave their homes by war, conflict, and natural disasters. The IRC is responding to the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East on all fronts, in Syria and neighboring countries, in Greece, and in the United States where refugees are being resettled.
Hello, and merry Xmas to you all.
Thank you so much again for the opportunity to donate some funds to a charity in Austins name.
Since my son Gulliver was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic over a year ago it has been difficult to think of very much else. Gully's condition means that he has between 8-10 fingerprick blood tests a day and wears a pump 24 hours a day which administers a regular dosage of insulin so keep his blood sugar level and we input calculations for carbohydrate to work out his insulin with food. Over night we changed from a regular family (whatever that means), regular parents, son,daughter,sister,brother, to fulltime carers, diaticians, and psychologists. Working with school to try to give Gulliver a normal experience of childhood and to come across as it not being that big of a deal. We work hard to help Gully feel like he is no different to the other kids and with Edith to make her feel equally valued when a disproportionate amount of our time is spent focussing on Gulliver's needs.
Since diagnosis, we have joined together with other families who all have type 1 children, to talk together, have fun and most importantly normalise the the experience for Gulliver. We really have valued the power of support and this year I would like to donate my share to the diabetes UK mendip support group. Run by amazing volunteers who are all parents of children with type 1, they organise brilliant activities and much much much needed peer support.
I know that Austin's best friend John is T1 and it is great to see that being diabetic is something that he has managed successfully. He has even managed to control the condition successfully in Japan, where counting the carbs will be very much more difficult. It fills me with hope that Gulliver will be able to follow his namesake and travel to farflung places, despite his condition.
Thanks and merry Xmas