We just enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday, taking time out on this special day to make a conscious acknowledgement of our many blessings. But expressing our thanks is only part of the human equation. You can sing your own song of gratitude, but how sweet to harmonize with humanity and help meet some real needs.
One of the ways people can help was just brought to my attention by one of the Maui Weekly's newest writers, Danny Weiss, a young man with high ideals-and the energy and talent to match.
Danny, also an experienced filmmaker, has created worthy fundraising campaigns on the IndieGoGo Website. Each includes a video and story to help several of his friends overcome health-related conditions. Danny loves the grassroots approach utilized by IndieGoGo, a crowd-funding tool that helps people create campaigns and fund ideas.
Danny began his first campaign when he heard about a friend's 7-year-old niece with myopic degeneration. Exceeding their fundraising goal via the IndieGoGo site, Ha'iku artist Tom Sewell and his wife, Michelle, were able to take their niece to see the sights of Europe before her vision worsened. Danny followed up this campaign with another one for the Sewell's, this time raising money to complete the final cut of a documentary about their trip. You can view a rough cut of the trailer and make a contribution at www.indiegogo.com/TheAudreyFilm.
Danny is also currently overseeing two other campaigns he created for friends.
Chris Cowing of Kula has Parkinson's disease. His wife, Rhea, has become his full-time caretaker, because he has been denied in-home care services.
Therefore, they have been left with no income. With only days remaining to raise money, they have only reached half of their goal amount. To learn more and make a donation, visit www.indiegogo.com/chriscowing.
A 2-year-old boy with a congenital heart defect has endured three successful heart surgeries, but suffered a stroke while recovering leaving his parents with staggering medical bills. Check out their story and make a pledge at www.indiegogo.com/Celebrating-CJ.
"It will be so sweet to see our community rally behind our island 'ohana in need, and this truly is the perfect season to entice people to give," Danny added.
So here is the perfect opportunity to recount your blessing, and bless others with your generosity and sacrifice, great or small.
Just imagine how it must feel to receive compassion and a gracious gift coming from a complete stranger, and lend a hand to make 2012 a better year for those who need help.