Saturday, December 1, 2012

Helping Others: The Lydia Project Tote for Women with Cancer

Last week, I learned about a nonprofit out in Atlanta called The Lydia Project

Their website said: 
"The Mission of The Lydia Project is to serve women facing cancer by providing 
hand-crafted tote bags, prayer and ongoing support." 

My beautiful handmade "love" tote.
You can pick from different sayings.
I liked what I read, and so I made a small donation and requested a tote for myself. I wanted to physically see what they're doing and what the experience of receiving one was like.

One thing I always hear from the people is that they want to find tangible ways to give back to the causes they care about.  We all want to know we're helping actual, real people -- not just giving money to some anonymous entity. I struggle with that same dilemma myself, especially in the world of can't-sir nonprofits, which I've always been a little less enamored by, since so many of the causes we give to go only to fund research. Believe me, I know we need more research to get to root cause and better treatment and cure options -- especially those of us with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, one of the types of still relatively mysterious can't-sirs. 

Contents of my tote.
But, I also feel like we want and need to have ways to address the real and tangible needs of those right in front of us, dealing with dis-ease every day. And, I feel like this is one of those projects, both in the daily work this group is doing for women with can't-sir through the totes and support, and also through some of their long-term planning projects. 

I've been very lucky to have a great posse of amazing folks rally around me on this journey, and their support and love sustains me every day. As a survivor and a thriver with a posse, it was still an indescribably sweet, sweet gift to receive my tote and know that all the way across the country someone sent a thought to me that day. I want to make sure more women, especially those who are not having the same experiences I'm having, get access to every amazing resource available to them. 

I'll be sharing The Lydia Project with others this holiday season. If it resonates for you, I hope you consider doing the same.

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