Each year with Michigan Softball, we would raise money for Susan G. Komen through fundraising in the fall through a Makes Strides for Breast Cancer walk and in the spring through our annual pink game. After I was done playing, I wanted to keep helping out with fundraising. Last fall, I ran an event called "So You Think You Can Hit?" For a donation to Susan G. Komen, people could step in the box at Alumni Field and try to hit off of me. For years and years I had to listen to these big macho men tell me how they could go yard off me and make me look like a little league pitcher. Well, macho men, it is thanks to your bragging that this idea was spawned. The event was very successful, raising around $1000 in under an hour. I even got to pitch to Hutch....she hit a grounder and looked beyond shocked. She's still got it, ladies and gentlemen! My favorite part was afterwards, I went on Facebook and saw a girl post about getting a hit off of me. 1. It was a blooper in the infield 2. I didn't know I was friends with her on Facebook 3. I got to see her friends comment about how I must not be that good. Overall, quite entertaining to see.Anyways, some time had passed and I had painted a few pieces for the silent auction that's done after the pink game in spring. I had posted a few pictures of my artwork on this website, and someone - named "anonymous" (literally), had commented asking if I was involved with any charities. He or she had suggested that I follow the suit of a NHL player who auctions off artwork and donates all the money earned. Being a creative person overall, this set my mind into crazy motion and I instantly started thinking of different ways that I could raise money. That transformed into my looking into creating my own charity. At first, I was interested in raising money for breast cancer. It was only when a family friend and Michigan Superwoman, Ruthann, suggested Mott Children's Hospital. A lightbulb didn't just go off, it exploded. I had been involved with Mott from my freshman year at Michigan. Through a program called From the Heart, a group of student-athletes visits the Children's Hospital every Thursday. A lot of times, our conditioning and practice prevented us from going, but every once in awhile we would get done just in time. About 4 of us would rush to get showered and head over with seconds to spare. The program is really great and everyone I know that is apart of it expresses how much of a positive impact the visits are for them. It was started by Lloyd Carr as a way to humble and ground his athletes. Naturally, it spread from the football team to across all the athletic teams.
To see these kids fighting for their lives when they should be living a carefree life is very tough to see. But, they have the most amazing light in them. They don't take anything for granted. They love every second of life and what it has to offer. We would get to interact with these kids, who most of the time were so drained from surgery or chemo that they could only talk for a couple minutes. We got to hear their stories from the parents or guardians who drop everything in their lives to take care of their child. I think that's a big aspect that gets overlooked, is it doesn't just affect the child, it completely alters his or her family's life as well. They have to battle insurance companies to get their child the treatment he or she needs, while balancing trying to keep a job and take care of their kid. We encountered a lot of heart wrenching stories across the years. But, at first glance, they are the most loving, carefree families. Everyone laughs more, cries more, and takes everything in stride. I can say without question, some of the most amazing people I've met in my life were in that hospital.
So, this summer, after many hours of research and meetings, I started FIGHT. 100% of the money I make from various events and sales will go to the pediatric cancer unit of C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
I decided to stick with the cancer theme because of personal reasons. I've lost too many relatives to the awful disease, including my dad 3 years ago. He had been in remission after battling the previous few years. After going in for a check-up for his white blood cell count, they discovered that most of his body had been taken up by the disease. I had just gotten back to school for my junior year, so flying to him was a bit difficult. I had a flight booked for that weekend, but I received a phone call from my mom, ironically while I was at the hospital with my friend, that Tuesday. We were told he wouldn't make it through the next day and I left the next morning. My dad passed away about an hour after we had arrived at the hospice. I'll be forever thankful that I made it in time to say goodbye.
I know you're probably thinking, "why is this girl telling us this personal information...." I want you to understand that this passion for my charity comes from the heart. I didn't start this on a whim and I'm not only slightly interested. As with most things I do, I am completely passionate about this and will strive for it to be successful.
|T-shirts for sale at jordantaylor-softball.com/fight.html|
I know everyone probably receives notifications and such asking for money. I can assure you that these children need this money. There's not only the medical expenses but the little things that people don't think about. Parents losing their jobs to be with their children, possible other children in the family who need to be looked after, groceries, babysitting, treatments that aren't covered by insurance, driving back and forth from hospitals, toys and games to keep the children from going insane in the hospital, the list goes on and on. If you don't feel like donating, there are other ways that you can volunteer. Simply googling children's cancer will link you to a variety of websites that offer ways to volunteer and help these families.
This is my public plea for anyone reading this to DO SOMETHING!
Doesn't have to be donating to my charity. But, donate, whether it's your time or money or just love towards these kids and their families. Nothing is too small!