Stay Beautiful is committed to giving back, as an expression of compassion and gratitude for the blessed place we are in our lives. In partnering with the following organizations, we hope to help the world not just Stay Beautiful but be more and more beautiful each day.
The Wish Project
This non-profit has become a critical resource for furniture, household goods, and baby needs serving the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts, which has some of the highest poverty rates in the state. According to Wish, in any given week, there are as many as 100 families with children sleeping on the floor in unfurnished apartments right in our own community. This is something that resonated with me: I began my medical career as an Emergency Medical Technician and worked on an ambulance for many years in a poor community just north of Boston. I’ll never forget going into these people’s homes and seeing just a mattress on the floor (no sheets, no bedding) and a cardboard box turned sideways taped to the wall, being used as a shelf. With support from The Wish Project, impoverished families get help managing their expenses and reduce the likelihood of homelessness.
The Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
We have donated to the zoo recently to assist them with caring for the animals of Australia affected by the wildfires. I have been a lifelong animal lover and have recently been enamored with reptiles – we have a tortoise named Doris! As an adult, I volunteered at the MSPCA cleaning horse stall on Saturdays. At the age of 30, I got a quarter horse mare named Princess, a wonderful girl I loved and took care of for over 18 years. Princess lived to be 30 years old and I was devastated when she became ill and I had to say goodbye to her. I’ve also rescued three greyhounds over the last 10 years and I’m looking forward to doing so again once things slow down. I would have been a vet, but I wouldn’t have been able to handle the negative aspect of illness and injury with the animals. I often help create awareness on social media by sharing information about our local wildlife; it’s important to educate others that the majority of animals are just trying to feed their young and should be left alone.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The mission of this foundation resonates with me on many levels. Though I didn’t get to know her very well, I had an aunt who committed suicide when I was a teenager. Later, in my role as a first responder, I saw things that nobody should see. As first responders, we are present during the darkest points in someone’s life. I responded to many suicides and unspeakable tragic events over the years. Unfortunately, it all got internalized, because back in the early 90s, “processing emotions” wasn’t something you got help with or even knew you had to do. I’m a proponent that we need our first responders to be psychologically healthy to continue doing what they do, as not everybody can perform well in the role. I don’t have the statistics, but I know there is a high rate of suicide among first responders including firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics. I am therefore very much aligned with AFSP’s mission to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide.