Spreading Holiday Cheer Through Charity / by Jasmine Tate

The end of the year brings joy, reflection and charity. For nonprofits of all sizes it’s a critical time for organizations to bring in their final streams of donations. Having been a supporter of nonprofit organizations for many years prior to beginning my professional career, I can say firsthand that generous contributions, large and small, are appreciated and truly make a difference in lives and communities. Although Giving Tuesday of 2018 has come and gone, donations made through the end of the year are just as significant for such organizations and may provide tax benefits for donors. In the spirit of giving and gratitude here are charities I support and their missions toward creating a brighter future.

Disclaimer: I am not a tax professional and advise you to seek counsel regarding tax benefits from a certified pro.

American Cancer Society

Mission: to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer

Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer and if you didn’t, now you do. I lost my mom to one of the most treatable forms of cancer, colorectal, at 12 years old. April 21, 2005 was the worst day of my life. This disease among many others takes lives and destroys families each year. Losing a loved-one is never easy, but having support from family, friends and organizations build hope and joins those affected to celebrate, remember and fight back.

My first personal introduction to the American Cancer Society came through a Relay For Life event while spending a summer in Osceola, AR with one of my aunts. I remember the atmosphere of comradery, inspiration and support from patients, caregivers and survivors walking a track around a football field for 24 hours to raise awareness and funds to eradicate diseases that impact lives around the globe. It was the first of several RFL events to follow.

After participating in the Southeastern Louisiana University Chapter of Colleges Against Cancer I was invited to join the local Board of the Southeast Louisiana Relay For Life Board. I’m pictured above tabling at the university’s student union to recruit student teams and participants.

After participating in the Southeastern Louisiana University Chapter of Colleges Against Cancer I was invited to join the local Board of the Southeast Louisiana Relay For Life Board. I’m pictured above tabling at the university’s student union to recruit student teams and participants.

March of Dimes 

Mission: to lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies

My three siblings are the greatest blessings my parents could have ever given me. They are the best big brothers and younger sister I could ask for, but more importantly they’re my friends. Our bonds have strengthened over the years, but we have two other angels in heaven that we never got to meet due to miscarriages of my mother.

This story is too familiar for women and families around the world. I was introduced to the March of Dimes through my volunteer experience in the communications department of North Oaks health system where I served as the department’s team captain for the local March for Babies. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and an organization that makes a difference for babies and families worldwide.

Education Foundations


Franklinton High School

Mission: to provide a safe and supportive environment to ensure the success of all students

Southeastern Louisiana University

Mission: to secure, manage and steward the reputation, relationships, and resources for the advancement of the University

The University of Southern Mississippi

Mission: build relationships with alumni and friends in order to secure private funds and other resources for the benefit of The University of Southern Mississippi

My education laid the foundation for my success throughout my academic career and allowed me to be apart of great legacies while building my own. The experiences, support and opportunities I received will forever be etched in my heart and have motivated me to be a resource for other students. Although many students attend college and fail to make it to graduation, I’m proud to be one of the one in three Americans who has earned a collegiate degree. I’m even more proud to have had the opportunity to earn an advanced degree and complete both curriculums debt-free. I believe with such education and opportunities comes a responsibility to pay it forward.

As I build and maintain a successful career, supporting the foundations at my alma maters with particular interest in supporting minorities, students who have lost parents and those interested in communications and healthcare careers.

Before walking across the stage to receive our bachelor’s degrees in communication we gathered for a group photos.

Before walking across the stage to receive our bachelor’s degrees in communication we gathered for a group photos.

United Way

Mission: to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good

I first associated United Way with athletics during my undergraduate career at Southeastern. I would often see athletes on campus wearing “Live United” t-shirts and TV ads showcasing NFL players participating in the Character Playbook and similar programs. I later learned upon my first position post-grad school that United Way is a global organization tackling poverty one community at a time.

Working for United Way in the Inland Empire, I was exposed to extreme poverty in the largest county in the US, San Bernardino. I was also able to serve, advocate and support efforts to break the cycle of poverty through various programs and services focused primarily on health, education and financial stability. Although I’m no longer employed within the organization, I still show my support and participate in local initiatives here in Orange County.

Although there are many ways to support nonprofits and causes you are passionate about or feel important, financial contributions don’t stop with a transfer of dollars from one account to another. These dollars make a difference. They serve families and communities. They provide food, shelter and clothing. They enhance reading skills, they build character, they provide resources. They back organizations, programs,  initiatives and volunteers. They do more. They do good.

In the spirit and season of giving, I challenge you to let your dollars spread some holiday cheer and do some good for the people and communities around you, beginning in your neighborhood.

What organizations and causes will you support this season? Share below.

HUGS & HANDSHAKES,

Jasmine C. Tate