Car Donation Driven by Hope

There are 14.4 million cancer survivors in the United States1. That’s a BIG number!! But, some may ask, “How many people died of cancer?” Well, as one vehicle donor recently told me, “you can focus on the gloom, or the hope” and we’re focusing on the HOPE. After all, it’s why we’re in the business – taking vehicle donations for charities that work to make life better, healthier, fuller.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to speak with Beverly (Bella) Harris, one of the 14 million U.S. survivors. And, although I haven’t met all survivors, I can say she is the epitome of Hope. Bella bravely witnessed many loved ones battle cancer, some winning their fight while others did not. She also successfully endured her own battle and was left with more courage and Hope than she ever thought possible.

Once a bottom-line business woman, she was laid-off from her corporate job during her treatment. It was then she realized her dream of becoming an educator to special need students and discovered she now had the time to obtain that degree and certification. Today, Bella is completely dedicating her life to serving children with special needs and the families that love them.

Bella attributes her new life to her difficult health journey. She sees her struggle as a forced pause where instead of being scared she would lose life; she enveloped herself in the possibilities ahead of her and everything she could do when she was healed. She was granted that chance to continue and is now working harder than ever, but enjoying it more than she imagined. Because of her struggle, she is able to help her students and their families realize and attain what they might have seen as impossible. Bella is driven by Hope, and transfers to her students the Hope of development, empowerment, independence, and success. A gift she could not so fully share had it not been for her personal struggle.

Yes, she is fully aware that nothing about tomorrow is guaranteed, but instead of squandering today in fear, she does the most she can today. Our conversation put into perspective my own fears and worries…and how I am spending my time. It made me realize how paralyzing fear is…and that Hope is the perfectly fit prosthetic. Hope it what keeps us donating to support the search for cures, ways to heal, and comfort.

Throughout our conversation, Bella continued to comment on the beauty of life around her, and her gratitude for the chance to move forward and share her gifts. She pulled me into her world where I could feel her arsenal of Hope that includes strength, energy, power, and warmth.

Recently, as part of her arsenal of Hope, Bella donated her car to the American Cancer Society which was turned into valuable funding for cancer research, resources, and education. And, just like Bella, it WILL make a difference!

If you would like to make a difference by donating your vehicle, start by clicking here.

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.

Media Contact
Lisa Crowell, News Desk
1.877.709.2277 x3127sunshine

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Learn More About Noah

Written by guest blogger: Amanda M.

In early September 2009 my fiance and I found out we were having a beautiful baby boy. I remember sitting in the exam room listening to his heart beat on the ultra sound thinking about how amazing those few quick beats sounded. It was the best thirty seconds of my life followed by worst 1 minute of my life when the nurse explained to us all the things that could go wrong in the next 7 months or so before he was born; things like Spina Bifida, Fragile X syndrome and many more.

In March 23, 2006 I had Noah, a beautiful baby boy perfect in every way, but I couldn’t help but think about all those babies that were not born that way. I remember going into the nursery where there was this small baby born weeks early weighing only 1 pound 5 ounces. I was so lucky to be able to take Noah home, but my mind stayed with the small babies in the nursery and what I could do to help.

I think when everybody thinks of premature babies they think of the March of Dimes, at least that is who I thought of. One day while Noah was sleeping I jumped on my computer and went to the March of Dimes website where I looked to see  how I could help. While making my donation I also noticed that besides monetary donation, there are other ways to help like buying products with the March of Dimes logo on it, donating your cell phone or you can even donate your car. March of Dimes is an amazing organization that we should all be thankful for and support.

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My brother, the SeaBee.

By guest blogger: Marlayna Camara

Being part of a military family is an adventurous, interesting and also scary experience. My older and only brother Thomas joined the United States Navy in February of 2008, or should I say my family joined the United States Navy along with my brother in 2008. He went to boot camp in Chicago, IL in the dead of winter and on his graduation day we were there to congratulate him on his achievement. We have been there every step of the way supporting him and his decision to defend the Red, White, and Blue. Shortly after boot camp he was then shipped to Gulfport, MS where he will be stationed for the next 6 years, or more.

After only a few months of schooling and training, my family received news we feared would come. My brother and is battalion was being shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan for their first tour. My brother is a United States Navy Sea Bee. The Seabees, or SeaBees, are the Construction Battalions (CBs) of the United States Navy. The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing myriad other construction projects in a wide variety of military theatres dating back to World War II. He was sent to the Middle East to build military bases for the thousands of Marines being shipped out there for the Operation Iraqi Freedom, the War for Iraqi Freedom.

As scared as our friends and family were for his safety we could not let him hear the fear and sadness in our voices and he felt the same way towards us. As hard as it was we stood by our word and supported Thomas every day in our prayers. We sent him packages almost every day to keep up his spirits and those of his battalion. This was the first Christmas he was not there to share in the joy of the holiday season in 24 years. This took a huge toll on my family emotionally, but like anything else we stuck together and pulled through.

While Thomas was in Iraq my mother had joined a group for Navy Mom’s and had met a woman who helped us out and we grew close to her and her family as well. Jane had also given us the dates and information for the home coming of our Soldiers from Iraq. Soon after learning this information we quickly booked plane tickets to Mississippi to be there to greet Thomas as he arrived on US soil. Only my Mom and I were able to go down but it was so worth it.

We were able to stand in the hanger on the base and wait for the plane to pull in. After hours of waiting, in military life that’s what you do – hurry up to wait; the plane arrived and hundreds of soldiers unloaded from the plane. My mom and I stood there among other wives, husbands, children and parents with signs, flags and dressed head to toe in red, white and blue with no sight of my brother. Then my mom turns to me and says “If your brother is the last one off that plane I’m going to kill him!” Sure enough, my brother was the last one off the plane! We ran to him with tears in our eyes and our arms stretched as far as we could to take all of him in. The only thing my mom wanted to do was the same thing she did the day he was born, hold him, kiss him and to check that he has 10 fingers and 10 toes.

Following his first tour, we have still followed my brother through his journeys across the world, his NAM’s Navy Achievement Metals, and his quick move up in rank. From a no-name sailor to a Petty Officer 1st Class in only a few years was another major achievement. Unfortunately in 2010 Haiti was hit buy a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake, so Petty Officer Thomas Camara and NMCB 7, his battalion were shipped to help save Haiti. The men and women of NMCB 7 worked to remove bodies from the fallen buildings and rebuild parts of the island. They also worked close with actor Sean Penn in his efforts to help the Haitians. Mr. Penn co-founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization and is managing a tent camp on the Pétionville golf course that now shelters some 55,000 people. My brother was in charge of a good amount of the project becoming very friendly with Mr. Penn. My brother was able to give back to the community in more ways then one. He was able to hire a good many of the Haitians and provide them with work to help rebuild their lives.

My brother has seen a lot and has learned a great deal in the past few years of being part of the military and was able to help guide others who have recently traveled to Haiti. My boss has just returned from a visit in Haiti working with a charity called the Friends of the Orphans. They are dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children through the support of the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH, Spanish for “Our Little Brothers and Sisters”)  a network of orphanages in Latin America and the Caribbean. By donating and supporting the Friends of the Orphans you can help break the cycle of poverty for these children, and providing safe and loving homes for thousands of children in nine countries.

Giving back in the world is the greatest gift you can give. Whether it is lending a hand to some one who is in need of physical assistance or some one who needs financial help. There are many different ways to help but one way that is great and most people are unaware of is donating your vehicle. By donating your vehicle to a charity you’re giving the chance to donate more then you might be able to in a cash value. When a vehicle is donated to Friends of the Orphans or American Veterans, 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of your vehicle will be given to the charity. Helping out in any way is not only good for your soul but helps to make the world a better place.

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