Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Show Your Giving Spirit on Giving Tuesday

You bought for your friends and family on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, now it's your favorite non-profit's turn!  What do you think about donating some of those great savings to A Giving Spirit or another deserving organization?

Please give today or any day!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Cancer Sweater

Are you watching Parenthood on NBC this season?  While this has always been a quality show with excellent writing and acting, Christina Braverman's breast cancer story line makes this the most moving hour on TV each week.

A Giving Spirit Foundation has supported many families that are affected by breast and other types of cancer. We know it's hard, we know it's emotional.  But there's something about the way Parenthood is telling this story that is different than what you might normally see on TV.  They're exploring how it affects the family, they're showing how this diagnosis impacts an independent woman who's been providing for her family and now must rely on their help and the generosity of friends.  And it's showing how lonely the person with the diagnosis feels when every part of the world she knows is now out of her control.

This past week there was a nice moment when Christina's mother-in-law gave her a sweater that had been passed down through friends of hers.  It was meant to be a token of comfort from others that had faced what she is now facing.  I thought it was a nice moment and then I found out that this was actually a real sweater and the story behind it was true, not just an invention in the script writer's mind.

What a wonderful idea and I'm sure that the first person who passed the sweater on didn't do it with the intention that it would end up on national TV. I hope everyone suffering from a debilitating disease, whether it's breast cancer, ALS or something else, has a symbol of love and hope to help comfort them during their illness.

Please watch the story of The Cancer Sweater.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Love Letter

Want to know what A Giving Spirit Foundation has been up to this year?  Please read our annual letter to our supporters.

September 30, 2012

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world.
Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

A Giving Spirit Foundation (AGSF) is a small group of people with two big goals: make the lives of women suffering from debilitating diseases a little easier; and participate in the larger, longer fight against ALS.

Who are some of the women we’ve helped this past year?  Women who were all employed mothers providing for their families until an illness forced them to the sidelines. Women who have exhausted all other resources and may be on the brink of losing their home or worse.  AGSF finds itself playing a critical role in supporting families and allowing them to heal with dignity and get themselves back to work and into society.

·         Ms. Y.:  Breast cancer, double mastectomy, hysterectomy.  A single mother of 4 children, Ms. Y was physically unable to work for 8 weeks during her treatment and fell behind in her rent and utility payments.  AGSF paid her rent and utilities until she was able to return to work.   

·         Ms. S:  Stage 4 breast cancer.  A single mother of a 17 year old son, Ms. S was forced to choose between making her rent payments and maintaining the insurance which was paying for her medication and treatments.  AGSF paid her rent until her social security benefits kicked in.

·         Ms. G:  Breast cancer, mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  Ms. G was physically unable to work during her treatments and her short term disability benefits expired before she could return to work.  AGSF covered her rent and utilities until she was able to work again.

·         Ms. J:  Stage 4 breast cancer.  A single mother of a 12 year old daughter, Ms. J was in danger of being evicted while she waited for her disability benefits to start.  AGSF paid her back rent and allowed the family to stay in their apartment until she started receiving her full SS benefits.      

It is because of you that these women were able to stay in their home, pay for medical treatments and get back to work and continue to provide for their family.

In 2012, we decided to forgo our typical “one big event” fundraising method and instead went grassroots.  And how exciting it was to see individuals and local businesses step up and say to all of their friends and customers that “A Giving Spirit Foundation is an important organization and I want to lend my time and give my money to it.”

At the end of 2011 we unexpectedly received a $2500 grant from Stuart Levine & Associates.  As a result of this grant, we received a matching grant from Broadridge Financial Solutions. Both companies are located in the Northeast but Laura Somerville Woodall’s story and her dreams for AGSF reached the right people. Many, many thanks to Larry Tarica who made this gift of $5000 possible. 

In early 2012, Robyn Kilby Smith approached board member Lisa Bynum about running the South Park Racefest half marathon with her to raise funds for AGSF.  Through their CrowdRise fundraising pages, they raised over $4700 by the time they crossed the finish line in April. 

2012 marked the start of our first AGSF Awareness MonthWe chose May as AGSF Awareness month to coincide with three meaningful events: May is ALS Awareness month; May 5th is Laura Somerville Woodall's birthday and Mother’s Day is celebrated in May.  These three events are at the heart of AGSF so there was no better month in which to spread the word of what we do and who we help. 

Special thanks go to these supporters and businesses: 

·         Susan Perry Yarber of www.simpliSPY.com offered to host an info-cocktail party at FABO Café in Charlotte.  Attendees learned about AGSF and 10% of sales that evening from FABO went to AGSF.
·         Sabi Restaurant of Davidson extended their “Chow Down For Charity” from one day to three days and 10% of sales to AGSF supporters went to AGSF.
·         Main Street Books in Davidson gave a portion of their sales from Davidson Town Day to AGSF.
·         Ben & Jerry’s of Davidson hosted an ice cream social one evening and not only donated a percentage of sales but also donated all tips to AGSF.
·         Pam Hansen led a yoga “karma” class at GottaYoga Lake Norman and all participants donated their class fee to AGSF.
And these entrepreneurial kids prove it’s never too early to show their giving spirit:
·         Caroline and Michael Swartz hosted a lemonade and brownie stand in their neighborhood to benefit AGSF.
·         Mayella Strodel, Alli Fleming and Kylie Skovira created the “m.a.k. kandy kave” candy booth at Davidson Town Day and donated all their proceeds to AGSF.

We wish we had the space to acknowledge all of our generous donors.  Your gifts are deeply appreciated by the AGSF Board and the families and ALS research institutions who ultimately receive them.

In June, local magazine Lake Norman Currents decided to feature Laura Woodall and AGSF in that month’s issue. The headline gets it right: Light in the Face of Adversity; Laura Woodall’s courage fuels A Giving Spirit Foundation. If you did not have the opportunity to pick up a copy, you can view it online.  You can find the link posted on our website and Facebook page (links in left margin).

All of this leads to AGSF fulfilling the mission of helping deserving area mothers who are facing a debilitating disease. Each research discovery that Project A.L.S. or the ALS Association makes is also a result of these efforts.  

The goals for 2013 are simple: raise enough money to continue funding the grants that have proven vital to many area mothers; continue to support research institutions searching for a cure for ALS; and spread the word about this organization so that it can make a greater impact on the community and secure its legacy for years to come. 

That’s the hope of Laura Woodall and those that believe in A Giving Spirit. 

Margaret Mead is right, and this small group is indeed making progress.  But if 2012 has shown us anything, it will only happen with the continued support of each of you.


A Giving Spirit Foundation Board of Trustees

PS:   The best way to stay up to date with A Giving Spirit Foundation is to “like” our Facebook page.  If you’re on Facebook, go to www.facebook.com/agivingspirit and hit the “like” button.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Putting a Face on ALS

If you don't live in the Davidson, NC  area, there's a good chance you missed a wonderful and inspiring article in our local Lake Norman Currents magazine.   Lake Norman Currents had heard about the organization and the woman who set it all in motion and immediately knew this was a story worth telling. 

The headlines gets it right:  "Light in the Face of Adversity; Laura Woodall's courage fuels A Giving Spirit Foundation"

You can read the whole article here from the June 2012 issue - it starts on page 26.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

May 2012: AGSF Awareness Month

Local area businesses are supporting A Giving Spirit Foundation during the month of May in order to bring awareness to this non-profit organization.    Dine or shop these businesses during these dates and times and businesses will give a percentage of the sales to AGSF.

  • April 30th  - May 2nd:  Sabi 130 Harbour Place Drive, Davidson, NC  Write “AGSF” at the bottom of the receipt when dining anytime on these dates.
  • May 5th: Main Street Books  126 South Main Street, Davidson, NC
  • May 7th , 5-8 p.m. : Ben & Jerry’s Davidson  202 South Main Street, Davidson, NC 
  • May 8th, 7-9 p.m. : Fabo Café  2820 Selwyn Ave, Charlotte, NC

AGSF was founded in 2008, soon after Laura Woodall of Davidson, NC was diagnosed with ALS. Mrs. Woodall quickly realized that one of the most challenging parts of living with disease is the toll it can take on the family, mainly due to the new financial pressures that come with ongoing  health issues. That realization prompted her to take action and ask friends to form A Giving Spirit Foundation.

AGSF Awareness month is planned for the month of May to coincide with ALS Awareness month, Mother’s Day and Mrs. Woodall’s birthday.  Mrs. Woodall is proud of the progress AGSF has made over the last few years.  “AGSF has given to individuals who needed assistance and has given to research.  It is my and my family’s hope that this foundation continues to give back.  My vision is that A Giving Spirit Foundation will persevere for years to come.”


Monday, January 30, 2012

What can a family do with $2550?

As most people do at the end of the year, A Giving Spirit Foundation took stock of what we accomplished in 2011 and decided we had a very good year.   Many deserving families in the greater Charlotte, NC area received grants that, in their words, changed their lives.   Thanks to  the unending support of many loyal donors, A Giving Spirit gave out $22,938 in grants and $1500 to research organizations searching for a cure for ALS.  The average grant awarded was almost $2550.00.

A Giving Spirit Foundation needs to thank our loyal supporters without whom we'd be nowhere.  Even though we did not have our annual event in 2011 - this event raises the majority of our funds for the year - we were still able to make a difference in many women's lives.  They appreciate you and we appreciate you.

We have big plans for 2012 and we're working hard to find new ways to fundraise so we can increase the number of families we can support.    If you'd like to support us financially, please donate by credit card through our secure website (PayPal) or mail a check to us at the address to the right.  

Or, if you'd like to make sure someone is working hard to earn your money, head over to our CrowdRise page and see what some of our supporters are doing to raise money on our behalf.  You can donate through CrowdRise safely and securely too (http://www.crowdrise.com/agivingspirit).  And if you'd like to raise money on our behalf, please try out CrowdRise - it's easy, safe, and pretty cool.

And, if you're interested in donating your time to help at one of our upcoming events, please email agsf@agivingspirit.org.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Join the Crowd

Have you heard of CrowdRise? It's a cool new platform that allows anyone to raise money for another organization - doing whatever it is they want to do. AGSF isn't picky - if you want to knit the longest scarf and get donations for each foot you knit, go ahead. Or maybe you want to enter yourself in a hot dog eating contest and have your friends donate $100 per hotdog. Or just put a plea out to your friends and family and challenge them to give money to a worthy cause.

Anyway, the point is, if you're doing something that you think you can turn into a fundraiser and raise $10 or $1000 or $10,000 (and anything in between) to help A Giving Spirit Foundation then consider using CrowdRise as an easy way to spread the word and take online donations.


It's easy to start and easy to receive donations. Just create a project on the AGSF Charity Profile page and start spreading the word!

If you'd like to raise money toward a specific grant request, let us know and we'll talk about some of the deserving families we've received grant requests for and how you can help fulfill the grant.