Spotlight on nominee First Candle

Nominee First Candle Safe Sleep Guidelines

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee First Candle, nominated by donor Jbarefoot. They work to prevent SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, and support grieving families. You can find their web site here. First Candle provided grief support to Jbarefoot and her husband after tragically losing their healthy one-month-old daughter to SIDS.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee First Candle

Our Mission

First Candle is committed to the elimination of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths through education and research, while providing support for grieving families who have suffered a loss.

Who We Are and What We Do

First Candle is dedicated to reducing the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and preventable Stillbirths by educating caregivers and families, and supporting research. We are also committed to offering bereavement support for grieving families.

This has been our role for more than 35 years. In 1994 we partnered with the National Institutes of Health on the Back to Sleep campaign, which led to a reduction in the rate of SIDS by more than 50%.

Despite this, SIDS remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age. Due to SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation, more than 300 babies every month may not live to see their first birthday. Infant mortality rates in the U.S are also higher than in the 20 wealthiest nations.

Our objective is clear: saving babies and supporting families. Working with local organizations throughout the country we are educating new and expectant parents on the importance of providing a safe sleep environment for their baby. And for those families who have tragically lost a baby we are here to offer bereavement support and counsel.

We are a national member in good standing of Community Health Charities, have a Gold ranking on Guide Star, and a 3-star ranking on Charity Navigator. We are proud to maintain administrative costs well below the nonprofit industry standard of 25 percent.

So visit First Candle's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch their important video covering safe sleep guidelines for infants:

Spotlight on nominee Carroll’s Kitchen

Nominee Carroll's Kitchen

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Carroll's Kitchen, nominated by donor spencer. They provide healthy employment in restaurants to women leaving crisis. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee Carroll's Kitchen

Carroll’s Kitchen is a nonprofit social enterprise restaurant group providing healthy employment for women leaving crisis at two locations in Downtown Raleigh, NC. We offer contemporary Southern grab and go food to Downtown Raleigh and have been since our opening in 2016, more recently expanding to a second restaurant and now offering catering. We exist to stand in the gap for women seeking employment while recovering from traumas like homelessness, incarceration, addiction, domestic violence, etc.

Get Involved

When you give to Carroll’s Kitchen, you create an opportunity for us to connect a woman to a supportive and nurturing community of people dedicated to her wellbeing. You create an opportunity for us to provide job training and employment at our restaurant. You create an opportunity for a woman to move into safe and dignified housing — for her to leave crisis for good.

So visit nominee Carroll's Kitchen's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this inspiring video explaining Carroll's Kitchen's mission:

Spotlight on nominee InspireLit

Nominee InspireLit: Inspire the Joy of Literacy

Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee InspireLit, nominated by donor amrizzo01. They inspire the joy of literacy in children. You can find their web site here.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About nominee InspireLit

InspireLit is an Alexandria, VA nonprofit started in 2016. Co-founders, Jen Kenealy and Erica Jones, are moms and teachers who share a love of books and children. We created InspireLit to ensure that all children experience the joy of literacy. By building bridges between resources and needs, we strive to ensure that children across Alexandria have access to inspiring resources. Our hope is that our model will be replicated throughout other communities.

How we build bridges between resources and needs to inspire and support kids

  • Book Access: Make high quality books available to all children and provide opportunities for book choice.
  • Book Connectors: Connect leaders with kids to find just right books that match their interests and reading level.
  • Read Alouds: Encourage read alouds at home, school and in the community by providing resources for families, teachers and community members.

    So visit InspireLit's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause!

    Spotlight on nominee HIAS

    Nominee HIAS: Welcome the stranger. Protect the refugee.

    Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee HIAS, nominated by donor r.a.y.. They protect, advocate for, and help resettle refugees in the U.S. and beyond. You can find their web site here.

    A few words on Charitocracy

    Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

    About nominee HIAS

    Vision

    HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom.

    Mission

    HIAS rescues people whose lives are in danger for being who they are.

    • We protect the most vulnerable refugees, helping them build new lives and reuniting them with their families in safety and freedom.
    • We advocate for the protection of refugees and assure that displaced people are treated with the dignity they deserve.

    Guided by our Jewish values and history, we bring more than 130 years of expertise to our work with refugees.

    So visit HIAS's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this video of a recent HIAS-led trip to the U.S.-Mexico border to bear witness to the crisis affecting families and other asylum seekers:

    Spotlight on nominee The ChadTough Foundation

    Nominee The ChadTough Foundation

    Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee The ChadTough Foundation, nominated by donor brian. They fund research and raise awareness of pediatric brain tumors, with emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). You can find their web site here.

    A few words on Charitocracy

    Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

    About nominee The ChadTough Foundation

    The most hated word in the world of pediatric brain tumors is “rare.” “Rare” is the reason there is not enough research being done. “Rare” is the reason there aren’t drugs being developed. “Rare” is the reason there is so little funding. “Rare” is why our kids don’t have more options. The three facts below negate the claim of “rare”:

    • Cancer is the number one disease killer of children in America.
    • Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children.
    • DIPG is the leading cause of death from brain tumors in children.

    DIPG

    DIPG is a brain tumor found in the Pons of the brain stem. Children are typically diagnosed between the ages of 5-7 with around 300-350 new cases per year in the United States. The median survival rate is 9 months from diagnosis, only 10% of patients survive 2 years from diagnosis. Long term survivors total less than 1%.

    What makes DIPG so difficult to treat is not only its location (a very small area of the brain stem responsible for many critical bodily functions including breathing, swallowing, respiration, equilibrium and eye movement) but also the fact that it is “diffuse” (as opposed to looking like a solid mass or ball, it spreads out and mixes with healthy cells, it is sometimes described as looking “marbled”).

    One of our doctors called it “the worst kind of tumor in the worst possible place.” The only standard of care to treat DIPG is radiation. Radiation is used to shrink the tumor giving temporary relief of symptoms but after a period of time the tumor typically grows back. As it grows, it cuts off those critical bodily functions until the child can no longer swallow or breathe and eventually succumbs. You cannot surgically remove DIPG and until very recently it was considered dangerous to even biopsy. This has resulted in very little DIPG tissue being available for researchers to study.

    Perspective

    As a parent of a child with DIPG it’s hard to describe the bewilderment and anger you feel when you are told the standard of care for DIPG has not changed in over 40 years. When you combine a lack of tissue to study with a severe lack of funding for childhood cancer, you end up with no progress.

    Approximately 4% of the taxpayer-funded National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) annual budget is directed toward pediatric cancer. Not 4% for DIPG, not 4% for pediatric brain tumors… 4% for ALL of childhood cancer! Drug development is a huge issue for pediatric cancer. Drugs are developed almost exclusively for adult cancers and then simply “taken down” to treat pediatric cancers. Our children deserve better than this.

    Vision

    DIPG presents a great challenge. It is an extremely difficult and complex disease. We believe a cure will come from talented, passionate people working collaboratively. It will come from “Thinking outside the Box” and taking some risks. It will come from small breakthroughs happening in many different areas of medicine. The ChadTough Foundation is committed to funding this work.

    So visit the page of nominee The ChadTough Foundation on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this video about ChadTough's namesake, and the organization's efforts to rid the world of DIPG:

    Spotlight on nominee Hydrocephalus Association

    Nominee Hydrocephalus Association #NOMOREBS

    Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Hydrocephalus Association, nominated by donor magresto. They are working to cure hydrocephalus, an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within cavities of the brain. You can find their web site here.

    A few words on Charitocracy

    Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

    About nominee Hydrocephalus Association

    Community. Clarity. Cure.

    Seeking an end to hydrocephalus.

    The Hydrocephalus Association serves as the primary nexus for research on hydrocephalus, a condition defined by an abnormal, excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the cavities of the brain. Hydrocephalus affects over 1 million people in the U.S. alone. Approximately 1-2 babies for every 1000 births are born with hydrocephalus, but anyone can get hydrocephalus at any time through a brain injury or infection, among other reasons, or as part of the aging process.

    In our effort to find a cure, HA pursues a three-pronged strategy.

    COMMUNITY

    Hydrocephalus means a lifetime of uncertainty for the families and individuals who are confronted with a diagnosis or who are affected by the condition. Naturally, they want to learn more, to understand what the condition entails, what treatments are available, and they want to know they’re not doing this on their own. We understand this, because many of us have stood in those same shoes. To help, HA gathers together valuable resources and connects individuals to larger communities that can provide support and understanding. By providing an online library and common space for those dealing with hydrocephalus, HA works to reduce uncertainty, advance the overall hydrocephalus community, and provide as much insight as possible into what remains an often challenging and bewildering condition.

    CLARITY

    Despite its broad prevalence, hydrocephalus remains a misunderstood and often hidden condition, and the general population largely remains unaware of the breadth and depth of the impact of hydrocephalus. This lack of clarity complicates diagnosis, and not surprisingly, it also results in limited funding. For example, while hydrocephalus is 30x more common that Cystic Fibrosis, it receives only 1/13th of the federal research money.

    HA works to educate national and state policymakers, the medical community, and the general population about the nature and extent of hydrocephalus, and to focus attention on the condition and the legislation/attention needed for individuals to overcome challenges. Our Medical Advisory Board contains leading neurosurgeons, neurologists and other medical professionals and scientists to ensure that we are providing the most current and reliable information. We work to help others see the condition for what it is, so that it can receive the consideration it deserves.

    CURE

    Today, no cure for hydrocephalus exists, and the primary treatment – the insertion of a shunt into the brain – was developed fifty years ago and suffers from one of the highest failure rates of any surgical treatment. By focusing attention and research monies, HA works toward the ultimate end: a final cure to hydrocephalus.

    Little is known about the causes of hydrocephalus, but recent research offers hope that a cure is indeed possible. Already we are seeing improved diagnostic techniques. New valve designs are improving the efficacy of the shunts used to treat patients. New treatment options have opened up the possibility of a life without a shunt for some individuals. Studies in biomarkers and genetics are providing promising insights into how we might prevent the condition from occurring. This is the power that research has, and every dollar matters. The more research we can fund now, the better the scientific foundation upon which future research will build. HA supports a Strategic Research Initiative that focuses on work that will truly advance our understanding of the condition, and with that, discover its causes, improve its treatment, and help us see an end to hydrocephalus.

    So visit the page of nominee Hydrocephalus Association on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this video about HA's efforts to cure Posthemorrhagic Hydrocephalus:

    Spotlight on nominee Preston’s March For Energy

    Nominee Preston's March For Energy

    Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Preston's March For Energy, nominated by donor ColleenOBX. They provide access to adaptive bicycles for children with special needs. You can find their web site here.

    A few words on Charitocracy

    Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

    About nominee Preston's March For Energy

    Preston is a young man with Mitochondrial Disease, which leaves him with low muscle tone and developmental delays. He tires easily and has balance issues but everyday he wakes up smiling and determined to keep up with this friends and especially his big brother!

    During the summer of 2011 Preston was blessed to have an adaptive bike donated to him through a fundraiser that was developed by a family friend. The Buenaga family was amazed by this overwhelming support, and they are determined to “pay it forward” by raising money (each bike costs between $1400 and $2500) for more children to realize their dream of riding their own bike.

    Preston’s March for Energy was created with this goal in mind. With the overwhelming need for adaptive recreational equipment for children with disabilities and the concern for childhood obesity Preston’s March For Energy’s mission is to provide adaptive bikes to children with special needs.

    So visit PMFE's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this thank you video celebrating their 300th donated bike a few months ago:

    Spotlight on nominee Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

    Nominee Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

    Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, nominated by donors katnadam0616. CPARF funds cerebral palsy research. You can find their web site here.

    A few words on Charitocracy

    Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

    About nominee Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

    What is Cerebral Palsy?

    Cerebral palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. 1 in 3 children with cerebral palsy cannot walk and 1 in 5 cannot talk.

    Our Story

    Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation was proudly established in the United States in 2015 to fund the world’s best research to treat, prevent and find a cure for cerebral palsy.

    Purpose and Vision

    Our vision is a future without cerebral palsy. Our purpose is to support the world’s best and brightest researchers to find a prevention and cure for cerebral palsy.

    So visit CPARF's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out this short video about their latest fundraiser:

    Spotlight on nominee AFSP

    Nominee AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

    Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee AFSP
    or American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. You can find their web site here. It was nominated by donor Stephanie, who recently lost a close family member to suicide. You and your family are in our thoughts, Stephanie. ❤️

    A few words on Charitocracy

    Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

    About nominee AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention)

    Mission: Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide

    Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death.

    AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. AFSP creates a culture that’s smart about mental health by engaging in the following core strategies:

    • Funding scientific research
    • Educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention
    • Advocating for public policies in mental health and suicide prevention
    • Supporting survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide in our mission

    Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, and with a public policy office in Washington, D.C., AFSP has local chapters in all 50 states with programs and events nationwide. AFSP celebrates 30 years of service to the suicide prevention movement. Learn more about AFSP in its latest Annual Report, and join the conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

    So visit AFSP's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out their short video to learn how you can fight suicide:

    Spotlight on nominee Malala Fund

    Nominee Malala Fund

    Next in our series of posts about new Charitocracy nominees, we have nominee Malala Fund, nominated by donor SuZQ. They break down barriers preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school. You can find their web site here.

    A few words on Charitocracy

    Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

    About nominee Malala Fund

    Malala Fund is working for a world where every girl can learn and lead.

    With more than 130 million girls out of school today, here’s how we’re breaking down barriers that hold girls back.

    Investing in local education activists

    Through our Gulmakai Network, we invest in local educators and advocates — the people who best understand girls in their communities — in regions where the most girls are missing out on secondary school.

    Advocating to hold leaders accountable

    We advocate — at local, national and international levels — for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education. The girls we serve have high goals for themselves — and we have high expectations for leaders who can help them.

    Amplifying girls’ voices

    We believe girls should speak for themselves and tell leaders what they need to learn and achieve their potential. We amplify girls’ voices and share their stories through Assembly, our digital publication and newsletter.

    So visit Malala Fund's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And check out their short video explaining what they do and why they do it:

    If you have more time, watch Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Prize acceptance speech:

    And finally, if you have even more time, spend an hour with Malala and Dave Letterman on his Netflix show.