I am well aware of how blessed me and my family are and how fortunate I am to have a successful business. It has always been a goal of Sharon Gaietto Photography to contribute to helpful organizations. Organizations that truly make a difference in the lives of so many. Last year those contributions were not made as regularly as in previous years. So, to ensure that this does not happen again, Sharon Gaietto Photography is making monthly contributions to 5 organizations that have touched my life in some way.
There are many days when I take for granted the fact I can just reach into my refrigerator or open my kitchen cabinets and pull out food. The thought of not being able to provide food for my family is frightening. Yet, this is a reality for so many people in our community. The Common Pantry has been providing food and personal care items to people since 1967. Their continuous support has helped out countless individuals and families that have found themselves on hard times.
You only have to turn on the local news to see what dangers our firefighters and paramedics face on a daily basis. Whether it’s fighting a three alarm fire or tending to a gunshot victim, or worse yet doing all this in subzero temperatures, these men and women go well beyond the call of duty. The Gold Badge Society is an organization that helps families cope with having lost a loved one in the line of duty. Their membership is comprised of the widowed and families of firefighters and paramedics who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Their purpose is to offer support and comfort to any and all who might benefit from their experiences. Being the wife of a firefighter, I am very thankful for their commitment to the families of the CFD.
When the weather takes a turn for the worse, whether it’s a severe thunderstorm or dangerously cold temperatures, I find myself being very thankful for having a roof over my head. Though, I remind my children of how fortunate we are to have a warm and safe place to live, they are reminded on a daily basis. A trip in the car usually doesn’t go by without seeing one of the many homeless that live on the streets of Chicago. The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness. They work to address their immediate physical, emotional and social needs while affirming their sense of humanity.
Ten years ago we opened our home to a shelter dog. Though I was a little apprehensive, I have never regretted our decision to take her in. Our first baby, Zuzu, brought so much love and companionship to our lives. We are so grateful we had the opportunity to have her in our lives. PAWS Chicago has united 25,000 cats and dogs with new families since they started in 1997. Their mission to end the killing of homeless animals and find them loving and responsible families is an amazing gift this city has been given. It’s because of their dedication and love for animals, so many people will have the opportunity to invite a new family member into their homes and experience the unconditional love, a cat or dog can bring into their lives.
Having lost my mother to cancer in 2010, I am all to familiar on how destructive this disease can be. Not only did it slowly take our mother from us (an 8 year fight), it robbed us from so many wonderful years with her. So many birthdays, holidays and memorable events that were not the same, because she was not there. Being a mother of four, I can’t even fathom the thought of having a sick child. Having a child with a life-threatening disease is a nightmare of mine. A nightmare, that for so many is their reality every hour, every minute, every second of the day. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. Their commitment to help any child with catastrophic disease, no matter their color, religion or financial situation has been a blessing for so many since 1962. St. Jude is the answer to so many prayers.
My hopes in sharing this with you, is not for any “pat on the back” or “gold star”. My hope is that I have encouraged you to make your own commitments. To start off 2014 on the right foot and make a difference in someone’s life. Just a small donation to an organization that has touched your life or has proven to be an advocate for those unable to stand alone, would be greatly appreciated.