This post is part of #GivingTuesday's #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who are making a difference in their communities.
Sue Matthews, President,Taylor Matthews Foundation
What inspired you to start giving?
My then 11-year-old daughter, Taylor, founded TMF when she was diagnosed with cancer. The shock of diagnosis gave way to the reality that pediatric cancer is devastatingly underfunded by the US government. Taylor was horrified that thousands of children could be suffering from cancer and yet their cries for help were being ignored. Taylor was determined to make a difference. Less than a month after diagnosis, she founded a 501 C 3 non-profit organization whose sole mission is to raise awareness and fund pediatric cancer research. Taylor always said, “Mommy, if I can save one live it would all be worth it.”
What does giving mean to you? Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?
Giving is a gift. Giving gives my life meaning and purpose. Giving provides me with the opportunity to change the course of someone’s life. There is nothing more gratifying and rewarding then helping to save a child’s life.
The loss of my daughter has given me the drive, dedication and determination to continue to help other children with cancer. I get my strength from her. As I awake every morning and think of her I am reminded of why what I do is so important. I will never falter in my commitment to children with cancer.
I continue Taylor’s legacy of wanting to help other’s through the Taylor Matthews Foundation and through the book I wrote, with the help of my sister, “Paint Your Hair Blue… A Celebration of Life with Hope for Tomorrow.”
Paint Your Hair Blue takes the reader through the heartwarming tale of heroic courage and, devastating blows that characterized Taylor’s odyssey through the underfunded world of pediatric cancer. This book is an inspiring tale of the power of love and determination. It will empower the readers, no matter the circumstance, to embrace life and take control of their own destiny and face fears with strength, fortitude and confidence while living
Additionally my memoir provides support and specific advice for other parents confronting cancer as well as anyone going through a cancer diagnosis, a chronic illness, or caring for someone who is.
What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back? Share a piece of advice will help them get started.
Whether you are volunteering or donating funds pick a cause that resonates with you, one that you have passion for. Your commitment to your charity of choice is only sustainable if you believe in what they are doing and how they are executing their mission. Consider your own time commitment.
Research the charity; look at their tax return to determine how funds are allocated between administration costs and grants actually given. Determine if your goals are the same as those of the charity.
Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.
When TMF raised its first $100,000 Taylor was happy because my husband and I were happy. She didn’t understand what all the zero’s meant. It was as if I gave Taylor $10 to get a slice of pizza.