causes steve supports
A career in cartooning has given me the opportunity to become aware of, or part of, several worthy causes and organizations. I contribute to these causes by advocating for them, donating cartoons and t-shirts, and financially supporting them through a percentage of sales from products. As a visitor to this site, you are invited to learn more about the causes listed below by visiting the highlighted links, or by contacting me directly.
ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION
I first got involved in advocating for organ and tissue donation when I met children and young adults awaiting transplants, while cartooning in a hospital environment. The immense need for more organ and tissue donors has inspired me to include the message: BE AN ORGAN DONOR on all of my published work since 1993.
Medical advances have greatly increased the success rates for transplanted organs and tissues—however there are not enough organ donors to provide what's needed for those on transplant lists. Organ donation is literally the gift of life. Not only do organ donors save lives and establish their legacies as heroes, they also give hope to those awaiting lifesaving transplants. By making the decision to be an organ and tissue donor, you put yourself in position to be one of those heroes. Please make that decision, sign a donor card and tell your family about your wishes. For further info visit www.neob.org.
A regular platelet (blood component) donor, I encourage everyone aged 17 or older (and over 110 lbs.) in good health to give blood. One pint of blood can help, and potentially save, up to three lives. It takes a short time to donate and the great feeling you have knowing that you did something important will stay with you for a long time. Giving blood is safe and convenient thanks to sponsored blood drives and area blood centers.
Giving blood components, such as platelets, red cells and plasma, is also possible thanks to advanced machines that make these donations more comfortable and faster than ever. People with certain life-threatening health conditions often need specific blood components to receive treatment for their illnesses. You can help them out directly.
Blood donors save lives. You can be one of them. Contact your local blood center for more information or my own local blood center at www.ribc.org.
THE TOMORROW FUND
The Tomorrow Fund helps children with cancer in the Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts area receive the finest quality care possible. It includes the Tomorrow Fund Clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, RI, and other financial and emotional support services for children and their families. The Tomorrow Fund is a godsend for families going through a cancer experience with a child. By offering financial support to The Tomorrow Fund, you can feel satisfied knowing that you are helping to ease the traumatic effects of cancer on children and their families. Visit www.tomorrowfund.org
for more info.
THE CYSTIC FIBROSIS FOUNDATION
Drawing cartoons in a hospital environment introduced me to those dealing with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults in the U.S. This disease most directly affects the lungs, although the digestive system and sinuses are also compromised. CF is a disease that research has made enormous strides towards curing. Advances in medications and treatments have dramatically increased the average lifespan of patients with CF and helps them stay out of the hospital longer.
Financial contributions to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation go toward controlling and curing this disease—and the cure is getting within reach. By supporting this foundation, you can literally help people breathe easier. Learn more by visiting www.cff.org.
THE NATIONAL MARROW DONOR PROGRAM
In some types of cancer treatment, it is necessary to destroy a patient’s immune system to destroy the cancer. In order for the immune system to recover, new bone marrow must be introduced to start the rebuilding process. Finding the right marrow donor to match the cancer patient can be very difficult. The National Marrow Donor Program maintains a registry of people willing to be a marrow donor for someone desperately seeking this lifesaving act of generosity.
It takes very little time to get on the registry of The National Marrow Donor Program. A simple, painless mouth swab is all it takes. If called as a match some day, a marrow donor would have the opportunity of a lifetime to save a life. Put in the position of needing a donor to save the life of a loved one—or even your own life—wouldn't you want to know that a matching donor is listed and willing to make that marrow donation?
Find out more about joining the National Marrow Donor Program by visiting www.marrow.org or www.ribc.org.
This cause may sound trivial compared to those above, yet I believe that doing all that's possible to protect natural resources and the environment in general is something everyone should be supporting. Energy and water conservation, recycling and responsible enjoyment of the environment is critically important now more than ever.
Supporting this cause is possible on the personal level—even when it comes to combating litter. Although not everyone can work in a laboratory at curing a disease, everyone can be part of the cure for the litter problem. First, don't litter. Second, pick up litter that you come across. Although you can't pick up all of the litter that the world confronts you with, if you pick up even one piece a day, you will be contributing to the solution for this problem. On top of that, you will be demonstrating responsibility to the environment—and that can catch on with people who observe you.
"Responsibility Is Something You Can Pick Up" is the theme that I have come up with for this cause. Be responsible and pick something up—you will enjoy the feeling of knowing that you have done something kind for Mother Earth.
Further information about important work being done to protect the environment can be found at www.nrdc.org, the website for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). This is a group that works with government to protect threatened natural resources and animal species. Through this organization you can become part of online efforts for environmental protection and awareness.