Nov 18, 2020

Giving Back

Part 4: Morton Cure Paralysis Fund & American Lung Association

Written by Kirk Hoaglund, Chief Executive Officer

Since our founding in 1992, Clientek has been dedicated to giving back. For the past ten years we’ve committed to directing five percent of our annual net income to charitable causes. We also find ways to help with pro-bono and in-kind contributions. Below I outline the two charities we’ve had the longest relationships with.

Giving Back Tip #3:

Spoonful Apparel

There are a number of organizations that build giving back into their business models. Spoonful Apparel is one of my favorites. Since you are already buying t-shirts, sweatpants, logo-wear and other company/promotional items, consider swinging your purchases over to Spoonful. From their website: “When you make a purchase, we donate 50% of the profits to an organization in your community that is committed to fighting child hunger. We believe your investment should go to work to support kids who live where you do.” Company-logo jerseys for your softball team? Check. Kids in your neighborhood getting the meals that they need? Check.

Morton Cure Paralysis Fund

Clientek started working with MCPF more than twenty years ago. I’ve served on their Board and have enjoyed helping out at their fund-raising events. This organization has a unique and effective way of approaching grant-giving. 85% of the money they raise is granted to research groups targeting cures for paralysis due to spinal cord injury. They are unique in that they target early-stage research. As a sort of seed investor in spinal cord research, they look for promising work that needs backing to progress into larger scale research. The recipients are often able to use grant funds to produce results that attract much larger grants. They magnify every dollar by helping the early-stage researchers get to the next stage.

Twenty years ago, conventional wisdom was: paralysis due to spinal cord injury is irreversible. A medical condition for which there would never be a treatment. Today, due to the efforts of researchers who have received seed money from MCPF, conventional wisdom is now: a cure is just around the corner.

There are few iconic scenes of triumph more indelible than that of someone rising from a wheelchair to walk. MCPF is dedicated to the realization of that scene.

MCPF is an example of a charity that has been hard hit by 2020. COVID-related precautions have shut down their usual fund-raising events. The easiest way for you to help is to donate. Either through their website or this year’s Give to the Max Day.

American Lung Association

While reading this, please hold your breath.

In adults, almost 6% of men suffer from asthma and 10% of women. In children, over 8% of boys and about 7% of girls face the daily challenges of asthma. In aggregate, that amounts to one in eleven or one in twelve of all people has asthma. When you add in COPD and related lung challenges, one in ten people risk not being able to breathe. If you play a mind-game of “Six Degrees” you will find that you know hundreds of people that require regular medication and treatment in order to do that thing you take for granted: breathe.

Are you still holding your breath? Did you make it this far? Keep going.

American Lung Association is all about this and many other challenges associated with your lungs. With breathing. They provide resources for advocacy, education, and research. You can help them through many volunteer and pro bono opportunities and with your donations.

Did you make it this far without breathing? Think about it.


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