Working at the magazine, I hear about many local nonprofits. Some are just getting off the ground with a single event, others have gone global, rushing in to help people in places like Haiti and Japan. And while I’ve become familiar with what these organizations do, what their events are like, and who benefits from their work, it dawned on me that I didn’t always know how they started. More specifically, for whom.
This happened when I was doing routine fact-checking on a nonprofit called Mikey’s Way. Searching its website for contact information, I was suddenly struck by this sixteen-year-old’s story. Perhaps because it was told so simply or maybe it was just something about that day, but I heard it in a way that made it sink in. We write about Michael Friedman in this issue, so I don’t want to give away too much here, but he made a wish not for himself but for other children and teens also being treated for critical health conditions. It was a deeply moving decision that revealed to me what he was going through.
I started thinking about other local nonprofits founded by families to protect their own children as well as other children in the same situation. They bravely raise their voices and reach out for support.
I am grateful to the parents in our piece. They trusted the magazine to tell their stories; I enjoyed spending time with them at the photo shoot.
We talked a lot about their children and about starting a nonprofit.
These are just a handful of local charities and volunteers doing good work. Coming up in our November/December issue, Westport Magazine is publishing a feature called “Light a Fire.” It recognizes outstanding philanthropic work in the community. If you would like to nominate a worthy cause or individual, please head to our website at WestportMag.com. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing the stories that matter most to you.