I've been blessed in many ways throughout my life and I've had theopportunity to meet some incredible people and work with some amazing organizations. Even though today is 'Giving Tuesday', there’s never a 'wrong' day for giving - in fact, every day is the right day.Here are some of my fave organizations:
  1. Stand Up 2 Cancer - I founded this w/ a group of exceptional women who were frustrated by the pace of cancer research; it was a natural outgrowth of my work to raise awareness and funding for colon cancer after my husband died of the disease in 1998. (http://www.standup2cancer.org/)
    5c6d067c f54c 4b3c 81b8 eb42893ab382
    I wanted to expand my efforts and help ALL cancer patients by getting scientists to collaborate and not compete. We now have dream teams working on a variety of cancers and they're making real progress. Not a day goes by when I don't think of Jay and my sister Emily, who died of pancreatic cancer 14 years ago. Stand up in trying to save other husbands, sisters, (brothers, fathers, mothers, children) and everyone we love, from being taken too soon.
  2. Jay Monahan Center (http://www.monahancenter.org/) - During Jay's battle with colon cancer, we realized the challenges of dealing with a cancer diagnosis-- having to go one place for radiation, another for chemo, still another for nutritional help, etc.
    We established the Jay Monahan Center to honor my husband and to give patients ONE place they could go to find comprehensive care--genetic testing, guidance on treatment and clinical trials, nutritional advice-- all coordinated by compassionate professionals. I am so proud of the team we've assembled and so happy they are there to help other families deal with the trauma of a cancer diagnosis and give others the tools they need to stay healthy.
  3. Robin Hood Foundation (https://www.robinhood.org/)
    For the last 25 years, the Robin Hood Foundation has continued to fight poverty in New York. It has raised close to $2 billion and provides goods and services to shelters, schools, soup kitchens and other city programs. As a New Yorker, this is one of my favorite city organizations; so much of the good work they do extends to other organizations and I love being a part of it!
  4. Scholarship America – I've been involved with with Scholarship America for several years, having donated the proceeds from my book, "The Best Advice I Ever Got" to this wonderful organization. (https://scholarshipamerica.org/)
    In 2011 we created the Dream Award to help students already in school to stay in school... so many kids are forced to leave because of financial challenges. Dr. Irving Fradkin, an optometrist from Fall River, Mass., established the fund in 1958 when he asked everyone in town to donate a dollar to help every child go to college. It has grown remarkably, and has provided $3.3B worth of scholarships to more than 2 mil students. Scholarship America does incredible work! http://bit.ly/1OtXBZ1
  5. Bowery Mission (https://www.bowery.org/)
    For over 100 years The Bowery Mission has helped to serve the city of New York by providing food, shelter and medical care to homeless and lower-income men and women. Plus, they have a summer camp, mentoring program and offer family support. My daughters and I spend a lot of holidays volunteering at the Bowery Mission and it’s become a real staple in our family.
  6. Education has always been something I considered a basic human right. Room to Read, founded by my friend John Wood, works to improve literacy and gender equality in education all across the globe. Now, millions of children across 10 countries in Africa and Asia have benefited from their programs and it’s only getting better. I traveled to Asia with John to see some of the work that’s being done there, and was blown away. http://bit.ly/1N1M12B
  7. More education! John and I both love this organization – what’s not to love about empowering students to graduate high school, succeed in college and continue on to achieve their goals? The mentoring program is expanding to other cities and it gives young professionals (and some more mature ones!) an opportunity to give back. They are really changing lives by providing consistent, present and dedicated role models. http://bit.ly/1ImooFd
  8. The River Fund New York (https://www.river.fund/)
    The River Fund continues to work toward hunger relief in NYC (among other things) - I’ve been so impressed with their work over the years and am proud to say I continue to work with them. We did a segment on the Katie Show called #Challenge4Change (hello Turkeys!) and last November at a Robin Hood heroes breakfast, a woman named Rose (http://bit.ly/1sDD3NZ) told her story that was so moving and inspirational - it gave a beautiful face to this organization.
  9. Worldwide Orphans Foundation (http://www.wwo.org/)
    My friend Dr. Jane Aronson has dedicated her life to working with kids and starting the WWO is just one of her many achievements. The work WWO does to help orphaned children become and stay healthy and independent members of their community is incredible. I continue to be amazed by the impact they have all over the world. http://bit.ly/1MUoL8R