Thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s discussion. All opinions are 100% my own.
This is the season that we think of giving, but we should remember to give on all year long. I am so honored to share posts about giving this year and what we can all do to give back to the less fortunate.
I am happy to giveaway $100 Visa gift card to one of you to use to give back. You can read more about that at the bottom.
I am excited to tell you about the Bakken Invitation. The Bakken Invitation from Medtronic connects people together who have a serious medical condition but uses medical technology to help live their life normally. The honorees live their life with maintaing their disease and focus on giving back to the community through charitable service or volunteering.
Each year 10 Bakken Invitation Honorees are chosen, who are recognized for outstanding charity contributions. Live On. Give On.
Each honoree has offered a life tip to encourage you to give back. See below on the infographic the ten lessons:
The honoree recipient I want to share with you is Gretchen Merritt, 35. Gretchen was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when she was 13-years-old. Gretchen thought it would hinder her life with wanting to be active, but it did not stop her from reaching her goals. Gretchen just had to re-evaluate how she lived her life now that she has this life-changing disease. At 22, she decided to wear an insulin pump and that really changed her quality of life and was able to do the things she had always wanted to. With being active and eating healthy, Gretchen was able to play sports, go hiking, camping and white water rafting as a member of a youth ministry organization.
Gretchen has traveled the world, and when she turned 28, she learned about a charity called Freedom Firm and how it was trying to stop sex trafficking. Gretchen started volunteering at Freedom Firm and for years, this has been her passion to work with girls and help them out of this life.
When Gretchen was 30, she joined Freedom Firm full time and was the first employee based out of the US. For almost six years, Gretchen has worked to raise awareness, raise funds, work with volunteers, and educate the community about trafficking.
Have you thought about how you can give back? Here are five ways that you can give back to your community.
1. Donate Time – Just giving your time to help a charity helps them immensely. Charities are always looking for people to help with events, raising funds, or even just awareness of their cause.
2. Donate Money – Sometimes we don’t have a lot of spare time to give, but money is always needed in any charity. They put to to much needed supplies or charity needs.
3. Donate Goods – We all have things around that house that we have not used in years. But a needy family, child or adult could really use your old things and it could make all the difference in their life.
4. Join a Charity Race – There are many charity races for many causes, and just by showing up, or putting together a team to raise funds can help the charity out immensely and your doing your body good too!
5. Rescue, don’t buy. This is my personal favorite because we all know how much of an animal lover I am. Please rescue pets and not purchase pets. All animals need a good home and rescued pets can bring love and laughter into your home while saving their life and helping the rescue by adopting.
Enter to Win $100 Visa Gift Card
We are giving away $100 Visa gift card for you to use to give back to your community somehow, In order to win, all you have to do is comment below with which honoree story inspires you (not including Gretchen) and how you would use the $100 Visa gift card to give back. Click here to read the other nominees and their stories.
18+ and US only Ends Dec 30th.
Lisa Brown says
Haruko Sato would be my favorite story; she braved surgery to help to lessen the effects of her condition and keeps a very positive attitude despite not cured.
Kelly D says
Krystal Boyea’s story inspires me and I would use the money to donate items to my local food pantry.
I was finally able to get past that Chex ad and was able to read the stories and I am touched by Samantha Petersen’s story she is so very brave.
D Schmidt says
They are all wonderful but I am particularly inspired by Samantha Peterson from CT.
Haruko Sato inspires me the most. Her determination of getting better and helping others is so powerful and really resonated with me. I am going to donate to local food shelves and adopt a family to help with holiday wishes and meals.
I like David Watkins’ story the most and I would use the money to donate different items to a local shelter like food and gloves.
I/Ive’ do/done all but number 4… I have sponsored other runners, though. I am just so not a runner. :) Great list!
Haruko Sato’s story inspires me the most. I’d use the $100 to buy toys to donate for the holidays at a local shelter.
Krystal Boyea story really touched me. I would use it to give back by buying winter clothing and food
i like clint’s story and i would support my local 4-H youth community organization
Sydney A says
I find Krystal Boyea’s story to be inspiring. She doesn’t let her T1DM hold her back!
Sydney A says
Also, I would use the money to give to The Road Home. I was really touched today when I heard that just last night, they had 225 kids stay at the shelter.
Samantha’s story is inspiring…awesome about new medical treatment options. I would give to our local Salvation Army (they do so much good and have such amazing low cost of operations) or our food bank.
Amy Orvin says
I liked Samantha Petersen’s story and I would give back by buying more cat food and treats to help feed the neighborhood cats in need.
Sonya Morris says
Gretchen is one of my favorites too! No one should have to be subjected to that type of life! I love Krystal Boyea’s story as well. During my last pregnancy, I struggled with Gestational Diabetes and it was a huge wake up call for me. I could not imagine living a life of constantly pricking my finger, taking insulin, or even refilling a Medtronic pump but she has made the most of it!
I would use the card to buy extra items for my church pantry and baby corner. This is something dear to me because I have a daughter who is partially paralyzed from Transverse Myelitis (she has a Medtronic pump for Baclofen, how cool is that to find these posts!?) and I know how tough it can be for families of young ones in our uncertain economic times.
I am inspired by RAJNIKANT RESHAMWALA who you should ask yourself “Can I help? Then why not do it?”
No matter who you are or what your situation, there is always something you can do to help others.
Julie Wood says
Samantha Peterson inspired me the most because she Embracing what is difficult and that is what I do in life. I have had a lot of obstacles to overcome but she inspires me to never give up when things become hard in life! I would help with the Food bank and donate food. I am a big helper when it comes to helping donate to the food bank, and I want to give some of the money to Rachel Ray’s 9 million meals campaign!
Emily Smith says
Krystal Boyea’s story inspired me the most. I would help my community with the gift card by donating it to WomenSpace. They helped my sister out of an abusive relationship and I would like to give it to them as a thank you.
I also liked Krystal’s story.
I’d use this to buy some items for my local Ronald McDonald House.
Nicole Dz says
Lucilla Bossi story inspires me the most, I love how she lets nothing stop her from giving back and helping others succeed through her own struggle. And I would use the gift card to buy some food to donate to our local shelter.
Janice R. says
Haruko Sato’s story inspires me the most and I’d use the money to buy food to donate to a local shelter.
Gina M says
I am greatly moved by Lucilla Bossi, who has been living with Parkinson’s for 30 years, because I know someone personally who has to live with this disease.
I would give back by donating personal care items to our local womens shelter, and food items to our food pantry!
Thanks for the chance to win!
wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com
Sarah Hayes says
SAMANTHA PETERSEN inspired me the most bc of what she has over come . would use this gc to help buy items for children in need in my area
ellen beck says
Haruko Sato believes everyone has a mission in life. Hers is to build awareness of dystonia and to support other dystonia patients
Haruko inspires me the most because although she has been affected by dystonia, she doesnt let it define her, rather she takes it andd uses it as a springboard to help others all over the world. People with dystonia feel alone and isolated, she has centered hersself around not being alone but connecting with others.
We give back to our community in several different ways.. we volunteer at a food giveaway site and help serve meals. I am an avid gardener and give some of what was bessed to me back to the food bank. We also love giving to Toys for Tots . Theres a long story involved there but years ago when I was a child our family got toys and I will never forget them.
I also do TNR and socialize kittens out of pocket and maintain a feral cat colony (TNR is trap nueter release) I have done that well over 20 years .
We do quite a but, and try to do more. So many people are hurting, and although we have little it is a pleasure to do what we can. I would use the extra money to buy more seeds for the garden so we can give more of the bounty of the earth.
This is a great list. It’s a great giveaway too. Happy New Year to you.
Marianne Griffith says
Clint Doyle’s story about “Creativity is a Healing Voice” touched my heart strings.
I am an art teacher and I would love to be able to give back to local art
students who need the inspiration to create.
Igor Chamilla’s story inspires me to keep learning and keep looking for ways to help others! I would use my gift card to fund classroom projects on Donors Choose. Thank you, Melissa
Jessica Beard says
Wow, all of these amazing people inspire me to go after my goals and do good for others. I like David Watkin’s determination to overcome his obstacles and start running again. I love to do things for people who are least expecting it. I would like to make care packages for people in my grandma’s nursing home. I would include a nice card, a treat, and maybe a picture drawn by my sons. I know it would brighten their day.
Julie Truesdell says
Lucilla Bossi inspired me!
I would apply the $100 visa gift card toward my DonorsChoose.org project for my high-poverty classroom.
Erin Fesperman says
Even though every single story touched my heart, Rajnikant Reshamwala’s story is the one that inspires me the most. I know what it’s like to be homeless and for him to have continued to help needy children despite his medical condition is truly phenomenal. Children are the innocent ones here and when he is providing them with sheets, blankets, and other necessary items, this ensures that they are getting the rest and comfort they need in order to succeed in school.
I would use the money to do the same and donate them to the same foundation that helped me to get back on my feet, they help women and children who are homeless.
Valerie McElroy says
Samantha Peterson is an inspiration. My cousin also had surgery for Scoliosis. I saw how hard it was on her. Samantha is bringing awareness and the importance of medical attention regardless of wealth.
I would give back by purchasing school supplies to help many of my students finish the school year with the supplies they need. Being at a low income school, many of the students don’t have the supplies that they need.
Rhonda P. says
I am inspired by all of the stories, but Samantha Petersen’s story really touched me. There are so many children that are facing health issues. We need to be grateful for what we have and give back to others whenever we can. I would love to donate this to a non-profit organization, Right Road Kids, to help them continue their inspirational work with students. Thank you for the opportunity!
e michelle says
I like krystlas story! She is already doiung somuch in her community to educate and to care for people with diabeties. I will use the money to buy supplies for my little ones kindergarten class, her teacher is a first year teacher and there are not a lot of funds to get her classroom up to par with other teachers it would be great to get them some books and learning toys for the classroom!
Elizabeth J. says
Rajnikant’s story inspires me–helping homeless children! I would donate the $100 Visa gift card to teachers to help them purchase needed school supplies for their classrooms! Thanks for the chance!
David Watkins’ story really touched me because sports have played such a huge part in my life.
I thought everyone’s story was beautiful and really love how each individual faced their obstacles with strength and courage. Clent Benson’s story was one of my favorites. I love that he is living life to it’s fullest and also helping our younger generation discover their passions.
I volunteer at a shelter close to my home and love and appreciate the relationships that I have built there. I love hosting small events for them and would use the money towards creating more care packages for families in need.
Ashley ~ 3 Little Greenwoods says
Haruko’s story about “Blooming Where You Are Planted” immediately caught my attention. That has been my mantra for many years and her story is so inspirational!
Amanda Sakovitz says
I’m inspired by Krystal Boyeas story and I would donate extra food to my town’s food pantry.
I enjoyed reading about Samantha Petersen’s story because I also have scoliosis. I would use the $100 to purchase supplies for my Kindergarten team at my school.
I have known a lot of people close to me that have been diagnosed with diabetes. Krystal’s story really touched me because I do feel like diabetes is one of those “hidden” diseases. You can’t physically spot it but it’s one that can be very deadly if not treated properly. I love that Krystal has become a voice for people with the disease and is really putting her efforts into one location and doing as much as she can there.
The people that I surround myself with constantly inspire me to give back. I’ve always been involved in community service activities and I have found my passion in working with underprivileged Hispanic children. I participated in the immersion program in my elementary school and I love the language and am thrilled to be able to help with translations and providing tutoring services etc. I would use the $100 to purchase teaching materials for the kids! – Marie (mijulin[at]cox[dot]net)
Thomas Murphy says
I’m inspired by David Watkins story. I would use the GC to buy food for my local shelter.
I loved reading David Watkins story. My grandpa, a WWII veteran, is a survivor of many heart problems, including a 5 bypass and multiple other surgeries related to his heart. He is still going strong at 89, 13 years after his first surgery. If I won the $100 gift card I would use it to buy books for my 3rd graders that they can keep. Many come from low income and broken homes, but love reading!
I love Clint’s story! I think it’s beautiful to give back with the talents that you were given.
I enjoyed reading IGOR CHAMILLA’s story because I do feel like education and knowledge are powerful tools. Everyone’s story was great but I really connected with Igor’s story.
I’m studying to be a nurse so I love volunteering in my field. I’ve been working with the Red Cross and have learned so much from the people that I have interacted with. I really love helping and working with the little ones. I love surprising them with little gifts to brighten their day or by having little educational parties like trivia days. I would use the money towards the kids.