Many people remember a loved one through their charitable giving and service. They nobly dedicate their time and talents to preventing or bettering the lives of people with similar afflictions to their lost loved one. Research varies but about half of households give anything to charity in a given year. When you look at only those that give, the percentage of household income is around 2%. Those numbers are projected to decline significantly. In other words, without those people who get involved in the nonprofit sector out of a personal connection to it, there wouldn’t be a sector to speak of.
During Constance’s life, her father and I served on boards and donated to charities inspired by her. It’s too early to say if volunteering will continue in her absence or be too painful. Luckily, nonprofits take credit cards so the donating should be easy enough presuming I’m capable of earning a living.
Having only lived to age eight, Constance’s volunteer experience was limited to things I took her to like the Little City walk where we staffed the volunteer tent or when we collected donations for our Township's Food Pantry at the Highland Park Sunset Foods Grocery Store.
The donations that people have made and continue to make in Constance’s memory matter to those served by Aspiritech, Cherry Preschool’s Inclusion Program, and Autism Service Dogs of America. We are grateful to those organizations for the things they did for Constance during her life. That support is as much a reflection of the kindness and generosity of the donors as it is of Constance’s greatness.
It is difficult to leave a charitable legacy in the world when you die at age eight. I think we are going to have to do it for it.