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As we mentioned on the February live podcast, we are in the process of organizing a “virtual 5k.” We’ve already figured out the when part – we’ll be asking people to complete their 5k run this summer, between Father’s Day (Sunday, June 21, 2015) and Labor Day (September 7, 2015). Now, we need your help deciding which charitable organization will be the recipient of the funds we raise. The options that we’re choosing between all have connections who we are as a community. Any of them would be a worthy recipient – they’ve all been carefully reviewed and each has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for its financial health, accountability, and transparency. I encourage you to check out each of these organizations before voting. If the “all of the above” choice wins, we will divide the funds that we raise between all five of these organizations, rather than making one large contribution.

Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism – The autism spectrum has touched many members of our community and their families. One big reason that this foundation is the autism-related charity that made the finalist list is its focus on providing direct assistance and services to families living with autism.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention makes this list partially as a memorial. In the relatively short history of the DISDads online community, we’ve been blessed to have only suffered one “death in the family.” But that death was a particularly tragic one. Scott a/k/a SingleDad, was the solo parent of a special needs child and in the midst of difficult personal circumstances when he committed suicide in October 2012. AFSP funds research, education and advocacy all devoted to suicide prevention.

Armed Forces Foundation works to protect and promote the physical, mental, and emotional wellness of military service members, veterans, and their families. Armed Forces Foundation provides direct support to families in need and has been at the forefront of working to assist veterans who are returning home with PTSD and other traumatic brain injuries and their families. It was recently brought to my attention that the Armed Forces Foundation has ceased operation.

Dream Foundation works to grant the dying wishes of parents and grandparents with terminal illnesses. Fulfilling Dream Foundation dream requests is often about helping a parent leave his children with one last positive, joyful memory.

Pediatric Cancer Foundation is at the cutting edge of research into the leading killer of children under the age of 15. 90% of its expenses are research costs, and they are funding multiple Phase I clinical trials as well as working to evaluate possible treatment agents that have not even reached the clinical trial stage yet.

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