Six Worthwhile Charities to Donate to!

Illustration of hands up in the air
Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Previously we have mentioned several charitable organizations that Howard Fensterman choose to donate to, and in this article, we will expand out to a broader view of charitable organizations across the globe. 

Since there are so many causes that need donations as well as volunteer work, we have picked five that we feel deserve notable attention.

That does not mean that you agree with our picks, as you may have some in mind that you believe are more worthwhile to donate to, and that’s perfectly fine! But we are sure the ones that we have selected here are worthwhile as well, so we simply ask that you read about them and then make your decision. Let’s begin.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospita

$1.8 million per day! That’s what it cost St. Jude to care for these children and they charge the families zero dollars! What’s more precious than a child? What could be more painful than parents who see their child suffer from cancer? Or worse, actually being that child with cancer!

You’ve heard the expression “Let’s stamp out cancer in our lifetime”. Thanks to the superb efforts of St. Jude Cancer Hospital, that may become true! 

Established by Danny Thomas, St. Jude works with top scientists and doctors to research, understand, and subsequently treat children with cancer, as well as other life-threatening diseases. 

Pediatric cancer is St. Jude’s major research and care and the young patients may be there for quite a while. Possibly up to three years or more, and the costs can be astronomical with an average price tag of around $425,000 but can be up to $1 million or more.

With that said, no family ever pays a penny to St. Jude, but if the family does have insurance, St. Jude will bill the insurance company, but that’s it. No copays or deductibles are ever asked for.

Shriners Children’s Hospital

Let’s stay with children’s charities just a bit more. The Shriners Children’s Hospital provides exceptional pediatric care for children suffering from diseases or injuries. They have locations throughout the United States on both coasts and middle America, as well as, one in Hawaii.

Some of the care they provide is orthopedic therapy, gastrointestinal conditions, burn care, rheumatic therapy, sports medicine, and pediatric surgery.

Consider donating to this worthy cause. 

Tunnel to Towers 

We selected Tunnel to Towers because it represents folks who sacrificed more than anyone would want to-to sacrifice. The charity provides new homes free of charge to first responders, law enforcement members, and the American military who have been permanently injured in the line of duty. Tunnel to Towers also provides homes to gold star families who have lost a loved one. 

These homes are state of the art with all the ‘smart’ features necessary for those who have difficulty managing daily home living.

Created by Frank Siller who lost his brother firefighter at the World Trade Center on 9/11. 

While you’re at it, you might want to also consider a donation to Paralyzed Veterans of America

We should never forget the sacrifices our military and first responders have given for our country!

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network 

Pancreatic cancer is one of the scariest cancers to acquire. Over 62,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with this disease in 2022 and it is one of the most difficult to manage almost 49,000 people will die from this cancer this year!

Pancreatic cancer is not easy to diagnose and there are no specific symptoms that occur in the early stages of the disease. Unfortunately, the result is that pancreatic cancer is not found until the later stages, which means that it has already spread through the body, and surgery at that point is not a valid alternative.

That is why we choose the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as one of our top charities to donate to. 


Most of us have heard about Care. An international organization is driven to help hunger strife families throughout the world.

As per their mission statement: “CARE provides quality, gender-focused and localized humanitarian assistance to 10% of those affected in major crises, reaching at least 50 million people by 2030.”, their goal is to help more than 50 million people from external factors such as war, natural disasters, climate change, and migration that cause homelessness and humanitarian food crisis around the world. 

Care would like to stamp out hunger once and for all. When you donate to Care you know you are helping families that are in dire need of food and shelter.

Camp Good Mourning 

Children fishing at Camp Good Mourning
Photo SS

A local (NY area) 501c3 nonprofit organization that caterers to children who have lost a parent or sibling. Camp Good Mourning is a bereavement organization.

As per their website: “Camp Good Mourning! supports, educates, and empowers grieving Long Island children in a traditional summer camp setting . . . with something EXTRA SPECIAL . . . the ability to connect with other ways who harass experienced the death of a parent and/or sibling!”

When visiting the camp as we have done, the most prominent aspect that we noticed were the smiling faces of the children as they participated in their activities.

If you have suggestions for us to donate to a worthwhile charitable organization, please let us know!

Children’s Oral Health – A Few Common Dental Problems in Children

Children, Smile, Eyes, Happy, Smiling, Joy

Childhood is a period of curiosity, growth, and exploration. During these early years of discovery, children often tend to try foods that aren’t necessarily the best selection when it comes to good dental care. Gummy candies, sugar-laden sweets, ice cream, irregular brushing, and missing visits to the dentist all lead to oral health problems. 

As a parent, knowing some of the common dental issues will help you identify the potential problem and improve the oral health of your children. Some of the most common dental health issues in children include the following. 

Tooth Decay 

Around 20% of children in the US between the ages of 5 and 11 suffer from tooth decay. And the untreated and persistent condition continues well into adulthood among 13% of adolescents. In Australia, the problem is much more severe. Half of all 12-year-olds have decay in their permanent teeth. This dental problem accounts for more than hundreds and thousands of lost school days throughout the world. 

Tooth decay is caused by poor oral hygiene. This includes irregular brushing and not seeing a dentist regularly. Unhealthy, carbohydrate-rich diets which include soda, juices, and canned fruit is also one of the main culprits of tooth decay. All these factors allow a certain type of bacteria to thrive in the mouth. As a result, a sticky build-up known as plaque can be seen in the mouth. Over time, when exposed to food, plaque produces acid which erodes the outer layer of the tooth (known as enamel). Eventually, the inner layers of the teeth continue to get affected by the plaque, which gradually leads to tooth decay. 

On a positive note, tooth decay is a preventable condition. Proper brushing, flossing, gargling with a germ-killing product, a healthy diet, and regular visits to a dentist can help reduce the chances of a child developing this condition. It is important to brush properly twice a day with a fluoride-rich toothpaste. Also, ensure that children as young as two years old floss their teeth regularly. As a parent, you need to make sure that your child avoids sugary foods, especially before bedtime. 

Bad Breath 

Bad breath is another common dental issue. This is not only common among children but affects people of all ages. Often, bad breath is a result of the foods we consume. Foods with a strong smell such as garlic can lead to bad breath. But if this is a persistent issue, it is an indication of some other underlying issues. 

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is caused by bacteria that resides in the mouth. These bacteria live in colonies and survive on leftover food particles and plaque. As they eat food, they produce hydrogen sulfide which results in bad breath. The problem is most common in children in the morning. But in case bad breath is a cause of concern throughout the day, it is an indication of some larger issue. Sometimes, it can be a result of other oral conditions, such as gum problems, poor hygiene and problems of the digestive system. 

One of the best ways to prevent the problem of bad breath is regular and proper brushing. It is important to brush the tongue as well to remove the bacteria in the mouth. The use of antibacterial mouthwash can also help reduce this problem. If the problem persists throughout the day, you should get a dentist’s appointment for your child. 

Tooth Sensitivity 

Another most common dental issue in children in tooth sensitivity. This happens when the top layer of the tooth gets damaged by bacteria.

This layer is known as enamel which helps to protect the inner parts of the tooth and nerves from getting damaged by the bacteria. When the enamel gets eroded away by this bacteria, it can expose the inner parts and nerve endings of the teeth. As a result, the tooth becomes more sensitive to cold and heat. If a child has tooth sensitivity, hot and cold food and drinks will cause irritation and discomfort. But in more severe cases where teeth are extremely sensitive, even breathing in hot and cold air can cause pain. 

Anyone regardless of age can have tooth sensitivity, but the problem is more common among children. This is because their enamel is thinner compared to adults. Also since their diet includes too many carbohydrates, it results in damage to the enamel along with a buildup of plaque. While tooth sensitivity is primarily caused by damage to the enamel, other problems such as cavities can also lead to tooth sensitivity. 

Just like most other dental problems, tooth sensitivity can be treated. However, this time good oral hygiene practices alone won’t help much and you will need to see the dentist. Dentists often recommend the application of fluoride sealant to the teeth. This helps reduce sensitivity and strengthens tooth enamel. Also, it is recommended that children use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Using a toothbrush with hard bristles can damage the surface of the teeth over time. 

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy 

The solution to all dental issues in children lies in maintaining proper oral hygiene and visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Regular brushing and other oral hygiene practices such as flossing and the use of mouthwash will help you keep dental problems to a minimum. But in case something arises, a visit to the dentist can certainly allow you to diagnose and treat the potential dental problem.    

A Brief Discussion of Birth Defects

Baby being held by womanAh, the miracle of giving birth, the significance of which can never be overstated.

Motherhood is a gift, but it is also an enormous responsibility, both when carrying and during upbringing. Parenthood means you are responsible for someone else’s life and you are bound to protect and care for your children.

Childbirth Definition

Childbirth is already an arduous task. Unfortunately, it can become a complicated one as well. Due to any number of reasons, a
birth defect might arise. By definition, it is an unusual development of the fetus. The consequences of such anomalies include death, malformation, retardation, or functional disorders.

The statistics relating to birth defects in newborns are alarming. Nearly 150,000 children are born every year with some form of deficiency or deformity. Furthermore, roughly 3% of infants are prone to a malformation upon birth. Some of these adolescents do not exhibit signs until they are much older.


Despite their expertise, doctors are not always able to diagnose the actual reasons for birth defects. When it is possible, they cite the child’s genetic structure or environmental effects or a combination of both as justification for these congenital malformations. While the genetic makeup may mean the defect is hereditary, environmental issues can include exposure to chemicals or an infection while the child was developing in the womb.

Doctor Examining Woman Before Giving Child Birth
Doctor examining woman before giving childbirth. Bigstock

Let us elaborate on the science behind genetic causes. Each cell in the human body contains a chromosome that holds genes. Genes are the fundamental elements of a cell that determine the traits of a person. When a mother conceives her child, she bestows these genes to her offspring. Generally, a child receives one chromosome from each parent.

A failure or omission in the mechanism of this process is what causes birth defects. Either a child may have excess chromosomes or a scarcity of it. A familiar issue caused by a chromosome imbalance is the phenomenon of Down syndrome. If an extra chromosome is allocated to the child, they develop this condition.

Other genetic disorders include achondroplasia or dwarfism and Marfan syndrome, which is a disorder that affects the connective tissues in the body. There are rare cases where a child can obtain a disease directly from their mother. The female genetic code is called the X chromosome. Typical examples include color blindness and hemophilia, a condition where the blood doesn’t clot normally.

Then there is the environment. A mother’s health is paramount during pregnancy. Caution is advised for the nine-month duration since any mishap can affect the child as well. Even if a mother exercises extreme caution, she is still prone to an infection or illness. Sadly, this can prove detrimental to the health of the child she is bearing.

If a mother suffers from chickenpox during pregnancy, her child may develop a defect. Similarly, toxoplasmosis, a disease caused by a foreign parasite, can give the child a disorder. Thankfully, vaccinations are available which can improve the mother’s health and prevent the child from being harmed.

If a mother is particularly reckless in her pregnant phase and routinely consumes alcoholic beverages or indulges in recreational drugs, she will invariably cause damage to her child. It is better to be safe than sorry when you’re expecting a child.



Baby at Birth
Photo by Frank Alarcon on Unsplash

There are various forms of birth defects. One instance is a congenital heart defect. One in eleven children is likely to suffer from a heart illness. These are caused by a genetic disequilibrium during the chrysalis in the fetus. The worrying part of heart defects is that they can often escape detection. A child is likely to experience an accelerated heartbeat and respiratory issues. Feeding may also be an inconvenience and there may also be swellings in the lower half of the body.

Another disorder is called clubfoot. It is more prevalent in boys than girls and involves a physical deformity that affects the ankles or feet of the child. It is likely a consequence of genetic and environmental determinants and does not manifest itself until the child begins to walk.

Moreover, a cleft lip is another common abnormality. A cleft lip occurs when the hard palate (roof of the mouth), soft palate (tissues at the back of the mouth), or the upper lip are split during fetal formation. For some reason, It affects Asian children more than North Americans.

A child who suffers from this condition requires a speech pathologist to aid his/her delivery of the speech. The severity of cleft lips can vary. While some are mild, others involve the lip and floor of the nostril and part of the dental arch as well.

Another birth illness is known as spina bifida. It is a less common disorder that affects one out of every 2,000 children. A malformation of the child’s neural lobe, which is the basis of their brain and spinal column, prohibits their backbone from closing properly. Fortunately, if the issue is detected during pregnancy, cesarean birth is organized so that experts can handle the baby immediately.

Immature limbs are the final defect we will discuss. Some children are born with a limb deviation. The professional opinion is that this is likely the result of an environmental factor rather than a genetic one. Nevertheless, an orthopedic specialist and therapist must be consulted to help the child cope. Infants who are affected are also fitted with a prosthesis to aid their movement.

The concept of birth defects is a lamentable scenario that makes an indelible impact on the lives of children. Although they cannot be prevented entirely, science has given mothers and children plenty of hope. First, mothers should be extraordinarily careful during pregnancy. Second, on the off chance that they observe an issue post-birth, they should immediately consult a doctor.

That about sums it up for this brief explanation of illnesses during birth, but with the advancements in medical technology, it is only a matter of time when all these abnormalities will come to an end and that will be a site to see! 

Four Common Childhood Illnesses and How to Treat Them

Ricard Canals 'Sick Child'
Ricard Canals 1876 – 1931 Barcelona ‘Sick Child’

You have just welcomed your new born into the world and you do everything possible to keep your child safe. Unfortunately, babies and newborns are bound to catch something, no matter how hard we try to protect them. The idea of course is to protect them from the viruses that lurk out there as much as we can. Here are some common diseases and illnesses faced by children and how to properly treat them.


This is a very common type of illness among children. Even though you may not be familiar with its name, in layman terms, it is a tummy ache. Additionally, it can lead to diarrhea and abdominal pain if things are not handled correctly. This type of disease normally comes as a result of the variety of viruses inside the stomach of children. If your child faces this problem, it is suggested that he/she drink water;* however, not very much, as it sickens the child. In this case, it is ideal to give them a tablespoon of electrolyte solution, gradually increasing the amount with every serving. You can also give them fruits to cure this illness.


Flu can really make your child weak as it gives chills to the body, makes the throat sore, causes a headache and may also result in diarrhea. Children often suffer from Influenza during winter times but your child always comes back to their normal routine if you schedule annual flu vaccines to cure it. You can administer it as a shot as well as spray if your child is over 2 years old. Doctors recommend visiting them in case children are facing symptoms of Influenza, just to be on the safe side.


Normally, the symptoms of Roseola among children are really minor and it might be difficult for you to understand if they are under the weather. This illness usually comes with coughing, congestion, high fever and itchy rashes on the chest. In addition, Roseola remains for at least a week. If you see things going out of hand, you should always visit your doctor. In the meantime, you can give your child ibuprofen to relieve them of the pain temporarily.

Hand Foot Mouth Disease

We see children putting their hands and feet in their mouth routinely. They usually do this because they have a habit of taking things in mouth, unintentionally acquiring germs by doing so. As children, they do not know this, but this can cause serious problems in their mouth, which can be in form of sore. Those sores in their mouth come along with red blisters and usually last for a week or so. These sores can be really painful for the children but like other diseases, can be cured by acetaminophen or children’s ibuprofen. You can also give your child ice pops in this case but avoid giving them acidic juices as they can be harmful.

Time to Visit the Doctor

Nowadays, even the smallest diseases among children can become serious; so, you need to be really attentive and careful when it comes to your child’s health.

If your child is facing any of the diseases listed above, you must not wait; you should immediately make an appointment for your nearest pediatrician and start following the recommended instructions and prescription given by the physician.

*Disclaimer. This article is for information purposes only. Any information provided here should be confirmed by a qualified medical professional at all times.