Still, we know that because of the economic conditions, many charities are finding themselves even more in need of donations than usual. Since Michael's birthday is on Thanksgiving this year, which traditionally marks the beginning of the holiday season in the United States, we thought we would use the occasion to usher in the "VartanHo Season of Giving."
We're not going to designate a particular charity that we'd like people to give to in Michael's name. Instead, we're hoping that you will give what you can in Michael's name to a charity that means something particular to you -- a cause that touches your heart or that supports an issue that you feel is particularly important. We want it to be a more personal choice for you, rather than us picking a charity for you to give to.
There are many, many fine charities to choose from. We'd like to encourage you to check out any charity you give to at a charity-watchdog site, such as www.charitynavigator.org or www.give.org. Sites such as these can rate charities or tell you how effective they are -- for example, how much of the money they raise actually goes toward the cause and how much toward administrative expenses, etc.
If you don't have a particular charity you wish to give to, below are a few suggestions out of the many that are out there. And if you can't afford to give money, there are other ways to give of yourself -- by volunteering or donating blood, for example. These types of donations are just as important.
Pediatric Epilepsy Project, 4pep.org
Freeze the Disease, freezethedisease.org
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, stjude.org
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, pedaids.org
Starlight Children's Foundation, starlight.org
City of Hope Hospital, cityofhope.org
Program for Torture Victims, ptvla.org
Hollywood United Youth Soccer Association, santamonicaunited.com
Sports Dream Foundation, sportsdream.org
Bryan Brothers' Foundation, bryanbrosfoundation.org
Variety - the Children's Charity of the Desert, varietyofthedesert.org
City Impact, cityimpact.org
World Wildlife Fund, wwf.org
The Nature Conservancy, nature.org
Natural Resources Defense Council, nrdc.org
Alzheimer's Association, alz.org
American Red Cross, redcross.org and givelife.org
The Humane Society of the United States, humanesociety.org
The V Foundation, jimmyv.org
Doctors Without Borders, doctorswithoutborders.org
Waterkeeper Alliance, waterkeeper.org
Make-A-Wish Foundation, wish.org
BBC Children in Need, bbc.co.uk/pudsey
Expedition Inspiration, expeditioninspiration.org
Although we're not keeping track of the amount given, we'd love to hear which charities you've given to in Michael's name! Let us know at email@example.com. We'll forward the list of charities to Michael's manager.
You sometimes have the option available to have a tribute card sent to Michael. If you wish to do so, reference "Michael Vartan's 40th Birthday" in the "Person or Occasion" field, and use the following contact information in the "Please Notify" fields:
c/o Stephen Hanks Management
252 N. Larchmont Blvd. Suite 201
Los Angeles, CA 90004
THANK YOU for being a Michael Vartan fan and for participating in this project!