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donating a kidney


#Living Donation – The Kidney Foundation of Canada

Normally everyone has two kidneys, although a person can live a healthy life with one. Living donation occurs when a person freely decides to donate one of their kidneys to someone in need of a transplant. This compassionate gesture offers the individual waiting for a transplant an alternative to dialysis or a deceased donor transplant.

Donating a kidney is the most frequent type of living organ donation. A living kidney transplant is the most successful of all transplant procedures. Other organs which can be donated via living donation are part of the liver, lung, small bowel and pancreas.

Some Advantages of Living Kidney Donation

Time to plan. The organ donation and transplant surgeries can be scheduled when both the donor and recipient are in the best possible health. This will help to ensure the quality of the donated kidney is at its highest. The amount of time between removing the kidney from the donor and transplanting it into the recipient is shorter than for a deceased donation. This may help the transplanted kidney to function better and/or last longer.

Less waiting. The length of time the recipient waits for an organ to become available is shorter when the organ comes from a living donor. Also, other recipients on the transplant waiting list who do not have a living donor themselves, move up the transplant waiting list once the recipient of the living donor kidney is removed from the list. In that way, other people waiting for a kidney transplant also benefit from a living donation.

Avoidance of dialysis. With a living donor kidney, the transplant surgery may take place earlier in the course of the kidney disease, perhaps even before the person begins dialysis treatments.

Better donor organ survival rates. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. The kidney often lasts longer. A transplanted kidney from a living donor often lasts longer. This is partly due to more time being available to do the necessary tests to get a better tissue match between donor and recipient. A better tissue match means higher compatibility and less risk of organ rejection.
  2. The kidney is usually healthier. The kidney from a living donor is usually healthier than an organ from a deceased donor and may last longer: 15 to 20 years on average, compared to 10 to 15 years for a deceased kidney donation. This is largely because extensive testing is done on the donor to ensure the donor has excellent kidney function.
  3. The kidney works right away. A kidney from a living donor usually works right away in the recipient. A kidney from a deceased donor may take days or weeks before it starts to work normally. In the meantime, the recipient may need dialysis treatments.

Feeling of satisfaction. For the donor, it is a very positive psychological experience knowing that he or she has helped someone in need.

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local charities


#Local Independent Charities of Texas

What We’re Tweeting

S upporting charities where we live!

Local Independent Charities of Texas makes our community a better place to live. Our member charities educate children, feed and shelter the homeless, strengthen families, rescue unwanted animals and much more.

Local Independent Charities of Texas is a coalition comprised of our state’s finest local charitable organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of our communities. Our mission is two fold: First, to heighten public awareness of local issues such as food, shelter and clothing to those in need, temporary safe housing for victims of domestic violence, autism awareness and services, senior care and much more. Second, to help our member agencies raise funds mainly through participation in local workplace campaigns. Through its member organizations, LICTX is striving to give members of our communities a fighting chance at a brighter tomorrow and a more fulfilling future.

Each of the charities you see on this site has earned an Independent Charities of America Seal of Excellence for quality administration and program activity.

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donate hair


#Locks Of Love: $6 Million Of Hair Donations Unaccounted For Each Year

Our firm Nonprofit Investor did an analysis indicating that approximately $6 million worth of hair donations are unaccounted for each year by the West Palm Beach, Fla. charity Locks of Love. Children, celebrities, relatives of those in need, and countless others have been selflessly donating their hair to Locks of Love for over 15 years. Nonprofit Investor’s analysis raises significant questions about how the hair donations are used.

Locks of Love receives an estimated 104,000 hair donations per year. Locks indicates that up to 80% of this hair is unusable and that 6 to 10 hair donations are necessary to make one hairpiece. Based on these numbers sourced from Locks, the charity should produce a minimum of 2,080 hairpieces per year (104,000 hair donations * 20% usable hair donations / 10 hair donations per hairpiece). However, we’ve confirmed with the charity’s staff that the organization produced only 317 natural hairpieces in 2011. (Its IRS Form 990 figure of “430 wigs” includes synthetic wigs).

Put another way, according to Locks of Love’s statement. 317 natural hairpieces require no more than 3,170 hair donations, meaning that only 3% of 104,000 hair donations received make it into a hairpiece.

The 1,763 hairpieces that are unaccounted for are worth $6.6 million. (Locks states that the retail value of a natural hair wig is between $3,500 to $6,000 and costs $1,000 to manufacture). While Locks discloses that it sold $572,997 of hair in 2011, this leaves $6.0 million of hair unaccounted for by the organization.

Comparisons to other organizations illustrate the significant difference in the use of hair donations:

  • Locks of Love. 104,000 hair donations per year divided by 317 hairpieces produced in 2011 = 328 hair donations accepted to produce 1 wig.
  • Pantene Beautiful Lengths . 65,000 hair donations per year divided by 3,500 hairpieces produced per year = 19 hair donations accepted to produce 1 wig.

In other words, it takes Locks of Love 17x as many hair donations to make each hairpiece. Additional organizations that accept donated hair include Ohio-based Wigs for Kids. Children with Hair Loss. and Michigan-based Wigs 4 Kids .

NPI provided Locks of Love with this specific analysis in February 2013 in order to verify the accuracy of our claims. Locks of Love indicated in an email that it “does not count, catalogue nor maintain lists of hair donations.” We also asked LoL how many hair donations are sold each year ($573,997 in 2011 reported on IRS Form 990). Locks responded: “As we do not catalogue hair donations, you might imagine that we also do not count unusable hair that is sold….”

It is unclear how it is possible for Locks of Love to sell more than half a million dollars worth of hair without knowing the quantity of hair sold. In regard to the figure of 2,000 donations per week cited by USA Today and the New York Times, Locks responded: “We are unaware of this “publicly available data” nor do we endorse it.” As a result of Locks’ inability to provide updated information, NPI relied upon the statements of Locks’ executive director as cited in USA Today to estimate the amount of hair donated each year only after reasonable and diligent efforts to obtain updated data.

Additional Concerns Raised by Nonprofit Investor:

  • Declining Capital Efficiency. Locks of Love continues to build its balance sheet through fundraising and disclosed sales of $500,000 to $1 million of hair each year while $3.8 million in cash and investments remain idle on the balance sheet. With disclosed personnel and office expenses of less than $1 million per year and net assets of $6 million, NPI views six years of reserves to be an inefficient use of capital.
  • Application Process for Receiving a Wig More Complex Than Peer Organizations. Locks of Love requires applicants to provide two letters of recommendation explaining why the child would benefit from a hairpiece. This requirement is not typical of peer organizations.
  • Additional Potential Beneficiaries. While LoL states that the primary beneficiaries of its wigs are children with alopecia, many donors believe that the primary recipients are cancer patients. With extremely high levels of donations and available assets, LoL should be able to provide more wigs to children with alopecia or expand its scope to others in need, such as cancer patients.

Recommendation to Locks of Love:

NPI recommends that Locks of Love publicly disclose the amount of hair donations it receives each year, how many are used to produce wigs, how many are discarded, and how many are sold. NPI views number of hair donations accepted and number of wigs produced to be the two most critical business metrics for Locks of Love to track and disclose in order to provide accountability.

Recommendation for Prospective Hair Donors and Financial Donors:

NPI recommends that prospective donors to any nonprofit require clarity on how their donation will be utilized. By selecting the nonprofit that most closely aligns with the individual’s objectives, the same amount of resources can go a lot further.

About Nonprofit Investor:

NPI is a nonprofit organization with the mission of improving philanthropic capital allocation and nonprofit effectiveness through research and analysis. NPI research is produced by volunteers with due diligence expertise developed in industries such as private equity, management consulting, and investment banking and is available for free, public download. NPI is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity that has evaluated 62 nonprofits, of which 35 have received a “BUY” rating, demonstrating clear impact with a high degree of transparency and 26 nonprofits have been rated “NEUTRAL”, receiving suggestions on how to improve operations or transparency. NPI’s first “SELL” rating raises serious questions about Locks of Love’s operations and finances.

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macmillan donations


#Macmillan Cancer accused of – hijacking – the ice bucket challenge – Home News – UK – The Independent

Macmillan Cancer Support has come under fire for using the #IceBucketChallenge to help raise funds for its own charity.

The organic and unplanned campaign has swept across the internet in the last few weeks, tasking its participants with enduring a bucket of freezing water poured on their heads.

One of the earlier people to do it, a golfer named Chris Kennedy. was the first to bring the ALS Association into the mix as his wife’s cousin suffers from it.

This simple dare led to thousands of subsequent people also using the ALS term (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or motor neurone disease, as commonly known in the UK) and has raised $62.5million (£37.7million) for the US association, as well as £250,000 for its UK equivalent, the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).

It has also led to eminent public figures carrying out the challenge and nominating others, including Bill Gates, David Beckham, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey.

However, though some people used the challenge to promote or donate to their own favoured charities, one particular organisation has been accused of “hijacking” it for its own means

Video: Celebrities take on the ice bucket challenge  

As the challenge’s popularity skyrocketed, Macmillan asked people to do the Ice Bucket Challenge before filming it, posting it online and then donating £3 to its cause “by sending ICE to 70550”. (The Motor Neurone Disease Association can also be donated to by texting ICED55 £5 – or any amount – to 70070).

; Will Gavin (@WillGav) August 19, 2014

Even though I appreciate macmillan cancer trust and what it does for people. I still don’t think it’s okay to jump on the bandwagon.

; Bethan Mary Leadley (@musicalbethan) August 23, 2014

It has reportedly received donations over £250,000 – enough to fund six Macmillan nurses – as a result of the challenge. according to Civil Society .

A number of people, including current Macmillan supporters, have criticised the charity for jumping on the bandwagon and “taking away the awareness” of ALS.

“Really unimpressed that you hijacked the ice bucket challenge from mnda [Motor Neurone Disease Association] in the UK. They need awareness far more than you,” one said on Twitter.

There have also been calls for Macmillan to “let someone else have their day” and to “get [their] own fundraising ideas”.

One Facebook user told the charity. “I’m really dissapointed [sic] in your charity, I pay a monthly donation to what is I believe a good cause, helping people suffering with cancer, but im seriously considering withdrawing my donation and changing it to MND/AlS because of your taking away their awareness.”

While another wrote: “Why couldn’t you just let ALS have their chance to raise funds? Why did you have to steal the idea from a charity which doesn’t have the profile that you have? Why not let the little guys have a chance? Why not think of your own idea?”

A spokesperson from the MNDA has also reportedly condemned the move.

“Of course we’re both trying to fund cures for diseases, but we’re much smaller. We’d rather a big charity didn’t come swooping in and take our funding away. We don’t have the resources that they do,” an insider said, according to The Times .

Others have leapt to the defence of Macmillan, arguing that many people are doing it for different types of charities not just ALS, with one person saying: “It’s NOT a competition between 2 charities, donate to both or the one that your heart and head says”.

Macmillan posted an explainer on its website on Thursday, detailing and defending to some extent its decision to utilise the challenge for itself.

Head of Digital, Amanda Neylon, said that it was trying to be more responsive to social trends after failing to exploit #NoMakeupSelfie earlier this year, which ended up raising £8million for Cancer Research within six days.

“We’re trying to be bolder, we’re listening to what’s going on all over the world, and we’re responding more quickly than we have in the past. We’re trying new things so that we can keep moving forward as an organisation,” she added in the blog post .

Ms Neylon said the team were delighted people were fundraising and that they had noticed as far back as July that people were doing the #IceBucketChallenge for Macmillan as well as other charities. But seeing as nobody owns the campaign, they were able to use it themselves.

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