With PTSD symptoms disappearing or being less frequent, I began to enjoy everyday activities again. Unfortunately, enjoying life more also made me less appreciative of my job. A manager at the company could see I was no longer happy there, and since they were making budget cuts, they let me go with a decent package.
A few weeks before I got the news, the January 13, 2017 episode of 20/20 aired. Diane Sawyer has traveled around the country interviewing people who work hard but have a hard time progressing due to the cost of living and too-low wages. Inspired by this episode, I came up with an idea: build a non-profit focused on enabling individuals to make tax-deductible donations to other individuals.
A line of work that is good for someone with PTSD is anything that involves helping other people. I’d like to take this a step further and help people help other people. This way my effort is multiplied.
People are more inclined to give to people whose faces and names they know. I found this to be true after a New York Times Op-Ed article talked about Emanuel Laster, a 13-year-old in Arkansas who had no books yet loves to read. I contacted the writer, Nicholas Kristof, who gave me the name of the non-profit TOPPS to which I was able to send a box of books for Emanuel. They also were able to provide a tax receipt for the donation. While I was willing to send the books without a tax deduction, I appreciated the receipt, which will be applied to my Schedule A form this tax season.
Emanuel shared the books with other kids in the program. The follow-up news was a joy to receive.
Though I’ve been unemployed for a few days and have been job searching and scheduling interviews, I’ve been spending most of my time developing this non-profit. It will be called Care for Us (or Care for US) and will be focused on people in the United States.
I plan to share some of my development work under a new category on this site, Tech Stuff. Now I’m building a social network, which will be the basis for how benefactors and beneficiaries can connect. I will need a lot of help in making this idea a reality.