Share the HEART of health on GivingTuesday

There are always people with needs. But this year with a relentless virus wrecking havoc with people’s health, safety, businesses, jobs, incomes, and security, has come more need for assistance for medical care, food, housing, and transportation. And that creates opportunity for us all to help.


Due to COVID-19 Black Friday was different this year; Cyber Monday turned into a necessity for many since in person shopping was risky to health and more difficult to navigate.

But this year perhaps more important than ever is   #GivingTuesday. 

There are always people with needs. But this year with a relentless virus wrecking havoc with people’s health, safety, businesses, jobs, incomes, and security, has come more need for assistance for medical care, food, housing, and transportation. And that creates opportunity for us all to help.

Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.)   #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, of holiday and end-of-year giving.

a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

“GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.”

sharing the HEART of giving

My goal for this blog is to inform and inspire us all to explore the HEART of health in our lives, and the lives of our families and communities. But beyond that, my the mission for this blog is

to share the HEART of health with people all over the world,

Watercress Words mission

especially those who face hardship due to poverty, isolation, discrimination, political turmoil, hunger, homelessness, human rights violations, and natural disasters.

drawing of a laptop with GIVE on the screen
graphic from LIGHTSTOCK.COM, affiliate site for stock photos and graphics

So for Giving Tuesday I’m asking you to give to one or more of the groups I have featured on this blog and that I personally have or do support. The links below take you to stories about their mission and links to their sites where you can

And the good Samaritan is…

Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan to answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” The term “good Samaritan” means a person who goes out of their way to help someone, especially a stranger, often at  personal sacrifice.

A Shining Spirit- Kayla Mueller

Soon after I started this blog a news story caught my attention and my heart. A young woman volunteer, Kayla Jean Mueller, was abducted following a visit to a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders

Love conquers fear-a memoir from the Napalm girl

In war time Vietnam, 1972, 8 year old Kim Phuc Phan Thi almost died after being severely burned when a napalm bomb fell on her village. Many know her as the “Napalm girl”.

Where will you give?

Besides these places, I know you have needs in your community, maybe your own neighborhood. So look for places like a local food bank, women’s shelter, a homeless outreach, coat distribution, faith based ministry, school, and many others can can use time, talent, and finances.

I would love for you to comment about where you are donating this year, even if it is another group. Let’s all do our part to change the world with generosity and love.

Dr Aletha

Doctors don’t always make money-find out why

But physicians don’t always get paid. Health care is never “free”. Even in countries with socialized medicine or universal health care, someone pays for health care, it just may not be the recipient of that care.
Doctors in the United States give away their services in different ways. One is care that could be but is not reimbursed, either because it’s not a covered benefit under one’s insurance plan, is denied by insurance for some, usually unexplainable reason, or failure of the patient to pay their cost share, aka bad debt.
But many physicians voluntarily give away their services, or work for far less than they could be paid. According to another Medscape survey on physician lifestyle, a large percentage of physicians do so.
Medscape Physician Lifestyle Survey 
(The report focuses on burn-out, which I’m  not going to address in this post. )
Among the  20,000 physicians polled, 72% of the non burn-out doctors volunteer. Even among the burned out group, 63% still volunteer.
The top volunteer activities were 
    work with a religious organization
    work associated with school
    pro-bono local clinical work 

Dr Chorley with Patient
treating patients in a rural clinic in Zanzibar

next frequent were  tutoring and/or counseling, foundation work, and international mission/work.
Other activities noted were
animal rescue, medical response to disasters, work with homeless, and medical military reserves. 

doctors in an operating room
American surgeons operating in an Ecuadorian hospital

(The report did not specify whether or not any of these activities were compensated.)
When physicians choose to work for charitable or humanitarian type organizations, they usually make far less  money than they would in private practice. Especially with faith based organizations, the doctor may have to raise support through donations from family, friends or churches.
When a doctor takes time away from practice to volunteer, there is a loss of income if that income is based on productivity. Expenses associated with volunteering is often tax deductible to some extent, but lost income is not.
Volunteer medical teams include other health professionals, including dentists, nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, as well as non-medically trained people who come along to help in any way they can. Volunteer medical teams may provide medical and surgical treatment of conditions ranging from minor to life threatening. Some focus on health education and/or training of healthcare professionals. Some organizations focus on delivering medical supplies and equipment.
Everywhere I have travelled on volunteer medical teams, the people we treat respect and admire American physicians and appreciate the care we provide-sometimes more than people here at home do. I  go to help them, but usually come home feeling that I received more than I gave.

doctor with patient
with a medical team working in VietNam

These are some of the organizations I know, there are many others.
HealthCare Ministries
Global Health Relief
Heart to Heart
World Medical Mission
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