Move over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the most important gifting day of the year serves a greater purpose. It’s called Giving Tuesday, and for the past five years this annual day of philanthropy kicks off the holiday season with a day devoted to charitable contributions to benefit people with rare diseases like multiple system atrophy (MSA). It’s held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which is November 28 this year.
Although there are infinite well-deserving non-profit organizations out there, the MSA Coalition hopes to inspire donations for their MSA Research Grant Program. This year, 100% of every dollar raised, matched and won on November 28, will go directly to this important effort to increase scientific understanding of multiple system atrophy (MSA).
According to the MSA Coalition, multiple system atrophy is a rare, degenerative neurological condition that affects both men and women, usually starting in a patient’s 50’s or early 60’s. Multiple system atrophy is considered a type of Parkinsonism but with more widespread effects on the brain and body. The condition was first identified in 1962 and named Shy-Drager syndrome for two physicians who reported patients showing a combination of Parkinson-like movement disorders and problems with the autonomic, or body-regulating division of the nervous system. Approximately 50,000 Americans are encumbered by this rare, degenerative condition. To learn more about this rare disease, click here.
Funds donated during on Giving Tuesday will underwrite research into the causes of MSA, identifying biomarkers to speed diagnosis, evaluating the efficacy of therapies and identifying potential cures. For people suffering from MSA and their loved ones, these are the greatest gifts imaginable.
In addition to earmarking your contributions on Giving Tuesday, MSA Coalition hopes to earn its share of The CrowdRise Holiday Challenge, sponsored by the Newman’s Own Foundation. The Challenge offers $500,000 in prize money to the top charities. The winner of the 6-week challenge will receive $150,000 and the top 10 causes will receive prize money. There are also bonus prizes throughout the Challenge with another $100,000 being distributed. Plus, there are separate prizes for #GivingTuesday totaling another $100,000. The top 3 causes will receive grand prizes. In 2016, MSA received $25,000 on top of their donations from the Challenge.