KIMT News 3 – Red kettle bells are set up everywhere, boxes are being filled with donations to food banks. There are plenty of ways you can give this holiday season.
“I think one thing that’s really nice about now is you can go online, you can look at different organizations’ websites. Ask around, ask friends, family members, ask people who you respect what they, who they give to and why,” said Jodee O’Brien, CEO of United Way of North Central Iowa.
O’Brien says the goal is to find what you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s pets, education, or feeding those in need.
“We have volunteers who come in and we match the programs that are asking for funding up with the actual needs of the community,” O’Brien said.
Maybe you’re not one who wants to give money or food. In that case, you can give your time and volunteer for a good cause or do what Taylor Boyd did. She took giving back to another level.
“I always thought I was A negative instead of O negative. I made the decision to do the pair project. When testing to do the pair project is when I found out I was O negative. That’s when I decided that it was supposed to happen,” Boyd said.
Boyd wanted to save her best friend Emily’s life who was suffering from kidney failure.
“It was just that moment when you’re in complete shock almost. It wasn’t a terrifying shock, it was, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s going to be OK. She’s finally not going to have to do this anymore,’ it was amazing,” Boyd said with tears in her eyes.
After Boyd donated her kidney, that was one person checked off the organ transplant list that 675 Iowans are currently on. Lifesource partners Minnesota, North and South Dakota together, equaling more than 3 million people on the list to donate organs. That’s enough to fill the Viking stadium for 45 games. Those people will one day know the gratification Boyd feels every day.
“She’s living in Colorado. She hikes every day. She went snowboarding yesterday and I mean she’s living the life she was always meant to live,” Boyd said.