June Charity: Flatwater Foundation.

I am really enjoying getting to know all of the charities I’ve been donating to this year. I don’t have much of a budget to donate, but even offering just a little feels good, and it makes me happy knowing that so many other people are out in the world making good things happen.

For June, I originally wanted to donate to a charity that supported Pride Month, of course. However, I have donated to The Trevor Project already this year, and I will be supporting the LGBTQ+ community in other ways this month.

I felt pulled in a different direction this month and came across the Flatwater Foundation, which provides therapy “in the wake of cancer.”

Admittedly, I have had a rough few weeks mentally. When my mind ventures to dark places, I often think about my dad, who passed away in 2018 due to cancer-related complications.

His cancer diagnosis changed my life. Since then, I’ve known too many great people and attended too many funerals due to cancer.

So, when I saw a fundraiser benefitting the Flatwater Foundation from someone on Instagram, I started digging.

Turns out, the Flatwater Foundation started when another dad was also diagnosed with cancer. His son, Mark, was seeking therapy to deal with it and found out how expensive it was and that many people were struggling, too.

One of Mark’s first fundraising efforts was right here, in Austin when a group of his friends paddle-boarded 21 miles on Lake Austin. The event raised more than $32,000, and the Flatwater Foundation was born!

The Flatwater Foundation gets support through donations and various events, but Dam That Cancer is an annual event where 230 selected paddle-boarders paddle from dam to dam (21 miles) on Lake Austin to raise money.

In 2021, this event raised more than $1 million, and they’re hoping to do it again this year. My donation this month went specifically to a paddler who lost both of her parents.

This charity is so unique, and I love the way they’re helping people with mental health but specific to cancer. I’m grateful to contribute to this cause in a small way.

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