Gluten Free Philanthropy

I first met Lina Lodico online back in 2008, several years after she and her daughters -- and my own son -- were diagnosed with Celiac Disease. She had organized an annual walk on Long Island to benefit the Celiac Sprue Association and their efforts to raise funds for Celiac research, and she is a stalwart advocate for Celiac awareness. I was fortunate to finally meet Lina in person at the Celiac Sprue Association's Annual Conference, which just wrapped up -- and coincidentally took place on Long Island this year. It was like meeting an old friend, as it often is when personally connecting with people in the Celiac community. We all have so many similar stories to share -- often involving years (or months that feel like years) of struggles with health issues and delayed diagnosis. We've all been fortunate, however, to finally receive a proper diagnosis for ourselves or our family members: Celiac Disease. Many, however, still aren't as fortunate. There are still MILLIONS of people with Celiac Disease that remain undiagnosed. In fact, estimates of undiagnosed Celiac Disease range from 83%-95% of the 1% of the population that has it. (If you've been properly diagnosed, consider yourself... Read more →

Most of us think long and hard about the donations we make to worthy charitable causes, weighing various organizations against each other to determine who might benefit most from a donation. In leaner economic times like these, the decisions are even harder. Add that to the fact that many organizations are being forced to do more with less as donations don't come in quite as rapidly as they have during other, more prosperous, times. If you like to make donations to causes you believe in, then what better cause than a gluten-free bakery looking to purchase equipment to meet the growing demand for their GF products? Part of this expansion includes being abe to offer online ordering. The bakery is eban bakery, and even if you don't live near their location in Columbus, Ohio, perhaps you, too, will be able to experience their wonderful gluten-free breads and baked treats -- if they raise the money needed. eban bakery makes their gluten-free breads and baked goods using all natural and organic ingredients, which is something I've always look for when buying food -- gluten-free or not. Their goal is to raise $25,000 by April 26, but any amount pledged -- even... Read more →

I recently learned of an amazing Gluten-Free Getaway being planned by Jovial Foods. If you aren't familiar with Jovial Foods, you'll be interested to know they make what I consider to be one of the best -- if not THE best -- gluten-free pasta. I first had the opportunity to try this Organic Brown Rice pasta this past summer at Camp Celiac in Rhode Island where my son was a camper and I volunteered as a parent counselor. Jovial Pasta looks, tastes, and feels just like the "real thing." Now, Jovial Foods is hosting a spectacular 7-day/6-night Gluten Free Getaway from May 27-June 2, 2012, in Lucca, Italy -- the heart of Tuscany. It benefits the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, with 25% of the proceeds of bookings going to NFCA and its fantastic programs to build awareness about Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity. You'll stay in an 18th century Tuscan villa and participate in three hands-on cooking classes with noted author and blogger Shauna James Ahern (a.k.a. Gluten Free Girl) and her husband, chef Danny Ahern. How fun! Imagine...being able to relax in the beautiful Italian countryside and learn gluten-free cooking techniques and tips from this dynamic gluten-free duo!... Read more →

In this season of giving, I wanted to share some news about something very near and dear to my heart.... The Celiac Disease Foundation, Gluten-Free Saver, and Van's Natural Foods have teamed up to raise money for a scholarship fund to benefit kids that would like to attend a gluten-free summer camp in the beautiful San Bernadino mountains of Southern California from July 30-August 3, 2012. The camp is open to all 7-15 year old gluten-intolerant and gluten-sensitive children -- as well as those diagnosed with Celiac Disease. All is takes is just $2...YES, $2, to make a donation that Van's Natural Foods will match, dollar for dollar. So your $2 gift is really like donating $4, and a $10 donation is like giving $20. The goal is to raise $2,000 to use towards partial and full scholarships to give kids that might otherwise not be able to afford camp the opportunity to participate in this wonderful childhood experience. The fundraiser runs now through December 25. Please take a moment to make a quick tax-deductible donation. (I just did it, and it's very user-frienly...and takes just a few minutes.) I say this issue is very near and dear to my... Read more →