“When you give, you balance your own spirit”
~ Toni Da Pron
Everyone that becomes part of the RoC staff finds us rather serendipitously and Toni is no exception to that unwritten, somewhat mystical rule. Although she has been with us only six months, it feels as if she has always been a part of “us.”
As a small organization (we are only 18), we often wear many hats and Toni currently balances four, one of them being Grant Coordinator, which is why she and I are chatting today. The Realm of Caring foundation has many ways in which it puts its name into action, one of them being our Realm Cares financial aid program.
“It’s a hand-up for families that are looking for alternative choices; some have run out of options and these individuals are not able to cover the cost of cannabinoid therapy. They look to us for a little help.”
Realm Cares is a donation based program which allocates a monthly budget to those in need. Sometimes grants also come in the way of coupon codes for products. The grants help offset the cost of cannabinoid therapies which are not covered by insurance.
“If you need an example of how much we value quality of life you can see that manifested in the gratitude of our Realm Cares clients,” Toni remarks.
"We are so grateful for all the work you guys do to get donors for the financial aid program for Angelyque. We know it does not happen without the hard work of you guys.”
When asked, what is the hardest part of her job, she doesn’t hesitate in her answer, “Saying no,” she says pointedly, “Human instinct is to help everyone. Being limited in our ability to do that, is hard.”
What does this program mean to you, I ask.
“I leave with a sense of purpose, the work that I am doing has meaning. Really what I am doing is administration but there is a reason for it. I’m confronted with a lot of suffering from people that are sick, needy and dying and when I’m able to walk alongside them and help find a therapy that can help them, it makes meaning out of the mundane.”
Do you have any frustrations with the program?
“I’d like to see it grow and help more individuals.” If we were to fulfill all of the grant requests made we would need another $2.6M over the next two years.
What does GIVE mean to you?
“I think of gifting something someone may not have. I think of vulnerability when you are giving; you open yourself to connect to the person you are giving to. When you give, you build relationships; it’s a give and take; there is a yin and yang. When you give, you balance your own spirit because every day we are taking; we are taking time, we are taking effort, for example, you are giving me your ear right now so when I give, I’m balancing my own universe.”
I listen to her mesmerized as she is so articulate and poetic in her rumination, and I can’t help but repeat her last words out loud, “….when I give, I am balancing my own universe.”
In the same way that Toni came to us in full serendipitous flair, is the same way that we are helped when we help others. I don’t know why this is, I just know that it is often the case.
If you find yourself in need of grant assistance to offset the cost of your cannabinoid regimen find out more here or if you are able to help fund this donation-based assistance program, please be a hero here.