On December 27th, 2016, the world lost Carrie Fisher at the age of 60. Fisher was beloved for her sardonic wit, her turn as a rebel princess in Star Wars, and her big-hearted humanitarianism. As we collectively mourn the loss of such an important and necessary voice in the world, it can be difficult to know what to do with your grief. The bereavement that accompanies the death of a beloved celebrity can wound deeply, especially if they were embedded in fabric of your childhood or were intertwined with a touchstone moment in your life. If you’re looking for a way to tangibly mourn, and have a dollar or two to spare, consider donating to one of the many charities Carrie Fisher was a patron of. Or even if you can’t, these foundations can always use boots on the ground and ears on the hotline.
Alzheimer’s is insidious and — for now — irreversible. But since 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association has diligently worked to bring about a cure and help those suffering from the condition. Funding gets funneled into research but also a 24/7 hotline in over 200 languages, face-to-face counseling, assistance in being placed in clinical trials, and local chapters offering a range of services. Fisher is on record as a patron of the cause. If you’d like to donate in remembrance of her, head over here.
When a child has a life-threatening illness or medical condition, the Make-A-Wish Foundation does everything in their power to grant that child his or her dream. To that end, Fisher was among one of many celebrity donors who’ve helped Make-A-Wish grant over 270,000 wishes since its inception in 1980. Wit over 28,000 volunteers across the United States, the Foundation is currently in an upswing, with more than 14,800 wishes granted in 2015 alone. If you’d like to help, you can learn how to help here.
The Midnight Mission
For over 100 years, The Midnight Misson has helped men, women, and children who are experiencing homelessness. The project offers the immediate assistance of food, shelter, clothing, and medical care along with longer-term solutions such as counseling, workforce training, recovery services, and education. In 2014, Fisher was honored for her support of The Midnight Mission at the Golden Heart Gala. If you’d like more information — or to donate funds — their website is MidnightMission.org.
Founded back in 1974 as the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, the Humanist Hub has spent the last 42 years helping make the world a better place through a multitude of programs. From counseling services and home care to anti-racism collaboratives and interfaith/secular explorations, the Humanist Hub is committed to the values of love and compassion. Fisher was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year. The organization accepts donations via PayPal.
International Bipolar Foundation
Carrie Fisher, the icon was crucial in bringing attention to bipolar disorder — a condition that went undiagnosed in Fisher until her late 20s. Across her one-woman show, countless interviews, and several books, Fisher has helped chip away at the stigma around the mental disorder. She even received the Beatrice Stern Award from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for her advocacy efforts. You can make donations to the International Bipolar Foundation directly on their website or by selecting them when shopping on Amazon Smile.