Sharon Koehler

Artistic Stone Design

Once again the holidays are here. The holiday season brings a lot of things with it: shopping, whispering, cooking, presents, anticipation, going to parties and generally feeling pretty good. We may attend church a little more or do a round of Secret Santa with our co-workers. Maybe some of us are old school and still send out actual physical, stuff ‘em in the envelope cards.

Another thing that happens around the holidays is goodwill towards men. We donate to various charities such as Christmas Mother, the Salvation Army Angel Tree or any one of the other dozens of charities that are available.  Last year at this time, I wrote a piece for the SRG on Goodwill Towards Men. What I wrote was that goodwill seems all great during the holiday season but after the holidays the goodwill sentiment seems to wane and not carry through after the first of the year. The article told the story of a 91-year-old widower in Vermont who was being taken care of by his community. The people of his community were helping him all year long. The very last sentence said: “What if we all did that? Just helped. Not just at the holidays, but every day?”

Little did I know that someone out there was wondering the same thing. How can we as humans help each other? The idea of helping one another was the driving force behind When someone suffers a loss or perhaps has been hospitalized or has a difficult situation in which they need help, we offer food and moral support but there is only so much food and company a person can handle when they are struggling.  Or maybe, we don’t do anything at all because asking the questions might be awkward or embarrassing. Supportful offers a way of knowing what they need and presents you with an opportunity to do it for them or help them with their situation. Founder and CEO Nicholas Emerson Mazzone found out firsthand when he lost his father that sometimes it takes more than food. 

When you sign up at you can tell your individual story and also say exactly what you need. If you need money, you can start a fundraising page. All proceeds raised go to the recipient. The donor pays all processing fees and Supportful does not take a cut of funds raised.

A lot of other fundraising sites take out credit card fees and some even take out their own administrative fees. The Supportful website says, “If you raise $100, you get $100.”  Beneficiaries of money raised on Supportful can get their donated funds in one business day. Other fundraising platforms can take anywhere from two to seven days. 

If you need a chore done such as housecleaning, lawn mowing, grocery shopping, child care, a ride to a doctor’s appointment or any other errands, you can sign up on their Help with Tasks and Errands page. Here again, you say what you need and give your community the chance to rally around you and help you. 

Supportful also has a gift and supply registry. Just make a list of what you need: groceries, supplies, household items, etc. and your community can donate those items to you as well. 

Truthfully, I had never heard of this site until I was on vacation. I was watching the Today Show and the site founder Nicholas Emerson Mazzone was a guest on the show telling everyone about the site and how it works.  The video of that interview is on their website. It’s fairly new. It has been up and running about a year. The website supports itself with donations and contributions. Anything you do on the site is free of charge. You can set up a page for yourself or you can set up a page for someone else. Also, as the needs change during a situation, the page can be changed to reflect the new needs of the situation. is a great way to get help when you need it but it is also a great way to give help to someone in your community who needs it. There’s no guess work or embarrassing questions, just a list of what you can do to help one person. On their website, Supportful states their mission is: To transform the human experience surrounding hardships, from one that feels overwhelming, isolating, and burdensome, to one that feels manageable, compassionate, and strengthened by community.*

So when the thoughts of goodwill begin to taper off, maybe you just need to make a New Year’s resolution to help your community by helping someone in it. Your goodwill stays local and personal and, who knows, maybe you will make a friend along the way. All it takes is the click of a mouse.

*(Supportful does recommend that you perform your due diligence when volunteering to help someone. They do their best to weed out scammers and all around bad guys but you should check as well.)

Please send your thoughts on this article to Sharon Koehler at .