Since my mother's passing, I've been recommending (in lieu of flowers) that interested parties make contributions to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. My mother was a strong supporter of diabetes research, and always helped Nico and I fundraise during our annual (and sometimes biannual) Tour de Cures. Tour de Cure is actually run by the American Diabetes Association, and their main interest is Type II diabetes...but my mother (with Type I, or "juvenile" diabetes) never seemed to mind. We have received several contribution letters from the JDRF; thank you to everyone who made a donation. I know she would have appreciated it.
But I digress. I've been trying to come up with some better way to memorialize my mother, and was drawing a blank...until Nico and I undertook the unenviable task of cleaning out her house. We came across several "Plant a Tree in Israel" certificates. Some were probably gifts for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs of her children; I remember planting one by hand when I was there (if it's still alive, it's probably a pretty tall tree by now), and my mother also planted one during her pilgrimage.
Our discovery came at a good time, as Israel has just suffered her worst forest fire in recorded history. The only problem: we already have a bunch of "Plant a Tree" certificates...I want to do something big; something that would allow my mother's friends, relatives, and descendants to visit and remember her. I had inquired with the JNF (the organization which plants the trees), if they could create a plaque or something (like the "Janice Lasko Memorial Woodlands") and place it by the trees. Unfortunately, they do not provide this service...but if I have 360 trees planted, they will inscribe her name on a plaque in American Independence Park in Jerusalem.
As of this moment, the Boat Fund and the Lasko NZ Timeshare are closed. If you can help me plant some trees, please do so. No donation is too large or too small ($5 buys a tree, if you had a number of trees in mind).