Father Poorman told me something I would never forget. He said, "As you continue with your career, you will have a big platform and the ability to touch many people." He was right.
Thankfully, through the years I've been asked to serve a role for a number of charities and I take that responsibility very seriously.
In fact, this past year, I was able to achieve a long-time dream, and establish the Hannah Storm Journalism Internship at my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. Proceeds from my book, "Notre Dame Inspirations," benefit the scholarship.
To find out more about some of my favorites, check out their Web sites below:
Jackie Robinson Foundation: (http://www.jackierobinson.org)
As many of you know, we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in major league baseball. In fact, I was at Dodger Stadium when the entire team wore No. 42 in his honor. What a sight! He has a wonderful legacy in baseball, but also in touching the lives of so many young people through his foundation.
I have grown to be close to two families — both of whom who have children suffering from a rare disorder called Niemann-Pick Type C disease:
Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation: (http://www.parseghian.org)
Legendary former Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian has had three of his four grandchildren die from this disease. His son Mike and daughter-in-law Cindy are working tirelessly to find a cure.
Dana's Angels Research Trust: (http://www.danasangels.org)
The Marella family, friends from my children's school, are desperately working to find a cure as two of their four children are currently battling the disease.
Hannah and Friends: (http://www.hannahandfriends.org)
Another member of the Notre Dame family, head football coach Charlie Weis and his wife, Maura, have a daughter with whom I share a name. Hannah suffers from global developmental disorder. Charlie once told me in my book that his family ranks above anything — including his job. He has devoted much time and effort to get this charity off the ground.
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation: (http://www.birthmark.org)
As some of you know, I was born with a vascular birthmark, called a port wine stain, under my left eye. In fact, when I'm not wearing makeup, it actually looks like I have a black eye! A lot of times, people can be insensitive with their comments to those who are born with birthmarks — especially when they appear on their face. So I work hard to raise awareness and sensitivity about those of us who look a little bit different.
Another organization that does work in the area is the Vascular and Birthmarks Institute of New York at Beth Israel:(http://www.wehealny.org/services/vascular_Birthmarks)