As originally reported to the Good News Network, a gifted poet chooses to share her $500,000 grant to bring joy to others. It is inspiring to see an individual utilize their talents to bring others a sense of hope. After poet Heather McHugh was awarded the Genius Grant for her writing talent, she decided she wanted to use it in a way that would benefit others. For two years she contemplated how this award would best be put to use. During this time she watched as her godchild was diagnosed with a disability. The chid’s disability would require round the clock support. When McHugh realized the importance of caregivers, she decided that she would use her grant to offer caregivers a break and a much needed source of solace. She decided to gift caregivers with a vacation to destinations such as Napa Valley, Maine and British Columbia.
Hughes recognized that over 40 million people serve as caregivers for their loved ones. It is quite common for a caregiver to neglect their own needs in the process. Caregivers are only human; they need respite as well. With this in mind, Hughes established her CAREGIFTED foundation that provides week long vacations to caregivers. In many instances Hughes also travels with the caregivers to offer them help and assistance. Most caregivers just want time to enjoy a book, take a walk or indulge in a hobby. Time is a precious resource for caregivers, and Hughes gives them time in which they are not burdened with providing round the clock support.
By using her Genius Grant to provide respite for overworked caregivers, Hughes is using her talents and resources to inspire others. It is refreshing to see someone use their resources to serve a wonderful cause.