Upon hearing the sad news that iconic actor and activist Mary Tyler Moore died at age 80 on Wednesday, many grieving fans may be wondering what the best way to honor Mary Tyler Moore's memory is today. And while many of fans are probably coping by poring over old episodes of the revolutionary Mary Tyler Moore Show or her run in The Dick Van Dyke Show to comfort themselves, another huge part of what defined the actor was her dedication to supporting causes that were close to her heart. Throughout her career, her dedication to advocating for animal's rights and raising awareness and necessary funds for juveniles diabetes research was inspirational, and her impact immeasurable.
Although it was her iconic roles that made her famous, it was what she did with the platform they provided her with that were truly a testament to her passion to make the world a better place. Not only was Moore advocating for the causes she supported, but she was actively involved in organizations supporting them, even creating them herself. So today, fans trying to find the best way to honor her legacy should look toward the work she so tirelessly devoted herself to, and look into donating or helping advocate for one these causes.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
This cause was especially close to Moore's heart, as she herself was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during the run of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Determined to better the lives of children who had the same diagnosis, she threw herself into her work to raise awareness, promote research efforts, and advocate for the cause. Along with her husband Robert Levine, Mary Tyler Moore created the Excellence in Clinical Research Award for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Moore also served as the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, and frequently made public appearances and PSAs to bring awareness to the cause.
In an interview with Medline Plus in 2006, Moore revealed, "When I was first diagnosed, I debated about how up front I should be about my diabetes, and whether telling colleagues might hinder my work as an actor. But I also realized that if I did speak out, I might be able to help others better cope and manage their diabetes."
To learn more about helping aid the cause, visit the JDRF website here.
Broadway Barks & the ASPCA
Another issue close to Moore's heart was animal rights activism. Moore co-founded the organization Broadway Barks with fellow actor Bernadette Peters, which holds an annual animal adopt-a-thon in New York sponsored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (APSCA) to help promote pet adoption and find pets their forever homes. She also frequently spoke at ASPCA events to show her support for the incredible work the group does to prevent animal cruelty and promote adoption and no-kill shelters.
Mary Tyler Moore leaves behind an amazing legacy as an iconic actress and a trailblazer for women; and though she will always be remembered for it, there is no better way to honor her memory than to support the causes she believed in most.