Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2015, Day Five: Charities
Posted on December 4, 2015 Posted by John Scalzi 87 Comments
For the last four days, the Whatever Shopping Guide 2015 has been about helping you find the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones. But today I’d like to remind folks that the season is also about helping those in need. So this final day is for charities. If you’re looking for a place to make a donation — or know of a charitable organization that would gladly accept a donation — this is the place for it.
How to contribute to this thread:
1. Anyone can contribute. If you are associated with or work for a charity, tell us about the charity. If there’s a charity you regularly contribute to or like for philosophical reasons, share with the crowd. This is open to everyone.
2. Focus on non-political charities, please. Which is to say, charities whose primary mission is not political — so, for example, an advocacy group whose primary thrust is education but who also lobbies lawmakers would be fine, but a candidate or political party or political action committee is not. The idea here is charities that exist to help people and/or make the world a better place for all of us.
3. It’s okay to note personal fundraising (Indiegogo and GoFundMe campaigns, etc) for people in need. Also, other informal charities and fundraisers are fine, but please do your part to make sure you’re pointing people to a legitimate fundraiser and not a scam. I would suggest only suggesting campaigns that you can vouch for personally.
3. One post per person. In that post, you can list whatever charities you like, and more than one charity. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on charities available in North America.
4. Keep your description of the charity brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about the charity and is interested but easily distracted.
5. You may include a link to a charity site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.
6. Comment posts that are not about people promoting charities they like will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find charities to contribute to.
All right, then: It’s the season of giving. Tell us where to give to make this a better place.
To benefit the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, the Clarion class of 2012 recently released THE ORANGE VOLUME, an anthology of stories featuring time-traveling gamers and levee-breaking mermaids, as well as award-winning writers such as Lara Elena Donnelly, Sam J. Miller, and Carmen Maria Machado.
THE ORANGE VOLUME is available as an ebook on a PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT basis. All proceeds (after hosting fees) benefit The Clarion Foundation.
If you enjoy REWARDS, we also have those. They include story critiques, personal one-off illustrations, and rare signed manuscripts. Find out more at the links below.
SHINY PRIZES FOR MUCH DONATION: http://bit.ly/1LJpjdH
BUY THE ORANGE VOLUME: http://gum.co/orangevol
Donate someone else’s money! Doberman Rescue of the Triad, Doberman-Rescue.com, is a wonderful dog rescue group specializing in Doberman pinschers. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, they adopt mainly across the Eastern part of the country. Please register with Smile.Amazon.com or Goodshop.com and designate Doberman Rescue of the Triad as the charity of your choice. Then do your normal internet shopping using either of these sites as your starting point. Your internet purchase will generate a donation from the retailer to the rescue group, a retailer specific percentage of your purchase price. Wow – you gave a donation without it costing you an extra penny! Thank-You!
Instead of a specific charity, I recommend a specific TYPE of charity. My family has a long and deep relationship with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where my parents were on the faculty for decades and where my late sister and I both worked with students as tutors and teaching assistants. Our family now funds scholarships in memory of my grandparents and my sister. I also give to the more-famous places where I got my degrees, but I give much more to the non-flagship UWM than I do to the more-famous places, because UWM needs the money more.
I do NOT say “everybody give to UWM,” although I wouldn’t mind if people did.
What I DO SUGGEST is, consider giving to the Scholarships Fund at some NON-flagship college wherever it is that you live. Nearly every State has cut way back on funding for higher education in recent years, and the NON-flagship campuses which already had less money tend to be the hardest hit. Studies have shown that scholarships for students at such places have much greater impact on graduation rates than do scholarships at the famous institutions.
So please consider giving for scholarships at colleges that are not famous.
Mary’s Meals is a newer charity within the US, but has a good presence in the UK. They help African farmers to grow more food and then use that additional food to provide meals for children within schools – pulling kids off the street with a hot meal and resulting in them getting an education.
I have a campaign with them to raise $5000 which feeds ~250 children for an entire year! https://www.marysmealsusa.org/en/fundraising/project/nick-ruffilo/game-for-good
Wordnik.com, the world’s biggest dictionary, is raising money to add even MORE words with our ‘Adopt a Word’ program. Wordnik’s mission is to make every word of English lookupable! By adopting a word, you help keep that word ad-free, and your adopted word is marked with your name and a link (to your site or your Twitter account, whichever you prefer).
And now through Dec 7th, adoptions are only US$25 (usually $50). Adoptions come with a downloadable certificate suitable for framing, and a set of stickers in the mail — and they make great gifts! Give your best friend the word that triggers your favorite in-joke! Give your kid’s teacher the word ‘inspiring’, or your boss the word ‘mentor’!)
You can adopt your word at https://www.wordnik.com/adoptaword
(One of the words we’d like to add more data for is Scalzi’s magnificent coinage, ‘shitcanoe’: https://www.wordnik.com/words/shitcanoe, http://whatever.scalzi.com/2014/09/30/hey-kids-lets-define-a-word/ … )
Animal Placement Bureau! I believe we’re currently Michigan’s longest lived dog rescue. APB is operated with a 100% volunteer staff, no paid staff or facility.
Our dogs stay with us as members of our families….as long as it takes to find them a home!
If you’d like to donate as a holiday gift for someone, please provide that info on the comments, and we’ll get a handmade card out to them. :)
I am on the board of directors for the Friends of the Athens-Clarke County Library in Athens, GA, and we are currently conducting an end-of-the-year donation drive. We are trying to raise at least $1000 during December, which will go directly towards our library. All money donated is tax-deductible and will go directly to library material, programs, and support. If you would like to donate anywhere from $10 all the way up to $250 you can go to http://athenslibrary.org/athens/support/join-the-friends-of-the-library to make your donation! (oh, and this is also the library where I checked out my first Scalzi book!)
The Heinlein Society was founded by Virginia Heinlein and exists to preserve the legacy renowned writer Robert Anson Heinlein left us in novels, essays, speeches and short stories that remain as fresh as ever. We intend, in Heinlein’s words to “PAY IT FORWARD” since we can never pay back the benefits that we got from him and his work. We have established programs to promote Heinlein Blood Drives at conventions, award scholarships to STEM students, provide educational material to teachers and librarians as well as our support for military members and veterans by providing copies of Heinlein’s books, as well as other science fiction books, through our Heinlein for Heroes (H4H) program.
As a private, nonpartisan 501(c)(3), The Heinlein Society survives on membership fees and donations to support our mission of “Paying it Forward”. As these resources plateau and the demands on our organization increase, we are asking for your support with a direct gift to the Society to support our mission. So if you have ever grokked, shared water, laughed at Pixel the cat, loved AI computers or have been a kick butt Starship Trooper, then please consider making a tax deductible donation and pay it forward just a little bit. You can choose which of our programs your donation supports. http://www.heinleinsociety.org/
I donate at least once a year to the Sabin Institute’s “neglected tropical diseases” work:
Haven’t kept track of costs etc., but back when I started several years ago, they claimed that $0.50 would protect a person against a boatload of really nasty diseases.
Two other options I use as gifts to friends (in place of merchandise) and that do really good work in the world:
Kiva (http://www.kiva.org/), a microcapital group that provides loans to budding entrepreneurs in the developing world. It’s the gift that keeps giving, because once the loan is repaid (and they have a decent repayment rate), it becomes part of the pool for the next generation of loans. There’s been some pushback against the microcapital notion (perhaps because the idea has been oversold), but it can work very well indeed. Best of all, it gives people a chance to bootstrap themselves into a better life. Very (early) Heinleinian.
Heifer International (http://www.heifer.org/) also does good work. Similar to microcapital, but with animals: they purchase a means of production (e.g., cows for milk, oxen for labor, hens for eggs, goats for cashmere) that will help a farmer lift themselves out of poverty.
And, of course, all of my fiction and nonfiction (excluding books) is “donationware”: free to read, don’t pay me a cent, then donate whatever you want to your favorite charity (or don’t… I’ll never know) and claim the tax deduction yourself.
English Cocker Spaniel Rescue of America. http://ecscahealthandrescue.org/ Yes, there are a TON of animal rescue organizations out there. Why not help save a spaniel?
Planned Parenthood of Marquette, MI.
Because the Iron Range of Upper Michigan is one of the least-served portions of the United States. Rural poverty is endemic in the U.P., with all the hazards that creates.
My sister is the Executive Director of the Humanitarian Service Project (http://www.humanitarianservice.org), an organization that provides birthday/Christmas gifts and food/essentials to children and seniors living at or below the poverty line. They can always use cash donations and helping hands especially this time of year.
I’d like to give a shout-out to a fine organization called Community GroundWorks in Madison, Wisconsin. The organization teaches kids how to grow food, trains folks to do organic farming, and manages the 300+ community gardens around Dane County.
One of CGW’s main focus areas is the Goodman Youth Farm. The Goodman Youth Farm engages a diverse population of students in hands-on, farm-based education in an outdoor classroom. Youth are actively involved in the entire process of running a small-scale organic farm – from planting and harvesting to cooking with the produce they grow. Students make connections to ecology, nutrition, and art, and are immersed in service learning – each year youth farmers weigh, wash, and donate hundreds of pounds of produce (over a ton in 2014) to the Goodman Community Center’s Fritz Food Pantry.
CGW has been a robust presence in Dane County for a couple of decades at this point, and they do amazing work. I support them, and I hope you’ll consider joining me. http://communitygroundworks.org/
I also am proud to support Fair Wisconsin, which works to build a fair, safe, and inclusive Wisconsin for all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by advancing, achieving, and protecting LGBT civil rights through lobbying, legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, coalition building and electoral involvement. I hope you might consider joining me there as well. http://fairwisconsin.com/
I’d like to recommend two local dog rescue groups here in the Raleigh-Durham area. I volunteer with both of these organizations and they do terrific work.
First is Triangle Beagle Rescue (http://tribeagles.org/contribute/). There are a lot of hunters with beagles in the rural parts of NC. Many of these hunters don’t care for their dogs very well and then let them loose if the dog gets sick or old. TBR works to save these animals and place them in loving homes (I adopted my current dog from them).
Second is Underdog Ranch (http://udranch.org/make-a-donation/), which rescues dogs of all breeds and sizes. They have a privately-owned ranch in Angier, NC where most of the dogs are fostered. If you’re a dog-lover it’s as close to heaven as you’ll come. :)
I currently work for the International Rescue Committee, which operates worldwide to help people in conflict or crisis situations around the world, and in some cases, help them start new lives here in the US. As you can imagine, they have been very active in Europe as of late, and the US program is also getting some flak now in the wake of the Paris attacks.
The IRC has been active in this work since 1938.
Here’s a link for charitable giving options. http://www.rescue.org/give-rescue-gifts-2015
I do a small donation yearly. At one time it was one of Joss Whedons targets for giving
I volunteer at the Elmhurst Yorkfield Food Pantry in suburban Chicago, and it could use your help. We’re constructing a new, purpose-built building to replace the tiny, not very accessible old cottage basement we used to operate out of, which means we’ll be able to serve more clients. We could really use more money to buy things like refrigerators and freezers so we can give our clients milk and meat and other perishables donated by the local grocery stores, as well as allowing us to buy food for pennies on the dollar from the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Here’s the URL to donate: http://eyfp.org/how-to-donate/
And if you throw a few bucks at your own local food pantry, that would be great, too. There’s a lot of food insecurity out there.
The International FOXG1 Foundation funds research and provides support for individuals with FOXG1 Syndrome, a congenital variant of Rett Syndrome. Mutations to the FOXG1 gene result in severe neuro-structural development abnormalities that cause general developmental delay, seizure disorders, and a host of other physical and cognitive problems. Money raised by the Foundation funds research into neuro-development that could have wide ranging applications including restorative therapies for individuals with Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and Traumatic Brain Injury. Another focus of the Foundation is providing material support for FOXG1 families including therapy, mobility, and adaptive equipment for our FOXes.
More information on the International FOXG1 Foundation can be found at http://www.foxg1.com/ . Pictures and stories of the kids you’ll be helping are at http://www.foxg1.com/faces-of-foxg1.html (Bronwyn is my wonderful little girl). And to cut straight to the chase, you can make a tax deductible donation at http://www.foxg1.com/donate.html .
Thank you all for your consideration!
I’m the events coordinator for Red Paw Emergency Relief Team, a one-of-a kind organization that was founded in Philadelphia 4.5 years ago by Jen Leary, a former Philadelphia firefighter. We’re sometimes called the Red Cross for animals because we provide emergency shelter, food, and medical care to pets displaced by fires and other home disasters. Every animal we help goes back vaccinated as well as spayed or neutered, at no charge to our clients.
A Red Paw supporter has made a very generous $5,000 donation for our matching gift challenge. From now through midnight December 31, 2015, your donation will have double the impact! We urgently need your help to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for our displaced pets.
If you can’t donate right now, please consider following us on Facebook (Red Paw Emergency Relief Team) or Twitter (@redpawrelief).
Here’s the link to donate.
Thank you for reading!
There are a couple of regional animal-based charities that I like/support
The first is Abbe-Freeland Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Angelica, NY. (http://www.afasrehab.org/) This hard working center rescues and rehabilitates injured wildlife. They also educate people on how to successfully co-exist with wildlife. Sadly, they can also be a dumping ground for unwanted pets, and thus have a large colony of rescued cats and a few resident dogs – they really are all about the animals. Like so many organizations, they hustle for every penny. Please consider a donation or a purchase from their Amazon wish list (and follow them on Facebook for a daily dose of great animal pictures and stories!)
The second is Warrior Canine Connection (http://warriorcanineconnection.org/) This amazing group raises and trains assistance dogs that are placed with wounded soldiers. The way they do it is pretty amazing as well. Each dog will touch the lives of up to 60 wounded soldiers, as they are trained by soldiers for soldiers. These dogs, from the time they are just puppies, will help soldiers with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, The group was founded by a therapist who saw that soldiers with extreme PTSD and TBI would more often respond to a dog than to a human therapist. Check out their puppy cam on Explore.org.
The VFW National Home for Children is a charity that is near and dear to my heart. The National Home is located near Eaton Rapids, MI. It provides homes for children and veterans of families that are experiencing difficulties.
Counselors live in homes with the children to provide additional support. The campus is a small neighborhood of single family dwellings along with buildings for other activities/services.
I have visited the National Home several times. It is a first class operation and the kids are greatly helped by living there.
My good friend is the CEO of Unified Theater (http://www.unifiedtheater.org/) and I’ve seen several events she has put on. It’s a really awesome program where kids with and without disabilities work together to put on shows that are written, acted in, and directed by the kids. The program is in something like 50 schools across the county with more than 5,000 kids participating over the years. It’s pretty powerful watching the kids come together and perform, especially the kids with physical and mental disabilities. Anyway, I figured it’d be worth a mention here since it’s the one charity I actually have a strong personal connection with and have seen the good they do first hand.
There are so many magnificent charities in need help that it is overwhelming. Given the current environment I’ll mention first and foremost Planned Parenthood. I believe that the good they do in health services, education and family planning helps to break the cycle of poverty and eases the burden of other organizations. I wrote them another check this morning.
Now, this is my chance to talk about my best Christmas gift :) I’ve been married for a very long time to a wonderful man. He does have a tendency to worry about money (unnecessarily) and can occasionally be a bit of a skinflint. So I was delighted when a little before Christmas he said “OK, let’s go to the mall and get a Christmas Angel from the tree”. When we got there, there were still about a dozen left on the tree and it was the day before the deadline. I was upset and wanted to take more than one. His answer? “We’ll take all of them.”
In spite of the crowds, we had a wonderful day together, laughing and shopping for kids. And those kids got everything they asked for. What better Christmas gift? The surprise, a happy day together, knowing little kids had a nice Christmas when there probably wasn’t a lot of nice in their lives.
If you love a generous soul, it’s something to consider.
Many of you probably already know about WorldBuilders (https://www.classy.org/events/worldbuilders-fundraiser-2015/e61518), which not only supports the work of Heifer International but also gives you a chance to win some nifty goodies, which of course could be passed along as gifts to someone else. Heifer describes itself this way: “We empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but our approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty. Our animals provide partners with both food and reliable income, as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey can be traded or sold at market.”
Donations directly to Heifer are marvelous, too! http://www.heifer.org/
We’ve got a lot of animal charities, so I’ll toss out options for another kingdom–if you’re concerned about agricultural biodiversity, two organizations that support propagating rare heirloom vegetable breeds are Native Seeds and the Roughwood Seed Collection.
I realize this may sound frivolous at first glance, but the vast majority of our food is now grown from a very few cultivars. This is a food web with a very narrow base, and a single blight could recreate the Irish Potato Famine. We’re already having significant problems with the Cavendish banana and with many coffee crops as temperatures warm. So people that do the hard work of keeping all these old seed varieties alive could save our bacon someday. (Plus, it’s just plain cool–give me an onion with a history stretching back to Jesuit priests in the 1400’s over the bland things at the supermarket any day!)
Native Seeds (who do a lot of work to preserve varieties grown by indigenous peoples): http://www.nativeseeds.org/
A good friend of mine, having finally gotten pregnant, was then diagnosed with a fairly aggressive form of stomach cancer. After inducing at 8 months, the baby is healthy and fine and wonderful and growing everyday. The mom has finished up her 3rd round of chemo, but they are still trying to raise money for consults, and things that her insurance won’t cover.
If you feel like helping them out (they’ve raised almost half of what they’re asking for), you can do so at this link on GoFundMe. I know that they will be very grateful.
(Discolsure: I’m the technical lead for this charity, and married to one of the founders.)
Rebecca’s Gift is a US 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing healing family trips after the death of a child. Think of it as the mirror image of Make-A-Wish, focused on helping those who survive reconnect, rebuild, and relax with each other as they work to deal with the death of a child and sibling.
Rebecca’s Gift was established in honor and memory of my daughter, Rebecca Alison Meyer, who died of aggressive brain cancer on her sixth birthday in June 2014. (She was also memorialized with the CSS named color rebeccapurple, for those who remember the story.)
The organization is just getting off the ground and planning to sponsor its first families in 2016, so any support will be most appreciated.
Hello everyone. I highly recommend gifts to Heifer International: http://www.heifer.org . This organization provides livestock to people who can use animals to improve their lives. Heifer might give a goat to a woman in Kenya, a water buffalo to a family in southeast Asia or a cow to a family in Tanzania. Heifer trains recipients in animal care before giving the animal and they require that the animal be bred and that the first female offspring be given to someone else in the community. Typically a cow can produce more milk than a family needs, so the excess is sold for much-needed cash. When it works, this model produces sustainable results. I have met people who have received training and animals from Heifer International and the outcomes can be very gratifying. Thanks for reading.
Achilles International is a running club that encourages and supports disabled athletes participating in mainstream sports. Guides for blind runners, hand cyclists, Wounded Warriors, etc.
I am hand cycling 4 races in 4 days for a total of 48.6 miles to raise money for this amazing organization.
Launch Pad Job Club (or find a similar organization in your area!)
LPJC ( http://launchpadjobclub.org/ ) is a non-profit in Austin TX that helps people who have lost their jobs to find new employment.
They helped me several times over the last 15 years of boom and bust cycles. Like most of our board of directors, to try and give back to the organization I volunteered to join the board (we are an all-volunteer organization, though we are seeking grant money for our first paid staff member).
All the donations (much of which historically has come from the board members) are used to hep support and expand the programs and services we offer to those in need of new employment.
Through a change in circumstances, Minneapolis fan Ann Totusek has found herself in a situation where she either needs to buy her house or find herself homeless. Ann is currently the caregiver for her mother, suffering dementia, and her teenage son, who suffers SPD. Ann, who helps run conventions throughout the upper Midwest in Iowa, Minneapolis, and Chicago, is running a GoFundMe to raise money for the down payment on their home.
Ann has run Green Room and Program Ops for me at several Windycons as well as the hospitality suite at the Nebula Award Weekend in Chicago in 2015 (and plans to again in 2016). Her hospitality has always been wonderful and now we have the opportunity to repay some of that hospitality by ensuring that Ann and her family can live and thrive.
Books for Keeps! They give books to kids who wouldn’t normally have access to books in schools in Athens, GA, and surrounding areas! Each kid gets to choose 12! books that they are interested in reading. You can donate books (new condition, titles that appeal to children), you can donate money (30 dollars to give a kid 12 books, 600 dollars to sponsor a class, or whatever you can give) or you can volunteer time.
I love this organization since I think every kid should own books and it is trying to stop Summer Slide. Thanks for looking! The website is here: Books for Keeps
Google Breaking Cat News Shelter Report and read it. Then go visit your local cat shelter, and see what they need.
Thousands of people lost their homes in Nepal in the April earthquakes, and for lots of people, the aid relief they got was focused on short-term rescue. But now, after harvest season, lots of people are working on their long-term housing. Here are some organizations that are helping people learn eco-friendly, local-material techniques for building earthquake-resistant long-term housing:
Good Earth Nepal — focused on earth-bag construction (http://www.goodearthnepal.org/)
Bamboo Yurts for Nepal — pretty self-explanatory: they teach people how to make Mongolian-style yurts out of bamboo (https://www.youcaring.com/those-who-lost-everything-in-the-earthquake-409497)
Build Up Nepal — earth-block technology, using dirt mixed with cement to press bricks (http://www.buildupnepal.com/)
The last one is an organization that I encountered personally when I was volunteering last summer in Dhading district; the others I only know through the internet.
I’m a Trustee of a small charity call the Abortion Support Network. We believe not being able to afford an abortion is not a good reason to become a parent.
Because abortion is illegal in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, we help people in Ireland (as well as the Isle of Man and sometimes the Channel Islands) who need to travel to England for a safe, legal abortion. We talk them through the practicalities of booking their appointment and flights, as well as helping them with the cost (which starts at around £300 not including travel costs, and can be quadruple that). We also offer them a place to stay overnight if they need to.
Our average grant is over £200 but our lowest ever was £20, so every $£€ can have a massive impact on someone’s life.
Until the 13th December, if you donate here you’ll get our (hilarious, if we do say so ourselves) seasonal cards as a thank you – we will send them wherever you are! We’re really close to our target of £2016 for 2016 right now too! http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/abortion-supportnetwork/twelvedaystochoice/
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
A Cure For IBD Can’t Wait
DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT NOW
Make a tax-deductible holiday gift to CCFA by 12/31 and it will be doubled—up to $100,000! Your generosity will fund cure-focused Crohn’s and colitis research, as well as support programs that help people deal with their diseases on a daily basis.
As a disclaimer I have had IBD (Crohn’s) since my early 20’s and we need a cure now more than ever before this disease knocks us off, one by one.
Thank you for this Charities thread! <3
This is a time of year when things are very hard for families that are food insecure. Please remember your local food bank in your holiday giving plans. While they do have canned food drives, what they all need most is money. Even with volunteers (which not every food bank has), it still costs money to store and distribute food. Of course, they need more food than they can ever get from a food drive, and your gift can help.
If you live near me, in the Midlands of South Carolina, your local food bank is Harvest Hope (http://www.harvesthope.org). If you don’t, find your local food bank and donate to them.
Since pets feature prominently in these parts, I’d like to draw people’s attention to the Pongo Fund. The Pongo Fund is Oregon’s only full-time pet food bank. Because hungry people have hungry pets, Pongo works tirelessly to reduce shelter populations and keep families together by providing emergency pet food assistance to anyone in need. Pongo protects beloved family pets from suffering, starvation, surrender, abandonment or worse, when a lack of food, but not a lack of love, is their only enemy.
My wife and I volunteer there, and it is one of the most heartbreaking and rewarding things we do.
I sing in a local chapter of the Threshold Choir, a nonsectarian nonprofit organization. When requested, we sing in very small groups (usually two to four singers) at the bedsides of hospice patients and of people who are at thresholds of other kinds (e.g. recovering from an illness or injury). Our music is a gift that many patients and their families have found comforting. While there is no charge for our singing, the individual choirs and the international organization do have expenses and appreciate donations. http://thresholdchoir.org
Using Charity Science’s Amazon referral code send 5% of your purchase to a GiveWell recommended charity (currently Schistosomiasis Control Initiative). That’s addition to the 0.5% Amazon Smile will donate to the charity of your choice. To make it easy you can install this plugin to automatically redirect you.
Most local areas have a diaper donation charity. There are many worthy causes, many diseases which need curing, but few things have the ability to change a baby’s life so quickly for the better as making sure she has clean diapers. The thought of poor mothers and fathers keeping those rags of misery on longer because they need to save them is heartbreaking to me. Here is the local one in my area, but feel free to seek out and donate to yours:
Not everyone can take in a foster child, but through One Simple Wish, you can help these children realize that someone cares. One Simple Wish partners with social services agencies across the country to fulfill requests from kids in foster care, and for older children who are transitioning out of foster care. You can find wishes for everything from toys and tutus, to supporting summer camps where siblings who have separate placements can keep in touch, to educational gifts for kids on their way to college.
Just wanted to toss out a couple of 501(c)3 charities I’m a part of out here in Tucson, AZ. My main focus is animal advocacy, and I know a lot of similar groups have been posted, so I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this far down and check them out. :)
In the Arms of Angels: This is an all-volunteer dog and cat rescue that I have personally fostered 98 dogs and cats through in the past two and a half years. All our pets live in foster homes until they find their adoptive families. We bring in a large number of pregnant moms, young families, and orphaned puppies, to keep them from getting sick at the county shelter. We also take in dogs and cats with special medical or social needs, like those with broken bones, or those who are too shy and skittish to get adopted, and give them care – and patience – they need to recover and flourish. http://inthearmsofangels.rescuegroups.org
No Kill Pima County: This organization works in a number of ways to reduce the number of homeless animals euthanized at our county shelter every year. They try to find placement for at-risk animals before they ever enter the shelter as well as provide resources for owner retention, such as replacing fencing, helping with basic medical care, and finding pet-friendly housing. http://www.nokillpimacounty.org
And, if you would rather do something more local in your community… there are likely dozens of similar organizations where you live, too, and they all are desperate for help. There’s also ways to contribute besides monetary donations as well – almost every one of these groups is entirely volunteer run, and they would love your help!
I donate to many organizations, so I will highlight one that hasn’t been mentioned yet. DonorsChoose allows you to support projects for public schools, suggested by teachers.
Since Planned Parenthood and IRC have already been suggested, I’d like to add Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health. Both of these are doing good medical work in horribly difficult places.
http://www.aliforneycenter.org/ <–The Ali Forney Center helps homeless lgbtq+ kids. They house and support them and provide crucial services. It’s a massively important cause.
I don’t know how many Canadians are here, but fellow Canucks should consider donating to The War Amps. Founded in 1918 to help returning WW I veterans who had lost a limb, the registered charity still supports vets and adult amputees, and has for four decades also run the CHAMP program for child amputees, providing financial support for artificial limbs and recreational devices, regional seminars, and peer support. They also run the Playsafe and Drivesafe programs, and advocate on behalf of amputees.
They’re a very low-key charity – no professional fund-raisers, no door-to-door or phone soliciting – whose financial statements are open for scrutiny, and The War Amps consistently gets excellent marks for spending a small percentage of funds raised on overhead and salaries; most of the donations go straight back to helping amputees. http://www.waramps.ca/home/
A note re: food banks. While donating food is great, donating money is even better, as it allows the food banks to purchase day-to-day items that many families need but which people seldom think to donate: diapers, baby food, incontinence pads, feminine hygiene products, personal grooming items such as soap, shampoo, and shaving foam are all needed.
If you have a current or soon-to-be tween or teenager, and you find yourself wondering “How on earth am I ever going to answer all of their questions about relationships, and sex and gender identity and…” may I suggest a donation to the Scarleteen website: http://www.scarleteen.com/donate.html
They are a fantastic resource, and they need donations to keep the site up and running. Along with Doctors W/O Borders, the Nature Conservancy, and the Atlanta Food Bank, they’re one of my recurring donations, and I highly recommend them. Even if you don’t donate, keep them in the back of your mind as a useful site!
Donors Choose has already been mentioned, but I wanted to highlight this project in particular, getting books for students in a high-poverty school in southern Louisiana. I was just there and struck by the fact that the impact of Katrina is still being felt in the poorer parts of the region. I would love to see this project funded and the goal is a modest $544.
I work with One Heartland, an organization that runs summer camps for youth affected by HIV/AIDS, LGBT youth, youth without stable housing, and those working to achieve a healthy lifestyle. It’s great because these kids feel unwelcome and face stigma at traditional summer camps, often have difficult home lives, or most camps aren’t equipped to deal with their medical needs. One Heartland gives them a place where they belong, a week where they can just be kids. It’s a fantastic cause:
I give to many charities. Most of them are animal oriented, and one of my favorites is “The Acro-Cats.” They were on Stephan Colbert’s show, but the Paris tragedy took place almost immediately and the Kickstarter program apparently got lost in all the news. The Acro-Cats need a new bus. They travel around the country teaching people that cats can be trained (sort of) and fostering and adopting out kitties. It may seem frivolous to give money to a cat show, but Samantha Martin does really important work for cats. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tunaandtherockcats/the-acro-cats-mobile-foster-and-kitty-tour-bus
The Los Angeles Drama Club is located in the Mid-City/West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles. All local children are welcome – free of charge – to participate in full productions of Shakespeare plays year round. They are growing and thriving as the youngest Shakespeare troupe in the United States, with participants ranging in age from 5 – 17.
To celebrate their 10th anniversary, they have launched 10 Seconds of Shakespeare. Donate $10 or more and you can choose a Shakespeare quote. Film it, share it on social media, and challenge your friends to donate as well.
My daughter has been part of the troupe for a year and she loves it.
An appeal from Amanda Tapping via her charitable fundraising group Sanctuary for Kids. They are currently in the middle of their seasonal fundraising campaign.
My brother in law is fundraising for the second growing season of Abiding Gardens, an effort to provide low-income families in Greensboro, NC with the means and materials to grow vegetables at home.
The GoFundMe page is here
One of the most satisfying things I do is serve as a trustee to the local chapter of the Awesome Foundation. Each chapter pools their resources together to give $1,000 grants to people with an idea to improve their city, make people laugh, or generally add awesome to the world. You meet a lot of really great, inspiring people. See if there’s a chapter in your area!
This is also a great time of year to set up recurring donations to your local food banks, the need is constant throughout the year and a monthly donation goes a long way towards feeding those in need.
Public libraries are everywhere under extreme stress from lack of budget, staff and deteriorating infrastructure. Providing money / books / even an unused laptop or tablet, is something many of us can do. This is the best way to ensure there is another generation of readers available for your books.
Please consider Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary in German Valley, Illinois. Critter Camp is the only Exotic Pet Sanctuary operated solely by volunteers that is USDA licensed, 501c3, and accepts only small unadoptable unusual pets – no wildlife, cats or dogs or farm animals. They take in abused, abandoned and otherwise homeless small exotic pets. Beth and her family and core volunteers do an amazing job caring for 300+ animals, throughout her house and barn. As a rabbit slave myself, Beth has been an invaluable resource to me for small exotic animal care advice, and has come to the library where I work to give presentations (including animals!) about exotic pet ownership. Funding all comes from donations.
I developed a love of reading in high school by reading Dick, Asimov and John Brunner, etc., lots of dystopian writing, that as an adult seems all too real with much of today’s headlines. One organization that gives me hope: I have recently chosen to work at Love146, an international human rights group working to end child trafficking and exploitation. We work with young children who have endured what no child should have to endure, and watch them grow, and heal, and laugh, and sing, and love. We are small but we pack a punch and have gained national and international recognition for the excellence of our program work along with the integrity of our communications and fundraising practices. We have a 13-year history of global impact. Currently we operate Survivor Care programs for both boys and girls in Asia and the US, and have a Prevention Education Curriculum being distributed nationally. You can find out more at love146.org or go straight to the donate page and help change children’s lives: love146.org/donate.
The wonderful people at the Columbus Diaper Bank provide an important service that often goes overlooked. Diapers are currently not covered by any local or federal assistance program, and often low income families have to choose between feeding their children or diapering their children. The women and men at the Columbus Diaper Bank are doing all that they can to raise awareness and provide some peace of mind to struggling families. If you can, please help them out.
Love the idea, but want to affect change locally? Please check out The National Diaper Bank Network to see how you can help.
I’ll quote from Modest Needs’ home page: “Modest Needs is a national nonprofit empowering members of the general public to make small, emergency grants to low-income workers who are at risk of slipping into poverty.” Basically, they try to prevent immediate crises from becoming insurmountable challenges. You can donate toward specific needs profiled at their web site or to their general fund. Looks like now through year-end there’s a matching grant challenge up to $150,000 from one of their large donors. https://www.modestneeds.org/
I’ll toss mine in the mix too :)
I run a (really pretty small) animal rescue called Wayward Creatures Relief Agency. I specifically take on animals that ‘normal’ rescues can’t or won’t – animals that are injured or ill and will need a lot of money or effort in the short term to become adoptable in the long term. Broken legs, gunshot wounds, hit-by-cars; the sort of thing that’s fixable but that a general shelter can’t afford due to financial, space, and time constraints with a mission of taking in and adopting out as many as they can as quickly as they can.
I also do wildlife rehabilitation, which means I have been raising orphan raccoons every year for the past several years (apparently nobody else in this half of the state will do it!). No, you cannot adopt the raccoons, they get kicked out in the woods to be raccoons.
Adoptable pets are posted on Petfinder and Adopt-a-pet, and we are signed up for the Amazon Smile program, so you can make Amazon donate to us while doing your regular shopping. (No cost/no effort charity! Even if you don’t pick my rescue, if you’re buying from Amazon you should pick someone.)
For those living in the DC area, the Catalogue for Philanthropy for Greater Washington, which covers small to medium sized charities in the DC/MD/VA area is a great source for worthy causes to give to: http://www.catalogueforphilanthropy-dc.org/cfpdc/index.php
Through them I’ve found a number of charities over the year such as Homeless Children’s Playtime Project (enrichment activities for kids in the big DC family shelter at the former DC General Hospital) and Generation Hope, which helps teen parents with getting education and vocational training past a GED or high school diploma (a high school diploma’s better than dropping out, but earning potential can be much better and more stable if teen parents can get access to daycare, grants, etc that allows them to go farther – e.g. becoming a nurse rather than a nurse’s aid or home health worker provides a much more stable income base).
Other charities in the DC area I contribute to that provide food, shelter and other services to the homeless are So Others Might Eat, Thrive DC, and Sasha Bruce Youthwork (specifically shelter for homeless teens and counseling and other aid to get them to independent living).
I also give to House of Ruth, which helps battered women, and Iona Senior Services, which focuses on helping seniors age in place (not go to nursing homes) and helps families dealing with elderly relatives with various forms of dementia.
Since “charity” is being defined rather loosely here, I shall tout two:
Janis Ian has set up a foundation, The Pearl Foundation:
that funds college education for returning students, who often need financial help more than younger students who have yet to take on the burdens and obligations of, well, life. They endow accredited schools with money, which is been used to provide everything from full tuition to childcare during classes for the students (the schools choose the recipients).
Not so incidentally, if you’re inclined to make a REALLY big donation, you can get this:
The Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco:
is in the midst of a major fundraising because they are going to be forced to move (the skyrocketing San Francisco rent problem). These folks do important sex-positive educational work and community outreach.
Both of these are 501c(3) organizations, so donations are deductible. Note: I know the principles in both organizations, which of course distorts my judgment (not!).
pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
— Ctein’s Online Gallery http://ctein.com
— Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
I am lucky enough to serve on the board of a fabulous organization called the Jane Addams Peace Association, whose major project is the Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards.
The Awards are given annually to the children’s books published the preceding year that effectively promote the causes of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence. They’ve been presented annually since 1953. Currently, the committee made up of teachers, librarians, and early education experts give an award and two honorable mentions in the categories of books for younger children (usually picture books, aimed at kindergarten – second or third grade) and for older readers (think around fourth to seventh or eighth grade levels). The all-volunteer committee includes feedback from children in their classrooms, families, and reading circles when making the awards.
We are excited by the work of We Need Diverse Books and others such as OGH in helping to bring attention to high quality books that tell a wide range of stories from a breadth of perspectives. Our goal is to promote beautifully crafted, compelling books, telling complex stories that delight, inspire, and deepen the understanding of young people.
Please check us out – there’s a spot on the home page to sign up for our newsletter to get a weekly recap of how our authors and their books are being used out in the world. Obviously donations to support continuing the Book Awards are great, but we’ve also got a searchable database of past winners by year, and for books since 2000 by theme (social issues, race/cultural identity of key characters, time period, etc.) if you’re looking for gift ideas for friends or family during this holiday gift-giving season. Double benefit – you can also support your local bookstore!
A good friend of mine is involved with an all-volunteer organization called City Santa in New York City. They help families in crisis and have been at it since 2001.
Here is a description from their website which is at http://citysanta.org/
Each year City Santa answers letters from children in shelters for victims of domestic violence and homeless shelters in and around New York City. These letters are from children whose requests differ from the usual red wagons or bicycles. Their wants are simply the basic needs for food, clothing, shoes and blankets. And often their requests are not even for themselves but for their family members.
This is where City Santa steps in. Using the donations received, City Santa volunteers purchase the gifts, wrap them, fill the stockings, and write the individualized cards. They put everything in big clear Santa bags tops them off with a big red bow and personally delivers Christmas to as many families as possible each year.
This brand new charity is near & dear to me – my friend Aaron English (whose music I promoted yesterday) recently started this non-profit to teach music to kids (mostly HIV+) in African orphanages in Kenya & Uganda. The program includes basic music training, studio recording & engineering, and the start of a traditional dance troupe – all to teach the kids valuable skills & possibly even a useful career.
So new it doesn’t even have a website yet, it does have a Facebook page – and it is able to provide donation receipts in the US.
Thank you @schweinsty for mentioning the Ali Forney Center! I second that recommendation.
Another good pet rec is North Shore Animal League – http://nsal.org – which is a wonderful no-kill shelter. They rescued a number of homeless pets during Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and what I love most about them is that they are EXTREMELY responsible about who adopts their pets.
I’m always stumping for VDAY – http://www.vday.org/ – which is a global nonprofit dedicated to stopping violence against women and girls.
If you love butterflies, we have butterfly photos that we use to raise money for butterflies! You can buy calendars, note cards, T shirts, mugs, photo enlargements for your walls, and we donate 50% of the profits to the Monarch Joint Venture. Please note that print-on-demand companies charge a lot, so it’s not 50% of your purchase price, but 50% of our profits, about $1 or two for each item ordered. Please see the photos throughout our Web site and mostly on the Butterflies page, http://www.midlifeartistsunlimited.org/Butterflies.html
I suggest a gift to your local licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. If you don’t have one close to you or you have a little extra money to spread around, consider Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay, CA. I volunteer there, and can attest that this group does amazing work caring for injured and orphaned wild animals. Whether it’s a gull tangled in fishing line, a baby swallow whose nest was destroyed, an owl that flew into a barbed wire fence, a litter of opossums orphaned when their mom got hit by a car, or 200 murres–a seabird that looks rather like a penguin–found starving on the beach (probably due to warm ocean temperatures driving fish too deep), Pacific Wildlife Care is there to provide veterinary care, food, and a safe place to recover. Volunteers provide the daily care for the animals (and your local wildlife rehab center could probably use your volunteer time too!), but it costs a lot of money to buy food and medical supplies for 2,783 animals so far this year, keep the lights and water on in our facility, and pay the veterinarian’s salary.
I don’t see that anyone has suggested FINCA (http://www.finca.org/) which specializes in microloans to impoverished people around the world. I plan to send them a little money before the end of the year.
Another health related organization is The Health Wagon (http://thehealthwagon.org/hwwp/) which provides medical care to under-served poor people in the Appalachian Mountains. Most of their clients make too much money to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford health insurance. I’m one of those liberals who believes that health care is a right rather than a privilege, so I try to send these folks some money when I can.
And of course, your local library would love a donation as well!
I volunteer and foster for the Cat Adoption Team here in the Ohio Valley. We rescue cats from kill shelters and from the street, take care of their medical needs (including spay/neuter), and foster them in safe homes until they’re adopted. This year, we’ve found permanent families for more than 300 cats, which is phenomenal for a small volunteer group run entirely on donations.
Here are two easy ways to help/support C.A.T.
(1) We’ve just launched an eBay site, under CatAdoptionTeam, where we’re selling donated items to raise funds for our fosters and their medical expenses.
Our eBay profile: http://www.ebay.com/usr/catadoptionteam
(2) You can donate directly to C.A.T. Here’s the “How You Can Help” page on our website:
Three charities which provide free access to a lot of public domain books (more all the time):
The Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg, and Distributed Proofreaders.
I’m running a fundraiser called Lady Trent’s Friends of Nepal as a subset of Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders; all funds from it will go specifically to Heifer International’s Nepal-oriented programs, to help them recover from the devastating earthquakes earlier this year.
You can participate by donating (which puts you into the drawing for a wide variety of lottery prizes) or by purchasing books up for direct sale, which includes titles from me, Alyc Helms, Mindy Klasky, Morgan Keyes, Linda Nagata, and Vonda McIntyre, plus more to come (if the shipping gods smile upon us). Just follow the first link on this comment to see what we have available, or to donate to the Friends of Nepal!
Many problems of the modern world are complex and difficult. It can be hard to make headway and it often feels futile. But we must remember that even a small difference can be life-changing. Thanks to OGH for letting us show how we try to make a difference however small it seems.
Also, if you are fortunate enough to work for an organization which matches your charitable donations, please go the extra mile and apply for those matching funds.
In addition to Planned Parenthood and Doctors Without Borders, I would like to highlight two organizations I try to donate to as often as possible.
1. Charity Water:
1 in 10 people worldwide live without a source of clean water. Changing that not only results in radically improved health, but time spent acquiring water can now be spent on improving their situation in other ways. CharityWater works with the people affected to dig wells, build piping systems, filter the water they have and/or harvest rainwater in a sustainable, hygenic fashion.
Clean water can work miracles.
2. Nothing But Nets
A child dies every 60 seconds from malaria. One $10 mosquito net can stop that and give a family a protected area to sleep. Breaking the scourge of malaria would be a huge improvement for millions of people – it could be a complete game-changer.
Thanks for your efforts, wherever you choose to spend them.
Please consider the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
It is a small charity with an excellent record of low administration costs. I give to it regularly.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation ensures full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical, or trade school; and offers family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring, to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty.
The Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel.
Special Operations Warrior Foundation
P.O. Box 89367
Tampa, FL 33689
Tax ID # 52-1183585
CFC # 11455
The special Olympics is a soccer team with kids that have disabilities help donate . inbox me for more information
Carey Lander, the keyboardist for Camera Obscura, the band I love like I love no other, passed away earlier this fall after a recurrence of her sarcoma cancer. This is not only a painful and pernicious cancer with brutal treatment options, it is a pretty rare one for which little research is conducted. Her family has launched a fundraiser at https://www.justgiving.com/Carey-Lander with the goal of raising 100,000 pounds for Sarcoma UK. If you’ve ever enjoyed Camera Obscura, or known someone with sarcoma, this would be a wonderful way to express your support for those who have the disease. If you’ve never heard of the band, go listen to “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken” and then think about donating in honor of the person whose music opens that song.
Chiming in with another nod to Modest Needs. They bridge an important gap for families who make too much money to qualify for assistance but not enough to have a substantial amount set aside for emergencies. https://www.modestneeds.org/index.asp
Despite its reputation for affluence, Hoboken, NJ does have poor people, and public housing. And some of those people are children, lots of them in fact.
The charity I currently work for, The Jubilee Center of Hoboken, was started by the local Episcopal parish (where I sing in the choir). It began when Laurie Wurm asked the people in public housing what they needed most, and overwhelmingly they said they wanted somewhere for their children to go after school. So Laurie started the Homework Club.
Fast forward a decade and a half, and now we have a building (the Jubilee Center) right in the public housing neighborhood, and provide aftercare, academic help, and activities during the school year, and an all-day program in the summer. Each day the kids are picked up from school and brought to the Jubilee Center, where they start by doing all their homework for the day. If they need help, there are certified teachers on site to help them.
After they’ve finished their homework, they have a variety of activities like computers, dance class, art, cooking, and (weather permitting) outdoor games. These rotate by age group, so in the course of a week or so all the kids have all the activities. IF they’ve finished their homework.
At the end of the day, they get a tasty and nutritious dinner donated by one of the local restaurants (and not the cheap ones, either; some of the nicest restaurants in Hoboken stepped up to the plate, and they don’t charge us a dime).
The summer program is similar, except the kids get three meals and a healthy snack, and have academic instruction all morning and activities all afternoon. Most kids lose ground in math and reading over the summer; last year 90% of ours improved their scores.
Here’s a video from the point of view of a. a former Jubilee student, now a counselor; b. a parent of Jubilee students, and c. a Jubilee 4th-grader. (If you’re on a mobile device, use this link instead.)
We’re on Facebook too, but I don’t want to put up too many links. Just look for Jubilee Center of Hoboken. One link I will put up: this one goes right to our donation page.
Chiming in a little late to ask for support for Project: LEARN of Medina County (Ohio), http://www.projectlearnmedina.org. We provide free, one-on-one tutoring to adults who need help learning to read, learning English as a second language, or improving basic skills. We have 3 used bookstores in our county that support the mission, so we are largely self-supporting, but we need extra support this year because we are expanding to a new location where we can’t put a store. Please visit our website for more details, where there is a “Donate Now” button for your convenience, and thanks!
Naughty or Nice Anthology fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis research
Do something nice that will make an impact for over 70,000 people worldwide. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that has no cure; however, promising research in gene therapy could be the answer.
Evil Girlfriend Media is donating all profits from Naughty or Nice Anthology for the first two months to Cystic Fibrosis research. We don’t want to hand over a little check. We want to hand over something from the entire Speculative Fiction Community that will turn heads.
We’ve gathered stories from some great authors such as: Kevin J. Anderson, Jody Lynne Nye, Josh Vogt, Cat Rambo, Rachel Caine and more. The stories have a little bit of everything from humor to horror, with characters that are nice to a whole lot naughty.
We know, we know, it’s a crazy proposition—selling 5,000 books and raising $20,000 in two months—but we know we can do this. Here’s how you can help.
Order the book in your preferred formats:
Mobi and trade paperback http://www.amazon.com/Naughty-Nice-Anthology-Rachel-Caine-ebook/dp/B017GFLTJW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1447113884&sr=8-4&keywords=naughty+or+nice
Help spread the word
Thank you and Happy Holidays
I always suggest First Book (http://firstbook.org). First Book provides books to children in need by supporting local literacy organizations. They are a bridge between publishers and charities and can provide 2 books for every $5 donated to the cause.
Whatever charity you consider, please do your homework on it first. Heifer International, for example, is far from being an ideal recipient. (I have no axe to grind, and they are just an example, but the figures speak for themselves, as do former donor comments: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3809#.VmT4s-MrLBJ) Charity Navigator and GuideStar both have excellent resources that enable you to do due diligence.
First Book, on the other hand, suggested above and just to take another random example, DOES use their funds well: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3699#.VmT5s-MrLBI
I may be a little late to the party, but would like to put in a plug for the Troops First Foundation (http://www.troopsfirstfoundation.org). They use the unique persona of golf to help raise money for wounded warriors. I had the chance to play in one of their tournaments a few years ago and was impressed with how focused they were on the individual veteran. The organization partners with some of golf’s biggest names, as well as local courses/celebrities, yet operates very low key as a point of respect for the wounded. No cameras or media blitzes, just a round of golf and some good laughs for a worthy cause.
Ok, I’m definitely late to the party – but here goes! My suggested “charity” is Cup of Joe program through Green Beans Coffee. (http://www.greenbeanscoffee.com/pages/cup-of-joe). $2 donation buys an active-duty servicemember, often stationed far away from the creature comforts of home, a cup of coffee. Sort of like walking into a local diner back in the day and buying a cup of coffee for the man in uniform sitting at the counter. I love this one for two reasons: it’s inexpensive, so ANYONE can pitch in, and it’s a touch of home for those who are missing it.
Thank You John, especially for letting me be late I have three charities close to my heart Community Food Share http://communityfoodshare.org/distributes food to many pantries. My church, Westview Presbyterian http://www.westviewpres.org/get-connected has a pantry that serves about 250 people twice a month; we need volunteers to help distribute food; and my cousin Glennis Henry , who is doing mission work in Tanzania. A good part of her mission is helping women build small businesses. EFCA ReachGlobal is the organization with which you can get funds to her https://www.facebook.com/goreachglobal/?ref=br_rs&pnref=lhc
I decided my daughter’s Sunday School was kind of unique when we reminded her last weekend to remember to take her goat money on the way to class.
Episcopal Relief and Development, http://www.episcopalrelief.org/, is one of the best, most efficiently run charities out there. In 2014, for example, 84% of donations went directly to programs, with only 5% going to administrative costs – and ER-D is all about providing practical help, not proselytizing. They are the organization that publishes the “Gifts for Life” catalog you might have seen where you can sponsor a goat, cow, or flock of chickens to help provide someone a sustainable source of food and income. My daughter’s class has actually collected enough for eight goats so far – a whole flock :)