Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2018, Day Five: Charities
Posted on December 7, 2018 Posted by John Scalzi 54 Comments
For the last four days, the Whatever Gift Guide 2018 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.
Take This is a charity dedicated to promoting mental health in the video game community, which is an area where a lot of people struggle in silence with depression and other illnesses. It provides the AFK Room at PAX and other cons, where people can sit down for a bit, away from the clamor of the con floor. They do a lot of good work, and have literally saved lives.
International Rescue Committee’s (rescue.org) holiday rescue gifts: send a girl in the developing world to school for a year, provide blankets for refugees, give clean water or immunizations or emergency kits. When the world sucks, you can make it better in tangible ways for the most vulnerable people in the world. The charity is well rated on Charity Navigator.
My wife is raising money (via DonorsChoose) so her students can install bird feeders, to help build nature, math, and other skills.
Her school primarily serves economically-disadvantaged students, and money for extra stuff like this is hard to come by. If you could throw a few bucks her way to push things across the finish line by 12/14, that’d be great.
There’s AbleGamers, who helps everyone game
I Need Diverse Games, focused on getting more people into the industry and staying in the industry
Con-Or-Bust, which is focused on getting more POC to SFF & Fantasy conventions
The Hill Country Ride for AIDS benefits AIDS Services of Austin & several other agencies in the Austin area. They do prevention, counseling, subsidized medications, have a food bank – just all kinds of things that benefit the community. This is a link to my fundraising page, but you can go to the general site from there & donate, if you want: https://hillcountryride.greatfeats.com/becky-helton
Consider the Sabin Institute’s “neglected tropical diseases” program (https://www.sabin.org/diseases/neglected-tropical-diseases?page=1). A few bucks every couple of months can save lives and eliminate suffering for dozens of people.
I’ll also put in a good word for Oxfam. Despite the scandals that have tarred their reputation in the past year, they still represent one of the most effective apolitical, non-religious organizations for delivering badly needed aid. The fact that there have been a few bad apples is not surprising in any organization that large. Not that this justifies anything or absolves them of blame, but they seem to be trying honestly to learn from that hard lesson and fix the problem.
Check out Charity Navigator (https://www.charitynavigator.org/) if you want to read up on a charity that you’re considering. They give Sabin a 91% rating and Oxfam an 85% rating, which isn’t bad at all.
I give to Child’s Play every year. They provide toys for kids stuck in hospitals. There are 140 hospitals associated with them, so you may be able to donate to your local(ish) pediatric hospital specifically.
Help End Extinction at https://www.endextinction.org. It’s a part of San Diego Zoo Global, a non-profit dedicated to saving our environment. They are working globally to understand the factors that contribute to both plant and animal extinction. So far, San Diego Zoo Global has reintroduced about 40 species back into the wild.
Creative Action provides arts education to thousands of young people across Austin, TX. From after school programs in the arts to in school residencies and teen programs in the evenings, they are compassionate, talented artists using their talents to make a difference in today’s youth. Their work is informed by a commitment to social justice across all spectra – these are real social justice warriors!
How about your local library? Libraries are still vital for the community. My local library (the Brooklyn, NYC, Public library; for historical reasons it’s separate from the NY Public Library) is constantly full of people from all demographics and does a vital job in education. Plus I’ve been moving back to reading actual paper books (trying to reduce screen time) and it’s awesome, I can click on a book in the catalog and they’ll go grab it and have it waiting for me.
The Haven for Children (http://www.thehavenforchildren.com/) is a home for abused, abandoned and neglected children. I’ve volunteered for them for years, and the effect they have on these children’s lives is astonishing. All donations go to operations — you’re literally paying for food, shelter, clothing, and care. The kids are in a loving, safe *home*, often for the first time in their lives.
ART 180 is a non profit in Richmond, VA that delivers free, after school arts programming for kids aged 8-18. Some programs are in schools (elementary and middle) and others are at the ART 180 gallery/art space (for high school-aged kids) or local youth detention centers. Kids learn about different kids of art – past programs include drumming, yoga+watercolor, improv, shoe design, super hero capes, and a play written and performed by teens – from local professional artists. All the programs are free, the artists are paid (a small stipend), and any donation helps!
Thank you for doing this, Mr. Scalzi.
Community GroundWorks is a nonprofit organization in Madison, Wisconsin that connects people to nature and local food. The organization manages 26 acres of open space land for community-based food production and natural areas restoration management. Through hands-on education, children and adults learn gardening, urban farming, healthful eating and to care for natural areas.
One of CGW’s core principals is food equity, especially making it possible for low-income area residents to have affordable access to high-quality fresh organic produce. This is done by offering worker-shares as a way of paying toward a CSA membership, and starting in 2018, a special fundraising initiative and a collaboration with FairShare CSA Coalition made it possible for low-income residents to get a full CSA share for as little as $8.01 per week.
I am proud to say that I both volunteer for and donate to Community GroundWorks, and I would like to invite you to join me in supporting them as well: http://www.communitygroundworks.org/get-involved/give
Happy holidays to you and yours.
Please donate to animal rescue organizations and farm animal sanctuaries. These organizations are run and staffed by some of the hardest working, most dedicated volunteers anywhere, and their expenses (for feeding, sheltering, and taking care of the medical needs of the animals) are enormous and ongoing.
Please beware of fake sanctuaries which are really more like attractions / zoos because they don’t have the animals’ best interests at heart.
The true sanctuaries have a few carefully organized visiting days a year, and also have some great volunteer gigs.
Recommendations here: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/farm-sanctuaries-in-the-u-s-that-are-great-for-volunteering/
Thanks for doing this John!
Well, the Worldbuilders annual fundraiser for Heifer International is happening at the moment and ending in a few days, so that’s an obvious one.
I would also like to recommend the Malala Fund.
St Jude’s Children’s Hospital treats children with serious diseases and not only doesn’t charge for treatment, they make sure parents don’t even have to pay to stay near their children while they’re in hospital. My daughter had open heart surgery at 11 months, and believe me, that right there would be worth the donation on its own.
Belen Area Food Pantry is a small non-profit in a small, rural and poor New Mexico area. We serve the Belen Consolidated School District area which reaches into two counties. In a given month, we provide about one and one-half a weeks worth of food to 450 or more families. Many of our clients work, but only part time. Many of our clients are senior citizens on fixed incomes. When I say we are a small non-profit, I mean we take in less than $50,000 in a year. We have so far been fortunate to get use of a building that is not used by the owner (the school district) Our ultimate dream is to have our own building where we could not merely distribute food but also help people learn about healthy eating, cooking for large or small families and other life skills that our clients might need. Donations may be sent to Belen Area Food Pantry P.O. Box 225, Belen, New Mexico, 87002 Thank you
The Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona WI http://aldoleopoldnaturecenter.org/ does great enovironmental education on a shoestring. Toddlers to adults, they get people outside to enjoy, appreciate, and understand the natural world.
They have recently taken a brave step of making their prairie and pond free for everybody to visit, and are in the process of removing and remodeling an outdated museum space into more classrooms, making it possible to expand their teaching capacity and summer camp space. My favorite thing about being a parent of kids who go to ALNC is, whatever the weather, how much time they spend OUTSIDE. The naturalists are great teachers, fun and relaxed, and underfunded.
If you can find it in yourself to fund a summer camp or winter vacation camp spot for a kid who wouldn’t otherwise be able to go, Thank you!
We can never pay back Robert A. Heinlein for the many hours of enjoyment he has provided us over the years, but we can help keep his name alive by “paying it forward!” The Heinlein Society is a charitable organization devoted to doing just that. One hundred percent of dues and donations go toward worthwhile endeavors, such as blood drives and scholarships. Another notable project is Heinlein for Heroes or H4H, dedicated to sending RAH / SF paperbacks to active duty military serving overseas and hardbacks to VA hospitals. We also helped fund the Heinlein bust for the State of Missouri Hall or Fame. Yearly dues for a full membership are $45.00 and are tax deductible in the US. Lifetime memberships are also available. As an added incentive, a drawing will be held in September for a Virginia Edition of Heinlein’s complete works. All active members of the Heinlein Society will be eligible. Joining is easy at The Heinlein Society website: http://www.heinleinsociety.org
Is a wonderful charity to donate to and you can give as a gift! It is a micro loan system that is all over the world. You can pick who you give the loan to – read why they want the loan, and what it will do for them. You also get repayment notifications. It has been a wonderful uninvestment. It is the gift to get people who have everything. There are plenty of people seeking loans even in the US.
One group of beings living on this planet gets discriminated against constantly: insects. So much money and research has gone into destroying them that many beneficials are disappearing which will cause many problems for non-insects in the near future. The Xerces Society has programs to help insects and sends some really interesting educational materials. They are very concerned about Monarch Butterflies at this moment. Please consider some non-mammals for your charitable giving this year. Thank you. https://xerces.org/
I’ve got two to promote –
I’m on the board of directors of Launch Pad Job Club, an all-volunteer non-profit organization in Austin Tx that has helped thousands of people who have lost their jobs to become re-employed for getting close to 20 years. All of the money raised funds the programs we provide – weekly meetings (pays for the space and the refreshments), door prizes for the meeting attendees (grocery store gift cards and the like), job fairs, and more. We encourage our members to volunteer their skills to help other non-profits through our Leap To Success program (keeps their skills fresh, gives them something for their resume to fill in the gap between jobs, and helps connect them with the community).
(there’s a link to our organization’s site at the bottom of the page – don’t want my post to get stuck in moderation with too many links)
Second, a buddy of mine (fellow former book retailer, a comics/SF/fantasy enthusiast, and an author) is going through some hard times and has a Go Fund Me
Or you could buy some of his books:
Warrior 360 is a veteran run 501c3. We assist recent combat veterans who are in financial crisis, providing an immediate response to keep them in their home, provide food, gas or relocate to a safe location. We have assisted veterans from Maine to Alaska, thru 100% volunteer work. Sometimes life kicks you down and you need a hand up to get back in the game.
We also assist older combat veterans with home repairs from small to major jobs. When we do this, we get the new seat generation of veterans to help the older generation, Bridging the gap of age by shared experiences and service.
100% of donations go to assistance, our overhead is covered by T-shirt’s and swag sales.
Thank you and have a great Holiday!
For the gamers in the crowd, the Mindcrack Marathon is happening this weekend, benefiting Extra Life (which supports the Children’s Miracle Network).
Kevin’s Song is working to end the suicide epidemic in the US. Their annual conference brings hugely diverse experts together under one roof to learn from one another (think people working to prevent suicide among veterans, teens, LGBT people, in religious organizations, etc.) and includes both survivors of suicide attempts and those who have lost loved ones to suicide. https://kevinssong.org/ to check them out, or go straight to https://kevinssong.org/donation/ to donate.
I have two worthy organizations to promote. The first helps students and teachers nationwide. You can search for a needy classroom near you, or just browse the projects.
The second organization protects environments and endangered/threatened species that seem to fall off the radar of most people. These are underground locations that aren’t obvious, but still suffer. Please donate to the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, which purchases and protects caves.
Homes For Families (homes4families.org) is a Southern California non-profit that builds houses and provides services to low-income veterans. We’re now finishing 78 homes in Santa Clarita and starting a 54 home project in Palmdale. Veterans qualify for a CalVet loan for a large part of the below market rate sales price while H4F fundraises for the balance at 0% interest. We don’t build one or two homes at a time – we build communities of veteran families. Another unique facet of the H4F program is the education and training classes which are a fundamental part of the sweat equity which the veteran families invest in their homes. By not simply building housing but helping veteran families move up into the middle class, our programs have proven results in areas such as lowering kids’ school dropout rates and raising the rate of job advancement and continuing education toward advanced degrees.
Cleveland’s EDWINS Restaurant draws diners for its lauded classic French fare, but the best things to come out of its kitchen may be the formerly incarcerated adults who receive hospitality and culinary training through the eatery’s leadership institute.
More personally, there is a gofundme for a friends son who became a parsplegic after an operation and is raising money for needed home repairs.
I’ve got one organization to promote, both locally and internationally (if you prefer). Soroptimist International is “a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic improvement.” I’ve been involved with Soroptimist International of Wallowa County for almost three years now (in my second year as secretary), and I can attest that if you want to make a direct difference fighting poverty and empowering women and girls in a small rural community (and beyond), this is a good and financially efficient organization.
Our primary activity is the operation of a small thrift shop open two weekdays and two Saturdays a month. Most items cost 50 cents, though some items may go as high as $5. Many low/restricted-income locals depend on the Shop for inexpensive clothing, kitchen supplies, and other items. We aggressively sort our Shop donations so as to provide the best quality possible for our customers, and the Shop is our major expense (as well as income–it is self-supporting). More than once we’ve opened the Shop on non-shopping days for emergency supplies. Sales from the Shop fund our major contributions to Safe Harbors (a women’s shelter), Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, Community Connections, Wallowa County Building Healthy Families, general high school scholarship programs and a specific scholarship program (Live Your Dream) targeting single women head of households working toward their undergraduate/technical degree.
We’ve provided funding to replace kitchen equipment for a woman running a baking business, women gaining certification for lymphedema treatment and other medical services that they bring back to this isolated mountain community (70 miles off of the Interstate), supported the Josephy Center’s Women’s Art Month, medical travel expenses, and contributions toward a vision aid for a local woman. We also pay high school tuition for five young women in El Salvador (our specific international project). Our latest project is collaborating with the local Rotary club to fund an emergency water bill program as while the local community service agency has a fund to help people with electric power needs, there’s nothing organized for water. Keep in mind that this is a mountain community which gets very cold in wintertime (currently we’ve got 6 inches of snow and temps have been dropping to -4 F overnight). Recent water system improvements have led to water bills on a par with Portland (largest city in Oregon), and rents are similar to urban areas due to lack of availability. We’ve individually helped several families–and these *are* working families with young children.
Anyway, here’s the link to where you can send donations–and get a lot of bang for your buck (surf around the website to learn more about what we do–including Heidi Muller’s Soroptimist Thrift Shop song!). Mailing address for donations is below the join-up pitch.
Rural Technology Fund
Puts tech kits (often focusing on robotics and programming) in the hands of teachers in rural school districts. This allows schools that don’t have the resources to dedicate to a full-time teacher for those subjects to introduce the concepts and get kids up and running quickly.
DOBES and DOBIES! (No, not Dobie Gillis.) Doberman Pinschers – they spend as much time as possible curled up beside their families and generally would give their all to protect them. Their loyal nature deserves a fantastic dog rescue group that is dedicated to finding new homes for those that need one, whether due to neglect, an owner’s illness or death, or even military transfer (which happens surprisingly often). And thank goodness they have such a fantastic rescue: Doberman Rescue of the Triad (http://www.doberman-rescue.com), a 501(c)(3) charity based in Greensboro, NC. There have been thousands of new families created over the last couple of decades by this conscientious rescue. Your much appreciated donation will be used for food, shelter and medical care. And if you think there’s a Doberman size hole in your family, check out the Available Dobes on their website. Adoptions are allowed cross country.
And since Saddlebred horses claim the piece of my heart not already claimed by Dobes, check out Saddlebred Rescue (http://www.saddlebredrescue.com). Not only are they 501(c)(3), they are a verified member of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). Most of their rescues come from auctions where horses are bought and sold to be shipped out of the country for horse meat. They put a tremendous amount of effort and money into bringing the horses back into shape, evaluating/training them and finding a good match with a new owner.
All of these animals are at the mercy of the humans around them. Mercy is a wonderful thing to give and a wonderful thing to receive. Just a little – can mean so much. Thank you.
My friend Rik Church has been diagnosed with cancer for the second time in five years.
Once again, I’m going to suggest supporting your local Friends of the Library organization. Many of them are operated by dedicated volunteers who see to it that your libraries can fund things they wouldn’t ordinarily have money for, like special programs, craft supplies, and yes, books. If you are tight of money, they often can use volunteers to help run bookstores, or collect and sort donations.
Marie Stopes International. Reproductive health and counseling.
Active in 37 countries. 27% of clients living on less than $1.25/day.
I’m the chair of Student Pugwash USA, a nonprofit with the mission: empower and equip students and young professionals to identify, critically analyze, and shape the ethical, policy, and societal dimensions of science and technology. After nearly 40 years of promoting student chapters and holding conferences, we are launching an additional general membership network in early 2019 to do similar educational and activism outreach for “post-educational” folks. (And switching to membership dues from philanthropy to support our programs.)
So, yes, while your money is always welcome, I’m more interested in attracting your interest to attend a talk or participate in an online discussion. I’m neck-deep in building that membership infrastructure now (which will go up asap at http://www.spusa.org), but in the meantime feel free to write me at jeff [at] spusa.org.
Hope’s Door, which shelters, counsels, provides job training, and education for victims of domestic abuse in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
The North Texas Food Bank provides nearly 200,000 meals every single day for children, families, elderly, and disabled folks across 13 counties in North Texas.
Feeding Denver’s Hungry (https://www.facebook.com/FeedingDenversHungry/) is a charitable organization devoted to providing food and other necessities to the hungry and downtrodden in Denver, Colorado. Its founder, Jim Scharper, was himself homeless at one point. Six years ago, he started by making 25 meat-and-cheese sandwiches to give out to homeless people. Today, the monthly food giveaways employ dozens of volunteers and distribute thousands of pounds of food (including hundreds of those selfsame sandwiches) to hundreds of needy people. Many of the people involved with the charity, as volunteers or otherwise, are LGBT and allies.
Link to most recent fundraising campaign: https://www.facebook.com/jim.scharper/posts/2429691133711223
(I’ve been part of a couple of their food giveaways, and have been working on rebuilding their Web site, which was lost earlier this year.)
The Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit all-volunteer organization that helps companion animals and livestock out of immediate crisis and dangerous situations. WASART is trained to help in situations such as if your horse is trapped in a well, your dog falls over a cliff, or your community needs help sheltering animals for short-term issues, like threat of fire. https://wasart.org Donate: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=3qbQp1XM0tglvA5SM7b0SsG08yw9Hx9C_2X-dr7K8y190PeNraGiX7NE08nQaMm-fIWAIG&country.x=US&locale.x=US
I would like to add another plug for Worldbuilders. For every $10 you donate to the charity you will be entered to win all sorts of geeky awesome things like books, comics, jewelry, and games up to and including a cabin for two on the JoCo Cruise. There are also specialized team pages that you can donate on to win more specialized geek stuff like DnD things or critiques from professional writers and editors. 100% of this money goes to Heifer International, which is an organization that doesn’t just use that money to give food to people, they do things to improve their long term quality of life. For example, they will give someone a goat and training on how to care for it. The goat makes milk which they can drink and sell and eventually also makes more goats which they can pass along to their neighbors thus changing whole communities! Heifer also does things like provide a source of clean water, scholarships for girls to go to school, and agricultural training. Its a great cause and fun charity!
Carolina Border Collie Rescue and Phoenix Rising Border Collie Rescue
In 1998, I left and oppressive, sweatshop faculty position to take up a research position at a new institution. My girlfriend at the time went nearby to graduate school. She had two kids who had always lived in the same house and were worried about moving so she let them have pets. They were watching a show on Animal Planet one night and decided they wanted border collies.
Which we found, a brother and sister. They were wonderful dogs. They just wanted to be where the people were and have things to do. I went over on weekends and took them for walks and did some basic obedience training. They were so eager to please. The kids ended up ignoring them most of the time, so they got so excited and overjoyed every time they saw me. I was the guy that had time for them. I even figured out how to work them into a book I was writing at work.
I loved those dogs, and when she broke up with me in 2000, they and the kids were the things I missed most. About 6 months later, I bought my first house. I figured this was about as stable as I was likely to get. After a lifetime of wanting dogs and resisting because I lived as a student in a string of apartments, I thought I’d get some dogs. I remembered my guys and looked at border collies.
And immediately got sticker shock from the ones at the breeders. This was as Google was just becoming a big thing and people at work used to make fun of me for using it all the time. But I searched for Border Collie Georgia, and the Border Collie Rescue of Georgia came up.
I thought “Well, that would be pretty responsible. Get a dog that needs me.” So I looked at their page. There were about a half dozen dogs for adoption, and at the bottom were these two, brother and sister. They had been together their whole lives except for the month or so they were in foster homes. She cried for her brother every night.
I looked at their pictures and immediately thought: “I know those dogs.”
They were my guys. They were so happy to see me, the last person in the world they knew and trusted, when the guy brought them to my house. My ex had gotten in financial trouble and lost her house. Then dumped the dogs on relatives where they had been pretty badly abused, kept in crates for a month at a time except for bathroom breaks. Sugar, the little girl, knew all the major curse words. She flinched from anything shaped like a broom.
And she was the best friend I ever had. Sam was his own boy, but Sugar wanted nothing more out of life than to be wherever I was. We three went everywhere together. She conquered lung cancer. Her safe place was to crawl up in my lap and fall asleep. She was almost too big for that but not quite.
Sugar and Sam-I-Am lived with me for over a decade. She conquered lung cancer, but the chemo made her deaf. They lived a long and happy life, and I held each of them when they passed.
I decided that since rescue had been so very good to me, I should give back. The rescue I got them from had disappeared, and I’ve never found the guy who ran it. But I thought I could help other people to have an experience similar to mine and started working with rescues in neighboring states. Recently, I’ve begun work on recreating a Georgia rescue.
So these are the two groups I work with. Every single penny goes to medical treatment for the dogs. They often have been attacked, shot, hit by cars, almost all of them have heartworms these days. They are both 501(c)3’s so you get a tax deduction.
Give if you can. In memory of Sugar and Sam-I-Am.
I want to suggest Young Life (specifically the Tucson, AZ college section). This is a group the reaches out to college age kids to help them in any time of need. They host events that can create relationships that can last lifetimes. The workers are there for the kids in any type of situations.
The second is Compassion International. This organization helps children around the world get the basic needs to live. They help supply food, shelter, education, and much more in areas that need it so very much. You sponsor a child and you get regular (4-6 times a year) letter from the child. You can send letters as often as you want. I have sponsored 2 kids in the last 20 years, and it is a blessing to see the kids grow up.
I always give to my local food bank. I know I am going to be eating well this time of year (maybe a little too well ) but others won’t. You might think about giving a little during the rest of the year too. RAH’s ‘paying it forward” is a wonderful idea and this is my way of doing it. The Salvation Army is another good way of doing it.
I’m running an Advent Blog Tour to benefit the Edmonton Food Bank. What that means is twenty-four authors are sharing a story each (one each day) AND we have a rafflecopter full of prizes AND fun rewards for donating to my local food bank.
All the details, and links to the stories that have been posted so far, are all here –> http://www.rhondaparrish.com/giftmas-2018/
I chose to support the Edmonton Food Bank because food insecurity is a huge and growing problem and I wanted to help. One fun fact is that because of the buying power of the local food bank every Canadian dollar donated converts to three meals. I guess that means every American dollar would be almost four.
That’s a great value for your charity dollar.
I want to add my voice to supporting your local food bank. If you become a regular donor, they will tell you where the need is greatest in your community. I support my local food bank, so I know that here in SC, every time schools close for a day or so, children go hungry.
Just wanted to add a note about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an organisation that rescues and rehabilitates wild elephants — plus the odd rhino and giraffe. 93.91 on Charity Navigator. Also a plug for APOPO, who train rats to sniff out TB and land mines, and one more hurrah for Worldbuilders!
I’d like to talk up two charities in the DC area.
The first is Homeless Children’s Playtime Project. Provides enrichment and play activities for children in homeless shelters in DC. Started when the majority of homeless families with children were housed in the former DC General Hospital, it now serves children housed in the scatter site shelters and who are temporarily housed in various hotels and motels in DC. While DC General was an absolute pit, it had the benefit that because it was owned by the District, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project got permission to take over several rooms for their activities and to store their equipment, plus Dc General was public transit accessible. Now they have to rent function space from the hotels an motels and drive the equipment to and from those locations, which has increased costs. They are a very worthy organization and have been around for 15 years. Their website is:
The second organization is Friends of Guest House, which provides re-entry services and programs for formerly incarcerated women. The organization was founded in 1974 and only 10% of their clients re-offend, which is a really good success rate. They have three core programs – a Residential-to-Aftercare program continuum, a Workforce & Life Development Program, and a non-residential Outreach Program. They provide case management, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and life skills training across all their programs. They also work within the greater D.C. Metropolitan area social services network to refer their clients for special services, child custody assistance, emergency services, and whatever else they may need to succeed. Their website is:
Raising money for 261 Fearless, an international organization founded by Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon (wearing bib number 261, though she was physically attacked by the race director in mile 2 as he did not want a woman running the race and tried to take the bib). They exist to empower and support women theough running. Please consider donating today!
I always donate to Doctors Without Borders because they go where no one else does and they put their lives at risk to help people in dire need. They are my heroes. I also reccomend St Judes Hospital because of the work they do every day to help children and their families.
Second the recommendation for Doctors Without Borders.
My personal favorite is charity:water. Their mission is to provide clean water to everyone. To those who don’t have it, clean water is everything. It starts with eliminating a persistence source of infection and illness, but moves on to providing time for women and children to go to school (since they don’t have to spend hours traveling to and waiting in line at the only water source nearby), and on and on. 1 in 10 people in the world don’t have access to clean water, and you can help fix that.
My favorite charities are:
Mental Health America of Georgia, a wonderful nonprofit that focuses on advocacy and resources for individuals living with a mental health diagnosis. The serve all ages and do a lot of community education and outreach.
Clark’s Christmas Kids is also an annual favorite. They provide Christmas gifts for the kids in foster care in Georgia. As A foster/adoptive parent myself, I know first hand how much their efforts mean to the kids.
Finally, pretty much any reputable animal rescue. Here are two of my favorites, one for large animals and one for house pets:
Noah’s Ark large animal rescue: http://www.noahs-ark.org
Mostly Mutts (but they have cats too): https://www.mostlymutts.org
My link for Clark’s Christmas Kids got mashed up with text above. Sorry about that. Here’s a working one: https://clark.com/about-clark/christmaskids/
I’d like to recommend https://honeybeesuite.com (there’s a button in the corner for donations) for her work in educating us about native and honey bees. I’m not sure it’s legally a charity, but I don’t itemize so I don’t care. It’s basically thankless work and it’s a wonderfully free source of information for anyone who wants to read about bees and beekeeping, without having to put up with the sites who think their way is the only way, no matter what your local conditions.
Hm. Well, my theatre group is Pork Filled Productions (www.porkfilled.com).
At Pork Filled Productions, we:
• Produce and develop genre plays
• Promote Asian American and POC artists
• Imagine fantastical, inclusive and FUN universes.
We envision a bright universe informed by diverse experiences and perspectives, populate by larger than life characters where everyone’s story can be told.
In other words, we’re looking for the next John Scalzi of color who writes for the stage.
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