Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2020, Day Five: Charities

For the last four days, the Whatever Gift Guide 2020 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.

38 Comments on “Whatever Holiday Gift Guide 2020, Day Five: Charities”

  1. John, thank you again for opening up Whatever for this promotion.

    The Heinlein Society was founded by Virginia Heinlein–this year we celebrated our 20th anniversary. THS 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 provide free educational materials as a download for teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers. (Learn more at: http://www.heinleinsociety.org/thseducation/ .)

    We also promote Heinlein Blood Drives at conventions. Since Robert Heinlein devoted a lot of energy to volunteer blood drives this is one of our core missions. We have now collected over 44,000 units since 2001. If you attend a convention that doesn’t have a blood drive, contact our Blood Drive Chairman at BloodDriveChair@Heinleinsociety.org and talk to him about volunteering so we can make an even greater impact. This year we have been doing a virtual blood drive–if you want a pin from the Ghost of Robert Heinlein as thanks for donating this year, email our blood drive chair.

    In 2020, our scholarship program for STEM students grew in the value of scholarships we could support thanks to donations. For the first time we granted three $2500 scholarships, including our “Ginny” scholarship which is open to female STEM students only. A donation to this program could help us increase either the dollar amount or the number of scholarships we can support in the future. We have already committed to raise the scholarships to $3000 each in 2021 due to the generous support of our members and friends this year, even in this pandemic environment.

    Our Heinlein for Heroes (H4H) program supports military members and veterans by providing copies of Heinlein’s books, as well as other science fiction books to deployed troops and military hospitals. Since its inception in 2013, we have shipped over 29,000 books to service members around the world.

    As a private, nonpartisan 501(c)(3), The Heinlein Society survives on membership fees and donations to support “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, been amused by or owned by a cat, loved AI computers or have longed for the stars, pay it forward just a little bit by considering making a tax deductible donation or by becoming a member. If you donate, you can choose which of our programs your donation supports. http://www.heinleinsociety.org/

    Your membership also supports publishing the Heinlein Journal. Members get the new issues delivered electronically and article submissions are welcome from member and non-member alike. See https://www.heinleinjournal.com for more information.

    Also, even though we’re a charity at heart, one cool benefit for members is the chance to win a “Virginia Edition” leatherbound set of all of Heinlein’s published works. We’ve given three sets away so far and will be giving another one way for members this year. Thank you!

    John Tilden,
    President, The Heinlein Society

  2. Dobermans: In real life, not the movies, they are people-oriented dogs that crave human companionship. Doberman Rescue of the Triad, DRT, based in North Carolina but adopting to other states, is a long standing 501c3 dog rescue that specializes in finding forever homes for Dobes that have lost theirs. Since being founded in 1997 they have placed over 1,850 Dobes.
    DRT makes a commitment to every Dobe that comes through the door: ‘You will never be homeless again.’ That’s why the adoption contract states that if for any reason the new adopter cannot keep the Dobe, ownership reverts back to DRT and the Dobe must be returned. This year, that promise was kept for Happy and Cate. Their beloved owner suddenly passed away while home alone. Well, not exactly alone. His DRT rescues Happy and Cate kept watch over him for four days until someone found them. Then it was three days of DRT fighting tooth and nail through red tape to get them released from animal control and back into its care. And yes, a new home was found for the pair, together, even though Cate is a senior dog and Happy has seizures. When you choose to support DRT, that is the kind of commitment you are supporting.
    All the work is done by a group of very loyal volunteers. But the necessities – medical care, food, shelter – require money. Rescue is much more expensive than most people would imagine. DRT’s veterinary bills alone exceed $20,000 per year, because many individuals arrive with heartworms and other medical needs, plus the necessary neutering, that must be addressed before the Dobe can become part of a new family. Please consider adding Doberman Rescue of the Triad to the organizations you choose to aide. Your support helps DRT continue making that very important commitment.
    You can see available Dobes, bid on silent auctions and make donations on the DRT website: http://www.Doberman-Rescue.com. (They also have a Facebook page.)

  3. Please consider donating to your local public library. Besides books, they often have a lot of online material [handy these days!] support reading for kids, literacy programs and a host of good works. If you are unsure, scan the webpage of your local library. I would also like to confess I work in a public library, but support the one in your area!

  4. Every year I donate to 3 charities:
    EFF – Electronic Freedom Foundation – works to protect privacy and internet freedom
    Alzheimer’s Foundation – Horrible disease needs a cure
    Helen Woodward Animal Rescue – Local organization that rescues abandoned dogs, cats, hamsters, what have you.

  5. Thank you for this opportunity, John.

    Readers of cozy mysteries don’t have to only be a SVENSKA fan to enjoy this tale set in modern-day Bishop Hill, IL. Join Shelley Anderson in her quest to find the last portrait painted by folk artist Olof Krans. Her only clues are an old woman’s cloud-inspired dreams and her uncle’s guilty conscience. She’s not the only one on the hunt. After 93 years, how dangerous can it be to discover the hidden masterpiece? You can Buy My Book Here

    A portion of each sale of “Clouds Over Bishop Hill” goes to the Bishop Hill Heritage Association for preserving the history & culture of the 1846 Swedish communal society. Bishop Hill Heritage Association

  6. Hello all, and thanks, John!

    The city of Philadelphia has unfortunately been forced to strip almost all arts and literacy programs out of the public school system. Here are three organizations trying to help:

    Tree House Books – “A Giving Library and Literacy Center headquartered in North Philadelphia. Founded in 2005, we provide free books to children and families, and Out of School Time (OST) programs that increase literacy skills, and promote a lifelong love of reading and writing. Our programs serve the community! We reach children from their earliest moments, through high school, and their adults too. Tree House Books has its roots in the belief that literacy – in its many forms – is fundamental to academic success, career readiness, and, most importantly, personal empowerment.” http://www.treehousebooks.org/

    Philadelphia Young Playwrights – “Since 1987, Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP) has partnered with educators to bring the transformative power of playwriting into classrooms and community settings across Greater Philadelphia. Placing students at the center of their learning, PYP’s intensive writing residencies advance writing-based literacy skills while developing critical 21st century skills like creativity, communication, and collaboration.”

    Musicopia – “Musicopia’s mission is to provide opportunities for children to experience, learn, perform, and appreciate music. Musicopia is a non-profit organization that reaches thousands of children each year through educational music enrichment programs in schools and communities throughout the Philadelphia Region. Musicopia places a priority on reaching students who are underserved and cut off from the region’s rich cultural life and is a recognized leader in rebuilding and revitalizing school music programs.”

  7. This has been a tough year for non-profits of all varieties, so you really can’t go wrong giving the gift of a charitable donation this year, and there are lots to choose from.

    With the pandemic, we’ve seen how important health research and hospital capacity can be. But it’s been a hard year for research and hospital funding: many clinical trials had to be put on hold, some research grant competitions were delayed, experiments and lab work has been disrupted, and costs have gone up.

    So I’ll make my pitch to find a health research or hospital charity to donate to this year. I’ll recommend the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in Toronto in particular. I have a conflict-of-interest: my day job is at the Techna Institute, which receives support from the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, but that also means that I can see that they put their funds to good use solving problems. They’ve been very strategic in setting up large initiatives as well as filling in the gaps in government grant support for research.

  8. Please donate money to your LOCAL FOOD BANKS. Food insecurity has skyrocketed during the pandemic, even in places you might not expect like well-off suburbs. Money is much more useful to food banks than “in kind” donations – they usually have agreements that allow them to buy food for much less than individuals can, plus it gives them flexibility in filling current needs. Just Google “food bank” to find ones near you.

    During this holiday season, when we shouldn’t be gathering with far-flung family and friends, no matter how much we miss them, we can donate the money we would have spent on holiday meals and party to help ensure that those around us aren’t without food.

  9. I’ll always take the opportunity to shout out Breakthrough! Breakthrough works with students who will be among the first in their family to go to college and supports them beginning when they’re in middle school (usually 7th grade) through high school and into college. They provide academic support, social emotional support, college counseling, etc. Basically all of the things that kids in families with college educated adults often have that first gen kids don’t always. Their commitment to working with kids for the long term means that students are more likely to be accepted into college and also to finish.

    Additionally, middle school Breakthrough students attend academic summer camps that are taught by high school and college students. These camps let kids be in community with each other and also let teenagers and young adults try out teaching. My first experience running a classroom was through Breakthrough. It’s the reason I’m a middle school teacher today and was one of the most important experiences of my college career. Now that I am a classroom teacher, I have students enrolled in Breakthrough and its really cool to see the organization working from the other side.

    It’s a great organization that’s absolutely worth supporting and I also highly recommend encouraging any college student in your life who is maybe interested in teaching and still looking for something to do for the summer to apply to teach at Breakthrough. Applications for teaching fellows are open now :)

    The link to donate and apply is here: https://www.breakthroughcollaborative.org/

  10. Hi everyone, and thank you John for this platform!

    A brand-new, Black-owned, Black-curated book café called ROFHIWA is coming to my neighborhood in East Durham, and they’d love every bit of support they can get in order to launch successfully. Please watch their video–this would be such an incredible space for the neighborhood, especially for kids, and, I hope, a blueprint for many more book cafés like it across the country.


  11. Many military veterans are having a hard time with the social isolation that has come with the pandemic. At the same time, many vets who die are being buried without the military honors that volunteers are usually providing. The Honor Bell Foundation is an all-veteran volunteer group that tolls a purpose-built 1,000-pound bell at military funerals in Colorado, free of charge, for any vet’s family that requests it. The bell, which is mounted in a van for transportation to different burial sites, usually does outreach and fundraising appearances throughout Colorado. But since March they haven’t been able to tell the story of the bell, and gain the support they need to keep missions running. The vet volunteers find camaraderie in being able to honor their own and provide comfort to grieving families. Please give if you can.

    Environmental Learning for Kids is an inclusive non-profit organization that develops inspired and responsible leaders through science education and outdoor experiences for underserved, urban youth ages 5-25. Everything from learn-to-fish events, to hikes, even backpacking trips are organized to bring the outdoors to all kids, regardless of their background and situation. Please support them if you feel so inclined.

  12. We’ve made several donations this year to World Central Kitchen (https://wck.org/).

    Whenever there is a natural disaster, they are one of the first groups onsite, serving hot meals to the victims of the disaster and the first responders that are helping those victims (including during the massive wildlfires we had this summer in Oregon).

  13. Thank you for this opportunity, John.

    The Ali Forney Center provides services to homeless LGBTQ+ youth in New York City (and provides hope to many more). They assist over 2,000 youth per year through a 24-hour drop-in center that provides over 70,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered-site housing program.

    The < href=”https://www.thetrevorproject.org/”>Trevor Project runs a national 24/7/365 crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline to LGBTQ+ young people under 25.

    I hope readers will consider supporting these programs or other local programs that address the needs of youth whose families have turned them out or who feel they have no future.

  14. The American Bookbinders Museum preserves the history of Western bookbinding from the 16th-20th centuries, with a focus on the transition from artisanal craft to industrial manufacture. We’re the only museum dedicated to bookbinding in North America. Why does it matter?

    Before the 19th century, every book in Europe or the Americas was hand folded, hand sewn, and covered. A book-buyer might purchase flat, unfolded and uncut sheets and take them to the bindery of their choice; regardless of the contents, every book was unique. Books were expensive enough that, as late as the 16th century, they could be used as collateral for loans. Prices came down as publishers experimented with faster hand-binding techniques and cheaper materials–but a three volume edition of Northanger Abbey, published in 1817, cost the modern equivalent of $100… not a cheap beach read. Then came the industrial revolution, when technology made it possible to manufacture books faster, and exponentially more cheaply–making them affordable to a rising literate class.

    The ABM’s collection of 19th century bookbinding equipment–much of it steam-powered, cast-iron, and ingenious–gives a window into the rise of manufacturing in America, and the rise of book-buying among a population who believed that education and cultured were part of upward mobility.

    The history of the book in America is also the history of guilds and unions, of labor and merchandising, of women in the workforce… plus, really cool Victorian-era tech.

    For more information: https://www.bookbindersmuseum.org

    With the shut-down, this has been a hard year, but we’ve managed to put exhibits online and make resources available to our members and the public. If ABM sounds like something you want to support, we’d appreciate it.

    Madeleine Robins
    Operations Manager

  15. https://www.lambdalegal.org/: “Lambda Legal, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.”

    https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/nbfn-directory: “The National Bail Fund Network is made up of over eighty community bail and bond funds across the country. We regularly update this listing of community bail funds that are freeing people by paying bail/bond and are also fighting to abolish the money bail system and pretrial detention.”

  16. Project Linus: A Season of Giving Event!
    With the holidays approaching, we are reminded that there are thousands of children across the country who are going through difficult circumstances: children in need of comfort. Project Linus provides handmade blankets as gifts to children who are ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. They may be suffering from illness, a family crisis, homelessness, abuse, or have lost everything in a natural disaster. We need your help to continue our mission. On Dec 24, 2020, Project Linus will celebrate 25 years of providing comfort and security to over 8 million children. Please help us to continue for 25 more years. We invite you to go to http://www.projectlinus.org/donations and make a “Season of Giving” donation! If you wish you can designate your local chapter.

    A donation of $15 will make a single layer fleece blanket.
    $25 will provide funds for our newsletter to be printed for those that don’t receive email
    A donation of $35 will purchase yarn for an afghan.
    A donation of $50 will pay to send a box of blankets to children impacted by a natural disaster.
    Thanks to our volunteers who work so hard to make these blankets!

  17. For those who want to cast a wider net but also support charities that are effective and efficient, the site CharityNavigator.org aggregates ratings of thousands of charities. You can search among them by name or keyword (testing: the keyword “Doberman” turns up 193 hits, but “Doberman Triad” finds @marzob’s group right way.) (Incidentally that group should review how its board composition is reported on IRS form 990; it is impacting its rating.)

    When you find a charity you like you can add it to “my charities”. Then you can — as I did this week — go through “my charities” and specify a donation amount for each, and whether the donation will be anonymous, or the charity will know your email a/o name, or the donation should be in someone’s name. For example my donation to EFF was anonymous, I don’t need email from them; but the one to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org, highly recommended) was in the name of my spouse who died of that disease.

    Donations are collected into your “giving basket” and when you are satisfied, disbursed from a single draw on your credit card. You can print off a nice table of your donations ready for your accountant at tax time.

  18. My two big things are clean water and the rights of incarcerated people, but having to choose only one, I think access to clean water is the most important. That’s why I support Water for People

    Imagine having to walk five miles every day with two full buckets just to give your family something safe to drink and cook with. This is the situation in a lot of places right now.

    We partner with local governments, businesses, and individuals, providing the support they need to bring clean water and sanitation systems to their own communities. Then we ensure they have the resources they need to maintain those systems now and in the future. The local government provides the structure. The local shop owner provides the materials. The local entrepreneur makes repairs.

    And the local family gets clean water for a lifetime.

    They used to have a Club 6, where people donate $6 a month, but I can’t find that on the website right now. But they still have a lot of flexible contribution options, and some positions for volunteers.

  19. Rainforest Action Network confronts big companies contributing to deforestation, habitat destruction, and climate change. They’re smaller and scrappier than many of the big environmental charities, but big enough that they’ve made a real difference. https://www.ran.org/mission-and-values/

    Native American Rights Fund fights for the long-ignored, often-denied rights of Native Americans. They’ve been doing great work for 50+ years. https://www.narf.org/our-work/

    Cultural Survival makes grants to Indigenous peoples across the globe, helping them to preserve their culture and language. They’re Indigenous-led, thoughtful, and have a lot of partners. https://www.culturalsurvival.org/about

    Fonkoze is a group of 3 organizations working together to break the cycle of poverty in Haiti, a country that got shafted by the international community for 150 years. They help people move from day-to-day subsistence to sustainable small-business productivity, improving both their lives and the economic fabric of the country. https://fonkoze.org/who-we-are

    Charity: water – over 750 million people worldwide don’t have good access to clean water, with severe consequences for public health, education, and gender equality (the burden of getting clean water often falls on kids + women). Charity: water aims to fix this, and has funded over 50,000 projects serving more than 11 million people – but there are a lot more to go. https://www.charitywater.org/global-water-crisis

  20. One of my favorite charities is The Nonviolent Peaceforce (nonviolentpeaceforce.org), an international non-profit that sends trained, unarmed civilian peacekeepers to protect refugees and other vulnerable people in areas of conflict. Visit the website for more detail, but the Peaceforce is not simply protecting people, it promotes the idea of nonviolent responses to confrontations through training, dialogue and other methods.

  21. A miscellany – there is so much these days …

    Immigrant Defenders Law Center https://www.immdef.org/
    “It is our long‐term goal to ensure that no immigrant is forced to go to court alone. ”

    Center for Constitutional Rights https://ccrjustice.org/

    RIP Medical Debt https://ripmedicaldebt.org/campaigns/
    Specific campaigns include medical workers (“Heroes Fund”)

    STAT Magazine https://www.statnews.com/
    Outstanding, reliable reporting on the COVID-19 epidemic, in particular, getting beyond science by press release. (Not a charity for tax purposes, as far as I know.)

    Locus Magazine or their 501(c)3 foundation): https://locusmag.com/donate/
    Among the hundreds, or, I suppose thousands, of at-risk and valuable entities – their advertising base has collapsed lately, so it seems SF community support will be essential.

  22. I agree with nonny’s earlier suggestion for donations to local food banks. Additionally I recommend giving to your local Meals on Wheels. These organizations provide food to home bound Seniors. Many local Meals on Wheels also provide assistance with in-home care, pet care, home repair and other programs designed to help Seniors age in place.

  23. Queer and trans youth need your help now more than ever. During this pandemic many young queer and trans people are confined to their homes with family that are not understanding or accepting of their LGBTQ+ children and these youth are cut off from the social supports they might normally find in school or in places like nAGLY (the North Shore Alliance of GLBTQ+ Youth). nAGLY is a nonprofit located in Massachusetts that strives to create a safe and brave space for LGBTQ+ youth through mentoring, social and mental health services, group activities, and education. Currently all programs are run online due to the pandemic but we rely heavily on donations. Our goal is to be able to continue to rent the space we are in so that it may be there for youth when the pandemic is over.

    You can read more about nAGLY here: nAGLY

    Just click the little donate button in the upper right hand corner and that will bring you to a list with links of different ways you can donate/help. You can make a one time gift or opt for a recurring donation. There’s also a donation program for businesses and corporations as well as a fund specifically for Covid affected youth.

    (Discalimer: I am a volunteer at nAGLY but the reason I am a volunteer is because I was a youth there and they helped me immensely.)

  24. Project Northmoor is planning to buy the Oxford house that the Tolkien family lived in from 1930-1947. It’s where J.R.R.T. wrote “The Hobbit” and worked on “The Lord of the Rings”. They’re planning on restoring the ground floor and the garden, and creating a center for the promotion of Tolkien’s work and the support and inspiration of current fantasy authors and artists. They also want to have an online presence for those not able to travel to Oxford. This would be the first literary center dedicated to the Professor. The Project is holding a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money to buy the house and get to work; you can find out more and donate at https://www.projectnorthmoor.org/

  25. Safe Haven Farms in Butler Co, Ohio, is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to providing a safe living enviroment for autistic adults by providing residential, daily and theraputic equestrian services for individuals on the autism spectrum and other developmental disabilities. (I should also note that this one is personal: my brother and sister-in-law were some of the people involved in creating it, because they wanted to create a communal place for their son beyond what they could provide individually.) Right now, they are working to pay off the mortgage on the farm so they can expand services and facilities.


  26. The charity where I’m a volunteer is the Friends of the Library of Los Altos. https://losaltoslibraryfriends.org/
    It supports the Library, making extra programs and extra books available to the patrons. Our primary source of funds is the sale of donated books – which come to us in thousands. The community of volunteers sort, price, and sell these books. This model is common – if you’d like to support your local library, look to see if a Friends group exists.

  27. My name is Felicity Banks and I run the Castle of Kindness Refugee Sponsorship Group (if you have an exceptionally good memory, you may also know me as an author). Under the guidance and support of the Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (http://www.ausrefugeesponsorship.com.au) we look after refugee families in a holistic and informal way. We pay for their airfares and living expenses (until they get work—which we also help with), meet them at the airport and take them to a home we’ve set up ready for them, help them access refugee services, teach them about local animals (which ones will kill them and which will only maim, etc—did I mention we’re in Australia?) and, if they like us, become their friends.

    So far my favourite part is seeing a shy kid who doesn’t speak English have an absolute blast just playing in our blow-up pool with my kids.

    Our GoFundMe is at gf.me/u/y3fupz

    You’re welcome to email me and ask questions castleofkindness@gmail.com

  28. I will second the recommendations for charity:water (nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide don’t have access to clean water, which is something I’ve been able to take for granted all my life) and your local food banks and community services (Second Harvest, Village Harvest and Sunnyvale Community Services are all on my list).

    I will add recommendations for
    Doctors Without Borders
    Heifer International
    Habitat for Humanity

    And if you’re in need of an inspirational story, you can read about Warrick Dunn’s work with Habitat for Humanity.

  29. Here in DC, there are a number of charities I support, all of which are hurting this year. But I’m going to focus on two, one in Virginia and one in DC.

    First, there’s Friends of Guest House in Virginia. Friends of Guest House helps women successfully reenter the community from incarceration. Since their founding in 1974, Guest House has helped more than 4,000 women break the vicious cycle of incarceration, reunite with their families, and reintegrate into their communities. They do really good work. Check out their website: https://friendsofguesthouse.org

    Second, here in DC there’s Homeless Children’s Playtime Project. They do what the name says, providing transformative play experiences to children experiencing homelessness living in DC shelters. They bring the play experiences to the kids where they live in the shelters. https://playtimeproject.org

    They’re both doing good work and I’ve been supporting them for around a decade.

  30. Donate to the local food bank. There are people out their seriously hurting. These people are often invisible, but they are your friends and neighbors, people who last year wrote a check to donate to the food bank!

  31. We run a 501(c)3 non profit in Phoenix, AZ called The Christian Chain. We provide resources and services to churches to help them work together and promote unity.

    Our first project was Samaritan Bags. We help churches and organizations organize packing events to pack bags of essential items for the homeless so you can be ready to help someone in need.
    To find out more about this program check out http://Samaritanbags.com. We’ve got info on the rest of our programs at http://TheChristianChain.org/givingtuesday

  32. Thanks, John, for doing this feature again this year – I always find a new group doing good work and I get inspiration from that.

    Two charities that I support (beyond higher ed) are:

    The North Bennet Street School – the oldest, continually operating trade school in the US. NBSS works to provide skills training for in-demand trades while preserving the traditions of the crafts.


    A local group here in Boston support racial justice and equality, YW Boston. YW supports a number of leadership and youth/community outreach programs.

  33. I’d like to put in a plug encouraging folks to consider supporting their local community foundation (I used to work for one and enjoyed it a lot). Community foundations are local or regional charitable organizations that exist to further grow and strengthen the communities they are based in, through either direct grantmaking to worthy causes or existing as a funding source for other local non-profits/charities. Their funding can help keep other local org’s doors open. They are also a great source of local scholarships to college-bound students.

    In contrast to many single-purpose charities, most community foundations are very flexible, having the capability to address whatever their communities’ most urgent needs are in the moment, while encouraging long-term sustainable improvement through the establishment of endowed funds. CFs in my area have really stepped it up this year to address our community’s issues brought about by Covid-19.

    Your mileage may vary greatly depending on where you live as to whether you have a local CF, or a broader regional or state-wide foundation (in my state, there’s a CF for every county, but that is considered an anomaly). I’d recommend googling ” community foundation” to see what your options are. I guarantee they will appreciate your support.

  34. I encourage everyone to pick your favorite charity and set up a monthly donation. It can be very small, but the regular funding is huge for organizations that get a lot of donations in December, but then have a drought in February. I support a newspaper, a school for the disabled, and the Salvation Army this way. Believe me, I don’t feel it, and its definitely better spent than my monthly streaming bill.

  35. The second-to-last sentence above is supposed to say: googling “-your location- community foundation” – I messed up by putting the wrong kind of brackets in, sorry.

  36. As with nNonny , Laura s., and B stress; food banks and pantries.
    To emphasize, my church has been running one for over ten years. Before covid, we were serving between 200-250 families twice a month, in a setting with some choice. Now we are doing drive throughs. This last one we served 545 families who drove up, and then delivered to about 300 more families.
    I’m not putting in a link to Westview Presbyterian, because we’re fortunate enough to be able to do this with our local partners, but not every pantry has our capabilities.
    Religious camps that are taking precautions are hurting. The church camp that I work for has cancelled everything between Thanksgiving until mid January. We have had no cases and intend to stay that way. We do have an on line auction at http://www.highlandscamp.org going until Sunday for Highlands Presbyterian Camp and Retreat Center. There’s some good stuff. Several quilts. Once again, we are in relatively good shape, so donate to a local camp.
    Highlands won’t turn down money, but there are others hurting.

  37. Center for Reproductive Rights – https://reproductiverights.org
    ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project – https://www.aclu.org/other/about-aclu-reproductive-freedom-project

    These are the only two law offices in the United States dedicated solely to the fight for reproductive freedom. People tend to think “abortion” when it comes to reproductive rights litigation, but the CRR and RFP do so much more than that, working to promote access to birth control, access to prenatal and obstetric care, the right to have a child, the reproductive rights of minors, and so much more.

    I did a summer internship in law school for the CRR a while back, and it was easily best work environment I’ve ever been in. The staff aren’t just fighting for a good cause; they’re good people who go out of their way to create a cooperative, respectful, kind workplace for the entire staff. If you’re looking to donate to a non-local charity and reproductive rights is a cause that’s important to you, you can’t do better than donating to the CRR.

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