Ask the readers: What charities do you give to?

By Troy Hadley on 12 April 2007 (Updated 10 June 2007) 8 comments

My last post on giving made me think a bit about... well, giving. My train of thought, fortunately, is easy to track.

I give a good deal of money to charity every year, enough so that the monetary amount actually affects my tax returns (in a good way). I was just thinking about all of the places that I give to, and since some people started posting other charities in the last blog post, I thought I'd just out and out ask: who do you give to?

Because I'm really dig critters, be they fuzzy or bald, small or huge, I give to the following organizations on a regular basis:

Rolling Dog Ranch and Sanctuary is a great place and fantastic organization where disabled animals go to live out their days, or even find new homes! Warning! If you like animals, or have a functioning heart, do not visit this site until you are somewhere in which you can wipe away tears. Not that I'm the crying type, no sir. I'm pounding my chest in an aggressive manner as we speak. No, I'm worried about you sissy types who cry easily... especially if you read the story about Spirit ...the ... wonderdog (breaks down sobbing).

The Elephant Sanctuary is well-known, and damn, if elephants just aren't as cool as can be.

The Humane Society of the United States is activist enough for me to feel like they're really DOING something, but without being obnoxious, like PETA. I recently signed their plegde to boycott Canadian seafood until Canada stops clubbing baby seals like it's some kind of freaking hobby.

People

When I feel like helping humans, I give to Kiva.org, Operation Smile, and Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres).

Who do YOU give to?

(Picture by Jo Philips)

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Guest's picture
jfo

I generally give to United Way through my employers. I always chose where I want my money funneled--for me it is a local agency that records books for the hearing impaired. I am not able to give a lot, so I like that it is spread out and taken from my paycheck.

I also have used the services of a United Way agency myself--fiancial counseling.

Guest's picture
Sparky

I don't have a whole lot of money to give to charities, so I don't give to many. The local food bank gets some cash but most of my charitable contributions go to Child's Play. It's an organization that lets you directly donate money or purchase toys for children to play with in hospitals while they are sick. They are mostly active around the holidays, http://www.childsplaycharity.org/.

Guest's picture
Andrea

Great question! My favorites are Modest Needs.org Heifer International Doctors without Borders Oxfam Habitat for Humanity

Guest's picture

I am partial to charities that empower 3rd world families to earn more - sometimes called "income generation", sometimes called "poverty eradication". Microloans particularly help women and their children - check out the Grameen bank foundation. A wimpy little infusion of money by Western standards can help a women generate extra income which she typically uses to reinvest in her business and/or educate her daughters. I love that a virtuous cycle keeps going. Another organization that accomplishes this through livestock gifts (in keeping with the fuzzy critter theme) is www.heifer.org Great blog!

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kencomer

Kids who have lost their hair and who will likely never regain it--especially young girls whose identity is frequently smurred by the modern trend of wearing jeans and unisex shirts--are likely to be the butt of other children's cruelty. Their self image becomes ugly and unfamiliar.

Enter "Locks of Love" http://www.locksoflove.org/

They want your hair. From my research, it does not make a huge difference in the availability of wigs. You can apparently buy 100% human hair extensions for under $40. On the other hand, having long hair is fun. You can say words like "smurred" and no one will look askance at you.

It only costs you a little shampoo, and the sudden transition from long-haired to short-clipped is fun, too.

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Rob O.

I'll second the vote for Locks of Love. My wife donated about 10" of hair to them a couple of summers ago. Really like the idea that the hairpieces go to children who've lost their hair due to illness.

My wife & I also contribute frequently to Children's Miracle Network which was founded in 1983 by Marie Osmond & John Schneider and is an int'l non-profit organization that raises funds for childrens' hospitals & medical research affecting children's health issues.

In fact, Medical Center Hospital where my wife & I both work is hosting its annual Springfest street fair/carnival fundraiser next Friday with 100% of the proceeds going to newborn & pediatric childrens' medical services.

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Carol from Pueblo

I mainly give to help children. I use United Way at work and have designated all funds to go to local children charity. I give to food banks and give all donation of clothes and other household items to a local thrift store that uses the profits (all thrift store help is vol) to buy school supplies etc for children to start school

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Leslie

We give to dozens of charities and our gift is matched by my workplace. That match really has inspired me to give more. Those that I particularly love have a connection to my children:
--Smile Train: My oldest son had bilateral cleft lip and this charity fixes clefts for free for poor children
--PFLAG: Two of my children are GLBT so I give to work that builds a just world for them
--UNICEF: As a 12-year-old, my daughter was moved by the plight of Afghani girls without education and gave all of her Christmas money to UNICEF - and talked her brothers into giving their money as well. We now give every year.
--Solar Cookers International: This nonprofit provides solar cookers to women in refugee camps. This donation expresses our values for women's empowerment, children's health, and environmental issues.

We also give to some organizations that are NOT 501(c)(3) tax-deductible because they are working to build a world more in tune with our values, such as Friends Committee on National Legislation (bringing a Quaker peace perspective to national politics), and HRC (seeking the same rights for gays and lesbians that other U.S. citizens enjoy).