It’s that time of year again – giving gifts either out of obligation or love. It’s really hard to tell the difference sometimes, right? Anyway, with so much going on in the world lately, I thought this year would be a good one to list out ways that we could share our humanity, by helping out others in this world. You may want to do this as a way to incorporate people into causes you believe in. You may want to do this to spite the racist family member that you drew in the family gift pool. You may even want to use this a a last-minute gift guide. No matter how you use this guide, just know that you are doing a good thing, and helping your karma along the way.
Planned Parenthood: This one really needs no explanation.
Cure Batten: This donation will help the Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation accelerate the research into finding a cure for Battan disease and to save the lives of all children impacted by Batten disease.
The Jane Goodall Institute: The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is a global nonprofit focused on inspiring individual action to improve the understanding and welfare of great apes and to safeguard the planet we all share. Their mission is based in Dr. Jane Goodall’s belief that the well-being of our world relies on people taking an active interest in all living things.
Water.org: For more than twenty years, Water.org has pioneered safe water and sanitation solutions that give women hope, children health and communities a future. Their vision: Safe water and the dignity of a toilet for all. They do really strong work in areas that are devastated by natural disasters.
No Kid Hungry: No child should grow up hungry in America, but one in five children struggles with hunger. The No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. A well-fed child does better in school, which starts a domino effect to a better life.
Habitat for Humanity: There are nearly 2 billion people around the world who live in slum housing and more than 100 million are homeless. Habitat helps by building or renovating simple, decent houses in partnership with those in need. They also have helped many people rebuild their lives after natural disasters, like they did for so many folks after our many devastating tornados here in Oklahoma.
Brady Campaign: Gun control. Enough said.
Common Threads: Through their cooking and nutrition programs and curriculum, they help prevent childhood obesity and reverse the trend of generations of non-cookers, while celebrating our cultural differences and the things people all over the world have in common.
Chrohn’s & Colitis Foundation: The mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.
Diabetes Research Institute: Flat out dedicated to cure Diabetes.
Epilepsy Foundation: The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and SUDEP, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies.
Refuge UK: Refuge is a safe-house in the UK for women and children escaping domestic violence. I became aware of them when helping with Give and Makeup, a great initative for beauty bloggers, and others, started by Caroline Hirons. (*As it is a national organization, it covers more places. Here in the US, please think of giving to your local shelters.)
Crisis Text Line: Many, MANY folks (*especially teens!) do not feel comfortable talking live to someone when they are in distress. This avenue provides a way to help people move from a hot moment to a cool calm, guiding you to create a plan to stay safe and healthy. The average text chat lasts *3.5* hours. THAT is dedication.
World Literacy Foundation: Seriously, reading is FUNdamental. Their mission is to lift children and youth out of poverty by delivering effective and sustainable programs aimed at eradicating illiteracy. Education is a basic human right. Knowing how to read and write not only enables others to overcome the barriers of poverty, it unlocks the door to a lifetime of learning.
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation: Music in schools! Music in schools! Music in schools! MHO helps keep that going by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs, giving youngsters the many benefits of music education, helping them to be better students and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music.
Karma Dogs: This organization helps provide former shelter dogs, now trained specially trained therapy dogs, to programs to provide comfort to folks to improve reading skills, life skills, autism needs and teach about proper animal care.
Girls Who Code: STEM! Their vision is to reach gender parity in computing fields. They believe this is paramount to ensure the economic prosperity of women, families, and communities across the globe, and to equip citizens with the 21st century tools for innovation and social change. They believe that more girls exposed to computer science at a young age will lead to more women working in the technology and engineering fields. And that can only be a damn good thing.
RAINN – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice.
Now, if you want some ideas for beauty gifts, don’t worry – I received plenty of information about lots of those, I just thought I would provide a charitable guide, instead of a pretties guide this year. Just hit me up on SM or email for suggestions on those.
And, yes, I know that this list is just a drop in the bucket of worthy organizations, and I tried to keep them as national/global as possible, but please do not forget the charities that support your own community. (Don’t harass me over the listed ones, as each one was picked their causes due to touching the lives of people that I know. Just POLITELY let me know if a particular organization has an issue that makes it questionable, please.) That said, if you have some charities that you would like to support/give attention to, just leave me a note in the comments for others to see, too.
Happy Holidays, no matter how you celebrate!