Every Christmas I try to spend some money on "doing good" in addition to the consumption of "stuff." I have honed my favorites over the year and am bursting to share them with you.
First, as I've blogged before, I love Donors Choose. Through this organization you can look through thousands of publoc school classroom requests and contribute as much as you'd like to one or more. You can also buy a "gift card" and give it to someone else to allocate to a project. I am giving these to my 11 and 13 year old siblings this year. I can't wait to hear what they decide to do with them.
Second, Heifer International. I LOVE this organization. They provide (mostly) animals to people in developing areas to help them not only sustain themselves through food but also generate income. You can "buy" honey bees, rabbits, geese, ducks, chickens, goats, pigs, sheep, cows and even water buffalo. What is even cooler is that you can go to the Heifer Farm in the US in the spring and help with the birthing of the lambs! How cool does that sound?
Kiva is another organization dedicated to helping people help themselves. You can give a loan to someone who is a blooming entrepreneur and be paid back within six months. Kiva believes that the partnership relationship encourages respect and dignity, as well as accountability, and that is why they promote loans and not donations.
The Wounded Warrior Project is an organization that I learned about from my clients who made donations in honor of their wedding guests, in lieu of favors. In a time where many return from war, but return wounded, this organization has a critical mission: to honor and empower this generation's wounded warriors.
As you probably know, I am a huge advocate of homeless animals. So it is hard for me to select just one animal rescue to donate to. The larger ones (Humane Society, SPCA) already have huge benefactors. So I will point out that two I have worked with locally, and adopted my dogs from: Internet Miniature Pinscher Service and Lost Dog and Cat Rescue.
So there is my charity round up for 2010. I hope you will consider a gift to one of them this season! Tomorrow I will share some of my secret shopping websites where I get amazing gifts.