Author Topic: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)  (Read 3922 times)

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Deetee

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Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« on: November 19, 2010, 12:33:14 AM »
Inspired by another thread on donating books.

As christmas arrives I thought this thread could be a place for people to suggest various charities that they support or they work for or have benefited them in the past or present.

This could help people direct their Christmas donations and just give everyone the warm fuzzies.

I'll put this link for people to check out US charities and how they are ranked:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/

I'll go first. I donate to "Doctors without Borders" (yearly), "Greenpeace"(monthly), "Children International" (monthly) and the local food bank (yearly).

 
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 12:57:22 AM by Deetee »

LadyPekoe

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2010, 12:44:32 AM »
I adore Kiva.  (www.kiva.org).  I invested $100 in it years ago and I just keep reloaning it out--it feels really good to feel like I'm helping a small business.  Kiva is a microlender that specializes in small loans to people in developing countries.  I've never had a loan defaulted on. 

Also, a note, The Humane Society of the United States only donates 0.5% of their earnings to shelters and shelter animals.  Support them if you wish, but realize they are a PETA-type animal rights lobbying group and not helping animal shelters.  I have to have that conversation with my mother every year because she forgets--we are big supporters of our local animal shelters.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2010, 10:14:29 AM »
I just read an article which stated that The Salvation Army was the best bang for your buck - that very little donated money goes to operational costs.

Which was nice to hear because they are one of the ones I normally support at Christmas time.
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hyzenthlay

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2010, 10:32:18 AM »
I adore Kiva.  (www.kiva.org).  I invested $100 in it years ago and I just keep reloaning it out--it feels really good to feel like I'm helping a small business.  Kiva is a microlender that specializes in small loans to people in developing countries.  I've never had a loan defaulted on.  

I do too. Plus it's a lot of fun for the recipient (if you have someone you know will appreciate the idea) as they get to decide where the funds go.

Heifer International is also a lot of fun, and their catalog this year has 'shares' of an animal. So if you can't get an entire sheep for someone, you can get a share of a sheep for $10. (Another forum I'm on decided it would be hilarious to flood Africa with bees. Bees being the smallest donation unit Heifer had at the time. We all know they didn't really just send hives of bees to Africa, but it was a funny visual, and they probably got about 100 donations out of that bad joke.)

Other then those two, I stick to couple of local charities. One "no-kill" shelter (but not so much I think they are spending too much on animals it's better to let go) and one women's shelter.

Ooo ooo ooo I almost forget Child's Play Charities.  They donate video games and other toys to the children's units in hospitals. Many times seriously ill kids can't do much physically and gaming is a real boon to them http://www.childsplaycharity.org/index.php

« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 12:33:02 PM by hyzenthlay »

wolfie

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 12:23:05 PM »
I adore Kiva.  (www.kiva.org).  I invested $100 in it years ago and I just keep reloaning it out--it feels really good to feel like I'm helping a small business.  Kiva is a microlender that specializes in small loans to people in developing countries.  I've never had a loan defaulted on. 

Also, a note, The Humane Society of the United States only donates 0.5% of their earnings to shelters and shelter animals.  Support them if you wish, but realize they are a PETA-type animal rights lobbying group and not helping animal shelters.  I have to have that conversation with my mother every year because she forgets--we are big supporters of our local animal shelters.

The ASPCA (the national organization) is not that much better. They recently squashed a bill to make NY a no-kill state because the bill highlighted the some failings of their organization. Your local SPCAs are probably not affiliated with the ASPCA (and don't get any money from them) so you are better off donating straight to them if you wanted to donate to them. Otherwise a local shelter can always use support.

Right now I like:

http://www.santapawsdrive.com/

They are collection donations and will be delivering toys/treats/money to 6 shelters around the world. This is their second year doing this so I doubt they are on charity navigator but I think it is a fun idea and plan on donating a few toys and some money to the cause. And then I am going to make a box so santa paws can make a stop at my local shelter too.

CuriousParty

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2010, 01:38:07 PM »
Ooooh, I like this thread, already I've seen some good ideas (totally.checking.kiva.out).

We like St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and donorschoose.org.  Donorschoose is especially nice for gifts (if that's okay with both you and the recipient) because it can be kind of tailored to preferences - for example, we donated to support an arts class in honor of a couple that we know is very supportive of education in the arts.  It's more personal, I think.

Deetee

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2010, 03:31:06 PM »
Ooo ooo ooo I almost forget Child's Play Charities.  They donate video games and other toys to the children's units in hospitals. Many times seriously ill kids can't do much physically and gaming is a real boon to them http://www.childsplaycharity.org/index.php

I'm so glad you mentioned them. My friend is actually the coordinator for that (and the conventions as well) and that has done so, so well. To think the whole thing came out of one rant by Gabe about people saying video games were evil. He just asked people to send games for the kids in hospital.

The first year was crazy. They had the games/toys sent to their own house and it swamped them. They had to rent storage space and move the toys twice I think. And they never told the hospital they were doing this so they completely overloaded their donations capability.

(Now everything is sent direct to the hospitals)

cbcb

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 03:34:34 PM »
Donorschoose is especially nice for gifts (if that's okay with both you and the recipient) because it can be kind of tailored to preferences - for example, we donated to support an arts class in honor of a couple that we know is very supportive of education in the arts.  It's more personal, I think.

I am a huge fan of Donor's Choose! I've donated several times and I particularly love the personalized thank you's when you donate over a certain amount (very nice when we recently donated in memory of a friend - we had the thank's sent to her husband).

SheltieMom

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2010, 10:30:32 PM »
My favorite charity for this type of giving is Bread for a Hungry World:
http://www.givebread.org/
Their goal is "Breaking the cycle of poverty", and they do it by things like microloans, goats and chickens. They also provide milk and school supplies for children in Honduras.
Please note that this is a faith-based organization, but the people helped are not required to be members of any church, or express any type of religious faith.
One of the main reasons I like this outreach is because the overhead is so low. They have one full-time director, and an administrative assistant who also works for three other ministries. They have office space in a building owned by our church, and all of their salaries and expenses are paid by the church contributions. This means that 100% of contributions that come from outside the church go directly to helping people.
My daughter is one of a group of 20 who are going to Honduras next month to work with our people there. She will spend her 18th birthday there. We were a little upset with her being away on such an important day, but how do you argue with a girl who thinks it's wonderful that she will become a legal adult in a foreign country, helping people who need help desperately. (And if you want to see how desperate they are, watch the video on the Dump in Honduras. This is where they are going. http://www.vimeo.com/14121449 ) I'm so very proud of my girl!
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Sirius

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 12:09:47 AM »
http://catadoptionteam.org/

Cat Adoption Team is a no-kill cat-only shelter in a city close to where I live, and we got our two wonderful kitties from them.  Every year at Christmas we give them a gift.  We'd just moved here when our old cat died, and we decided we wanted to give a home to two kitties who needed homes.  So, we went to an adoption fair, and adopted two litter sisters. 

http://www.pva.org/site/PageServer

I also donate every year to the Paralyzed Veterans.  Their overhead is very low; out of every dollar more than 90 cents goes to research and treatment of spinal cord disorders, and to help veterans with spinal cord injuries with job training and placement, modifying houses and cars, etc.  The organization itself was originally created for veterans who were coming home from wars with spinal injuries; however, if research that they fund results in a new treatment or if a new discovery is made that might help those with spinal cord injuries it's shared with the world.  I've always been partial to veterans, since my dad is one and so is Mr. Sirius, plus many of the men of my family.   

Shores

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Re: Your favorite charities (Christmas donations specials)
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2010, 12:27:30 AM »
I do Toys for Tots http://www.toysfortots.org/ , The National AIDS Fund http://www.aidsfund.org/ , and a local Santa for Seniors organization. This year, I'm adding the It Gets Better Project http://www.itgetsbetter.org/
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