I’m a firm believer in charities and helping those that are less fortunate. However, in recent (and not so recent) years we have heard about unscrupulous people at these charities or that barely a fraction of a cent goes to the actual cause. I suppose, in essence, these cases have helped me narrow my charity contributions to perhaps a handful of truly good causes.
Not only are these good causes, in my humble opinion, but also they actually help in my surrounding community. My time, money, or goods provided stay local. If I’m going to concentrate on buying local, helping out farmers or artisans then shouldn’t I help those in need locally as well? I’ve recently seen a lot of articles about buying locally and figured I’d do my share.
One of my personal goals this year is to weed my closet. I did really well last year gathering up books, throw pillows, nick-knacks, etc. and boxing them. (There are numerous books about going through our belongings and how to get rid of them. In fact, I believe there are professionals that will come to our home or office and help us.) Now that I haven’t looked in the boxes for a while, it’s time to figure out where to pass these items along.
I think I’ll take my books that are mainly novels or biographies over to a Senior Center or perhaps a retirement home. As for my other items, they will be disbursed throughout charities.
www.charitynavigator.org and www.guidestar.org are two sites to find local charities or to find out about a particular organization
www.careergear.org is a great place to pass along your old business suits, ties, dress shirts, shoes, or to help out with interview tips
www.feedingamerica.org is a Food Bank Locator
www.peta.org and www.aspca.org are fantastic organizations if you want to help animals of all types
www.dressforsuccess.org helps women by providing attire, support, and career developmental tools
www.habitat.org/restores is the store associated with Habitat for Humanity where home supplies such as cabinets, doors, furniture, sinks, etc. can be taken from your remodeling or building projects and passed along to help others
www.goodwill.org and www.satruck.org (Salvation Army) are organizations that most all of us are familiar
Do you have office or art supplies lying around your house that you no longer need or use? How about donating to the “Drop and Run” program at a local school or to a particular teacher in your area? All you do is bag your slightly used papers, pens, markers, stapler, etc – it doesn’t matter if the paper is discolored or curled at the edges – and drop it off. The teachers and of course students will be greatly appreciative of these supplies. Who knows, that discolored paper just might inspire the next great artist or the slightly used pencil will go to a child who doesn’t have the money to purchase one.
There are other very worthy causes and charities I'm not aware of, so if you know of any, please post them below or let me know and I'll be sure to share them as well.