Instead of buying unnecessary crap like this, consider doing some good this holiday season. I thought about putting together another round of traditional gift guides, but with the state of our country and the world right now, it seemed fitting to do something a little more meaningful. And the older I get, I find my list isn’t as long as it used to be and the idea of giving and receiving a ton of material things seems silly when so many people truly need help. So I’ve put together a list of my favorite (and highly rated/accredited) charities that could use some love this holiday season.
Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust
About: The DAV Charitable Service Trust supports physical and psychological rehabilitation programs that provide direct service to ill, injured, or wounded veterans.
Puppies Behind Bars
About: Puppies Behind Bars (PBB) trains prison inmates to raise service dogs for wounded war veterans and explosive detection canines for law enforcement.
*This helps so many people and animals from all walks of life. How can you go wrong?
Families and Children:
National Pediatric Cancer Foundation
About: The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. Our focus is to fund research to fast track less toxic, more targeted treatments by partnering with 20 leading hospitals nationwide.
Ronald McDonald House
About: Our network of local Chapters has been making children happier and healthier by keeping families close – giving them a place to rest and refresh. A place that feels like home. These programs, tailored to meet the urgent needs of each community, can now be found in more than 63 countries and regions across the globe.
*This was our sorority’s charity during college and seeing the smiles on the families faces when we’d show up to clean, cook (or just listen) at the RM Houses was priceless.
American Refugee Committee
About: Providing humanitarian assistance to millions of beneficiaries for over 35 years. We help people rebuild lives of dignity, health, and self-sufficiency.
About: The Vision of AMIGOS is “A world where each young person becomes a life-long catalyst for social change.” AMIGOS works towards this vision by inspiring and building young leaders through collaborative community development and immersion in cross-cultural experiences.
*My sister did this program and my mom has volunteered for them for years.
Pencils of Promise:
About: We believe every child should have access to quality education. We create schools, programs and global communities around the common goal of education for all. 100% of online donations go to PoP programs.
About: Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization.
Susie’s Senior Dogs:
About: Susie’s Senior Dogs is 501(c)3 non-profit organization working to bring awareness to and increase senior dog adoptions. Homeless senior dogs have one of the hardest times getting adopted simply because of their age. People fear adopting an older for a variety of reasons, but we’re here to tell a different story. Senior dogs have so much love to give! And although it’s true that you might have less time together than you would when adopting a puppy, a senior dog makes up for it with their appreciation of being given a second chance. There’s nothing like earning the love an older animal.
City Dogs and City Kitties:
About: City Dogs Rescue rescues adoptable dogs and cats in overcrowded and high-kill shelters, where resources are severely limited. We offer a lifeline to as many of these wonderful animals as possible. Sadly, many of the dogs and cats that City Dogs Rescue takes are just days — and sometimes hours — away from being euthanized for no reason other than lack of space. By finding these animals permanent and loving homes in the DC metropolitan area, we can enrich lives of humans and their pets.
*This is a local rescue organization in DC and it’s where I adopted my dog, Plum!
About: The Center for Animal Research and Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to education, research, rescue, and long-term care for exotic animals. Located on 20 acres in Bridgeport, TX, CARE currently provides a permanent home to over 40 animals including mountain lions, African lions, tigers, black and spotted leopards, bobcats, ring-tail lemurs, llamas, and a coati.
Where to find more worthy causes:
If you still want to get a physical gift but donate to a cause while you’re at it, consider companies that do so as part of their business operation:
The Company Store
Global Goods Partners
House of Light
Ten Thousand Villages
OR shopping through Amazon Smile.