Money is tight but it’s never too tight to make some kind of charitable donation this time of year. Cash is a great thing to give if you have it, but if you don’t have money, then consider donating your old belongings or time. I put my feelers out on Facebook and spoke to all of my coworkers to find charities that meant something to them, and came up with a list of charities worth your money, donations and time.
Deliver the joy of Christmas to children affected by Hurricane Sandy!
Our friend Chris turned me on to The Kindness Project. Many students living in poverty get free lunches at school, but starve over the weekend because their parents can’t afford to feed them. The good people at the Kindness Project prepare sack lunches and deliver them to students in need. These students take the lunches home with them after school on Friday to bridge the gap until Monday. Sometimes kids don’t need toys, they just need lunch.
I personally volunteer at the Animal Advocates Alliance. They help so many animals in the Los Angeles area and beyond and are always hard up for funds and supplies to help more animals. You can donate money, old pet supplies like leashes, blankets and belongings. Animal Advocates holds garage sales to sell your donations to raise money to help save more animals in Southern California. You can also donate by simply adopting a pet! When you adopt a pet you make a donation to the organization and help make room for them to rescue another animal. Check out AAA’s adoption section HERE! If you’re not in Los Angeles simply find an animal rescue or shelter in your area.
A charity that is very near and dear to our hearts here at GeekNation is the Wish of a Lifetime foundation supported by our own Doctor Michael Wasserman aka @WassDoc. The generations before us have given so much to help make this country what it is today, so it’s important to show our appreciation. Wish of a Lifetime says: “Our belief is that growing older doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming and living a life of purpose. By granting lifelong wishes to seniors who have overcome tremendous challenges in their own lives, our foundation is able to spread its inspirational stories of hope.”
GeekNation’s Tory Mell turned me on to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization whose mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
The lovely and talented Patricia Tallman has created a program called BeASanta.org that helps 104 teenagers who have been so sexually, emotional and physically abused. These teens cannot be placed in regular foster care. Their trauma is such that they are not capable of being placed in any home. Penny Lane has taken these kids in and given them a safe place to recover, be cared for, treated and educated. Pat’s organization makes the holidays happen for the 104 teens in residence, as well as teens in the main residence and group homes all over the Valley. She is raising funds and donations to make each teen a gift bag full of stocking stuffers and a gift card to the Westfield Mall, good for any store. She also puts trees in the homes and provide funds for Holiday parties and dinners. It takes about $15,000 to make it happen. I can’t think of a more wonderful way to celebrate the spirit of giving.
This is a great one if you want to give of your time. You can register on their site to find out about volunteer opportunities in your area.
Many charities are personal for a lot of people. My friend Sandy on Facebook suggested this charity Autism Speaks as a way to support her son and his friends. If you have a loved one with autism this is a beautiful way to exercise your giving privileges and trust me, it truly is a privilege to have enough money to support yourself and a little left over to give to those who need your help.
Our friends at DC Entertainment are doing their part to aid people in what is the worst hunger crisis in 60 years. Over 8 million in need of immediate assistance. The people in the Horn of Africa need you now. Support our nonprofit partners, Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, & Mercy Corps, working on the ground in the Horn of Africa and the best part is that DC Entertainment will match your donation 100%. One small act can make you a hero.
The Wounded Warrior Project raises and enlists the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. It helps injured service members aid and assist each other and it provides programs and services to help wounded and injured service members. They give so much for us, it’s important to show them that their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
The Carroll Center for the Blind is a comprehensive agency committed to the independence of blind and visually impaired persons of all ages through a variety of programs and services for the blind both on our campus and in the community. Their goal is to give each individual the training and support they need so they can live independent and fulfilling lives.
GeekNation family member Gwith holds Mercy Hospice in Auckland close to his heart. Mercy Hospice Auckland is hoping to raise donations to buy two new vehicles to enable them to keep up with Auckland’s growing need for their wonderful services.
Genna & Janell at GennComm suggested Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times®. The organization was founded in 1982 by a group of caring individuals who dreamed of a place where children who have had their lives devastated by childhood cancer could recapture what being a child is supposed to be. In August of 1982 this dedicated group of parents, doctors, nurses, community leaders and volunteer counselors set off with 60 kids to Calamigos Ranch in Malibu and conducted the first Camp Good Times ever. Consider making a donation to this wonderful organization.
Cricket Lee is a big supporter of Gamers United. The non-profit group provides up-to-date video games and equipment to children in hospitals. You’d be surprised how out of date a lot of gaming equipment in hospitals is, and for children living in a hospital through the holidays, suffering from a painful illness, a little time escaping into the magical world of gaming is just the right medicine to put a smile on their face.
There are so many other good causes out there. What are your personal favorite causes and charities? How do you give back to the world during the holiday season?
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