As we gear up for #GivingTuesday, the charitable cousin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are no shortages of organizations that would put your gifts and kindness to good use. However, with so many great options, how do you choose? Below are a few of our favorite picks.
After this year’s devastating hurricane season, many people throughout the Caribbean and the U.S. are looking to rebuild their lives in the wake of devastation. Thankfully, many volunteers and organizations have answered the call for those in the most need. Like:
- Direct Relief — Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization whose mission is to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. The group operates in all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide. Direct Relief is currently providing relief, including medical supplies, to those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as those affected by the wildfires in Northern California.
- Heart to Heart International — Heart to Heart International also provides disaster relief, with roots beginning in 1992. They started with a humanitarian airlift to Russia and it ended up being the largest private relief airlift ever at the time. Since then, the organization has distributed more than $380 million in aid around the world. Currently in Puerto Rico, their teams are distributing medical aid and providing assistance in communities in need, in addition to shipping over 40 pallets of supplies to the island.
Generous private donations can also make a child’s holiday season brighter.
- Make-A-Wish — While granting wishes of children with life-threatening conditions, the Make-A-Wish foundation makes dreams come true for very brave kids. In fact, in the U.S., the organization grants a wish for a child every 34 minutes. Those wishing to help can donate money, their time as a volunteer or even frequent flyer miles.
- St. Jude Research Hospital — The St. Jude Research Hospital in Memphis, TN has been at the forefront of research into childhood cancers and other ailments since its inception in 1962. Research from the not-for-profit hospital has contributed to improving survival rates of childhood cancer from 20% in the sixties to more than 80% today. Additionally, the vast majority of funding for St. Jude’s comes from donors (like you and I!), which is remarkable since the hospital provides this cutting-edge, top-quality care for free.
- Toys for Tots — Some children spend the holidays without receiving a single gift. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is out to change that. The goal of the program is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. The organization collects new, unwrapped toys during the holiday season and distribute the toys as Christmas gifts to those less fortunate. While toys are accepted as donations, money is accepted as well.
- Salvation Army — The Salvation Army is one of the most visible charities during the holiday season, with bell ringers greeting holiday shoppers at the front door of many major retailers. The organization also organizes toy drives in the form of their “Fill the Truck” campaign. In a partnership with Walmart, the Salvation Army is collecting toys all over the country to benefit children in need during the holidays.
No matter what the season means to you, or which organization you support, giving of your time, money or miles this #GivingTuesday is sure to impact the lives of those who need it most.
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