I’ve listed my favorite charitable organizations below, both international and domestic.
I have wonderful memories of sitting head-to-head with my daughter perusing the Heifer International catalog. Heifer, in case you don’t know, provides animals to families in developing and poverty-stricken countries. If the family is able to produce more chickens, or goats, or pigs, then they will donate at least one to another family. You can purchase a fifth of a pig, or an entire chicken, in honor of someone you love. S. has many cousins who lived out of town and every Christmas we would choose which animals we thought that cousin would enjoy learning about from Heifer’s mailing when we made our contribution in his or her name.
I still make end-of-year contributions, but with more resources at my disposal at this stage of life, my contributions are more varied and chosen for the organization’s specific mission. I also make all my contributions online now, not from print catalogs. My husband and I have worked out a budget where I have a certain amount of our family income with which to do this. Find a full list of my 2011 contributions below. Most have received donations in past years. A few are new. Every choice engages me. I carefully make out a list of organizations, balancing local and international, and how much each will receive. Most of them are grassroots, such as Fonkoze that provides microfinancing for women’s businesses in Haiti. Others, like Interfaith Works or House of Ruth, perform community services for those in need in the metropolitan D.C. area. Quite a few I read about in Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, the powerful book by Nicholos Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, http://www.halftheskymovement.org. (haven’t learned how to link yet on my blog). The local ones I’ve known people active in the organizations, or volunteered with them myself. For instance, the long-time director of National Center for Children and Families served on the first board with me of the Collaboration Council for Children, Youth, and Families many years ago. My husband and I were mentors with the Friends and Families program with Interfaith Works for years. So if you have any questions about why I chose a particular organization, or one that you have chosen to contribute to, let me hear from you.
Women’s Learning Partnership
Women Thrive International
Hearts with Haiti
Child Fund International
Center for Reproductive Rights
Women’s Environment and Development Organization
The Panzi Hospital Foundation
Latino Student Fund
Community Ministries of Rockville
For Love of Children
National Center for Children and Families
House of Ruth