The Gift of Giving Guide: My Top 15 Charities/Non-Profit Organizations

Before I close out the end of another year, I like to reflect on what I have done and how I have been able to contribute to the community. It’s during the Holiday Season where we are reminded that it’s not only about receiving, but it’s about giving as well. Ideally, it’s a task that should be done all year round and as much as I would have loved attending an event this year or participate in a marathon of some sort, all I have to provide this year are contributions.

I’ll always make it a goal to volunteer and participate at many events as possible (and when I’m able to) as there are no words to describe the feeling that I get when I do so. It’s so easy to get caught up in our everyday tasks that we often neglect how lucky we truly are and how many people need our help. We should never stop helping each other.

People will often think their time or contribution won’t help at all, but this is not true. A donation (however big or small), or partaking in a baking sale/marathon, etc will indeed make a difference. A life would be changed in one form or another, someone would have another day to look forward to a meal and warm blankets, and others would get a shot to heal from a traumatic experience. One person can easily turn to hundreds and even thousands!

So, here is a list of my personal favorites (ranked in no particular order). Whatever cause you’re most interested in, even if it’s only one, hold onto it and make it a yearly tradition. A lot of these organizations provide the option to donate, but they also have events throughout the year, so be sure to read additional info on their site to learn more.

I have so many favorite quotes, but I think Mother Teresa said it best, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

 

1. FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION

A humanitarian, nonprofit organization that provides wheelchairs at no cost to people with disabilities living in developing nations. This organization has provided more than one million wheelchairs to those in need around the world, providing dignity, independence, and hope. 70 million people are in need of a wheelchair, but cannot afford one.

A donation of $80 will manufacture and ship a wheelchair to transform a life forever.

Click here to view their website.

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2. THORN

A nonprofit organization that works to stop the spread of child sexual abuse material and stand up to child traffickers. They are committed to serving over 5,000 law enforcement officers in all 50 states and over 18 countries. In 2015, they created a tool called, “Spotlight” which helps to identify child sex  trafficking victims and arrest their abusers. It has helped reduce investigative time by nearly 50% and has helped officers identify 360+ victims and arrest 60+ traffickers. That’s 1 victim found per day.

In 2015, they invested in Project Vic, which is a law enforcement tool that helps officers’ catalog and share information about known child abuse imagery. This program allows them to know if a picture is a new child being abused, or an old photo being re-circulated. Now, officers can solve cases that used to take 6-12 months in 15 minutes. Project Vic has helped law enforcement identify over 250 child victims and 125 perpetrators.

A donation will help to continue the research and the creation of technology needed to aid in preventing child abuse and identify child sex trafficking victims.

Click here to view their website.

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3. SAVE THE CHILDREN

A non profit organization that gives children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

A donation will provide food, education, access to healthcare and protection to children during any emergency of scale anywhere in the world.

Click here to view their website.

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4. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

A nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization which consists of human rights professional including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. They expose human rights abuses like torture, violence against women, and child exploitation. They investigate abuses and make detailed recommendation to governments, international institutions, corporations, and policymakers that translate into concrete change in people’s lives.

They take into severity of the abuses being committed, the numbers of those affected, regional and global impact, and their potential to effectively contribute and bring about change. The more resources they have, the more lives will be improved worldwide.

A donation will help send researchers into the field, raise awareness about human rights violations, and apply pressure on those in power to make the kind of meaningful impact that protects rights and saves lives.

Click here to view their website.

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5. AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

A nonprofit organization in which they provide funding and conduct research, share expert information, support patients, and spread the word about cancer prevention. They are dedicated to help people who face cancer. Help support their mission to free the world from cancer.

A donation will help continue the funding and research needed in order to help patients and find a cure for cancer.

Click here to view their website.

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6. PANCREATIC CANCER ACTION NETWORK

Founded in 1999, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. In their urgent mission to save lives, they attack pancreatic cancer on all fronts: research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocacy. If you can’t donate, then support by joining their annual walks which take place throughout various cities in the U.S.

A donation will help improve the lives of patients fighting pancreatic cancer with every dollar that is given and raised.

Click here to view their website.

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7. MICHELLE’S LOVE

Through volunteering and donations, Michelle’s Love’s mission is to help relieve the stress of single parents undergoing cancer treatment. Their organization strives to ease daily responsibilities by offering financial relief, house cleaning, and nutritious meals, allowing parents more time to heal and spend with their children.

A donation will give the opportunity to ill-parents to focus on their health so they can heal as they should and not worry about the rest of the details.

Click here to view their website.

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8. LOVE146

In 2002, the co-founders of Love146 traveled to Southeast Asia on an exploratory trip to determine how they could serve in the fight against child sex trafficking. In one experience, a couple of their co-founders were taken undercover with investigators to a brothel where they witnessed children being sold for sex.

The children present were numbered. One in particular stood out to these founders, #146, who after the raid the girl was never seen again. This number was pinned to one girl, but it represents the millions enslaved. Love is the foundation of their name because it creates the motivation and the drive to end the trafficking and exploitation of children.

A donation will help support this organizations work to prevent child trafficking and care for survivors.

Click here to view their website.

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9. SHE’S THE FIRST

This organization helps support girls who will be first in their families to graduate high school and provide training to be global leaders. Aside from donations, there are marathons, bake sales, and the opportunity to create your own fundraiser, etc. Their vision is a future of gender equality.

A donation will help young women to become change makers through education, mentorship, and global leadership training.

Click here to view their website.

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10. FRIENDS OF THE CHILDREN

Friends of the Children envisions a world where the cycles of poverty and disadvantage are broken and children are able to create a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities. This non-profit provides intentional, long-term mentor-ship for the children in the community who need help the most. Youth are selected for their program in kindergarten and are paired with mentors, who are called Friends, until high school completion.

Their program graduates overwhelmingly enter adulthood with a solid foundation for lifelong success: 83% graduate high school or earn a GED, 93% avoid the juvenile justice system, and 98% avoid early parenting.

In the Holiday Season, they have a Family To Family Giving program which identify families who have recently experienced extraordinary hardship and who could greatly benefit from additional support during the holidays. A great way to get hands on and sponsor a family in need. Donations are also accepted.

Click here to view their website.

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11. LOVE YOUR MELON

Love Your Melon was founded in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota by two friends, Zachary and Brian, who wanted to start a business with a meaningful and positive social impact. On a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22nd, 2012, Love Your Melon began with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America.

After achieving the original goal of giving 45,000 hats — one for every child battling cancer in America — Love Your Melon set a new goal of giving one million dollars to pediatric cancer research and providing immediate support to children and their families. To date, they have given over 4.7 million dollars to the fight against pediatric cancer and over 149,000 hats to children battling cancer.

Fifty percent (50%) of net profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products is given to the Love Your Melon Fund to support their nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer, create therapeutic experiences and fund charitable programming initiatives for children and families battling cancer.

Click here to view their website.

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12. ZAM ZAM

They aren’t just a water organization, they are a movement of humanity that vows to create opportunity. Their mission is to create a better quality of life by bringing water to those in need, one well at a time. They are a humanitarian organization devoted to playing a vital role in eradicating poverty by providing clean, sustainable water, access to quality education, and more equitable opportunities to villages across the globe.

They strive to create a positive social change and while empowering men and women through education and opportunity. Zam Zam doesn’t only build wells, they build relationships. It’s all about coming together to build something great and long-lasting!

Their 3rd annual Winter Relief Project is currently running and a donation would help supply jackets, jeans, wool thermals, socks, and shoes to children between the ages of 4-14.

Click here to view their website.

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13. ALS Assocation

Do you remember a few years ago the Ice Bucket Challenge? If you do, you will know it was associated through the ALS Assocation. Their mission is to discover treatments and a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.

A donation will help The ALS Association support research to find a cure for ALS and provide much-needed services to patients and their families. By becoming a part of The ALS Association family, you will help sustain hope in thousands of people affected by ALS.

Click here to view their website.

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14. RAICES

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a non-profit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and Sourth Texas. RAICES is the largest immigration non-profit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

A donation will support this organization in their mission to help separated families, detained families, unaccompanied minors, and others who are seeking asylum in the United States.

Click here to view their website.

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15. MARCH OF DIMES

This is a non-profit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The organization was founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, to combat polio.

For 80 years, March of Dimes has helped millions of babies survive and thrive. Now they’re building on that legacy to level the playing field for all moms and babies, no matter their age, socio-economic background or demographics. They support moms throughout their pregnancy and advocate for policies that prioritize their health. March of Dimes supports radical improvements to the care these mothers receive and pioneer research to find solutions to the biggest health threats to moms and babies.

A donation would help tackle the issues that threaten the health of every mom and every baby.

Click here to view their website.

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