Northern Living

Helping out others should be on everyone’s to-do list

Have a little extra to give? Send a donation to these organizati­ons.


When people talk about donating money to charities, they run the risk of sounding smarmy or smug. Pointing out how spirituall­y fulfilling giving back is sounds a lot like an admission that you’re using someone else’s misfortune for your own personal growth. Let’s not forget that philanthro­py itself rests on systemic inequality, that it's able to exist exactly because there’s an unfair gap between you and the people in need, one that puts you in a position of privilege.

“Nearly every time someone feels better by doing good, on the other side of the world ( or street), someone else is further locked into a system that will not allow the true flourishin­g of his or her nature or the opportunit­y to live a joyful and fulfilled life,” Peter Buffet wrote in the op- ed “The Charitable- Industrial Complex” for The New York Times.

Of course, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t offer help. It’s more that it’s time for us to rethink what we mean when we say “giving back.” We need to acknowledg­e our privilege when giving, and consider the act of charity a moral obligation, not a feel- good action to do once in a blue moon.

To help you do that, here’s a list of organizati­ons that you can send relief aid to regularly.

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