Amy’s an­nual char­ity roundup

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - Con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email at [email protected] amy­dick­in­son.com.

In the spirit of this “giv­ing sea­son,” I present my an­nual roundup of char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions readers should con­sider sup­port­ing.

Your do­na­tion may go fur­ther at a small lo­cal non­profit than at a large char­ity. I re­serve much of my own do­na­tion dol­lars for lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions that give within my com­mu­nity of need.

All con­tri­bu­tions count. So do non­mon­e­tary acts of kind­ness, such as shov­el­ing a neigh­bor’s walk, bring­ing a casse­role to a griev­ing per­son or sim­ply abid­ing with some­one in need through friend­ship.

In re­search­ing these char­i­ties, I am re­minded of how for­tu­nate we are to live in an era where gen­eros­ity and help­ing those in need is a core value.

This is a sub­jec­tive list. Your own giv­ing should re­flect your in­ter­ests and val­ues. Most ( but not all) of the or­ga­ni­za­tions listed be­low have a top (four- star) rating on Char­i­ty­nav­i­ga­tor. org, which is an ex­cel­lent source for re­search­ing a char­ity.

WORLD CEN­TRAL KITCHEN( WORLD-CEN­TRAL KITCHEN.

ORG) » This rel­a­tively tiny non­profit, started by Chef José An­drés, in­spired the world with its quick re­sponse to Hur­ri­cane Maria in Puerto Rico. Ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, “No other sin­gle agency — not the Red Cross, the Sal­va­tion Army nor any govern­ment en­tity — has fed more peo­ple freshly cooked food since the hur­ri­cane, or done it in such a nur­tur­ing way.”

The re­cent dev­as­tat­ing Camp Fire in and around Paradise in­spired a sim­i­lar speedy re­sponse. In ad­di­tion to daily ef­forts, World Cen­tral Kitchen fed 15,000 Thanks­giv­ing din­ners to first re­spon­ders and dis­placed res­i­dents. DONORS CHOOSE (DONORSCHOOSE.ORG) » Donors Choose con­nects class­room teach­ers with peo­ple who can help them. On the web­site, teach­ers post their class­room wishes, rang­ing from col­ored pen­cils and paper to win­ter coats and boots for chil­dren who don’t have them.

I just con­tributed to­ward five ukule­les for a class­room in Lin­coln El­e­men­tary School in Dolton, Illi­nois! WATER MIS­SION (WATERMISSION.ORG) » Founded by an en­vi­ron­men­tal en­gi­neer and his wife in South Carolina in 2001, this Chris­tian-based char­ity is on the ground quickly in a cri­sis, re­spond­ing to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, but also to the des­per­ate and hu­man­scaled need for fresh water every day. FEED­ING AMER­ICA (FEEDINGAMERICA.ORG) » If you type a ZIP code into this na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion’s search en­gine, you will find a lo­cal food bank within its vast net­work that will grate­fully re­ceive your do­na­tion dol­lars. WIKIPEDIA (WIKIPEDIA. ORG) » When was the last time you looked some­thing up us­ing this free en­cy­clo­pe­dia? I thought so. Maybe it’s time to do­nate.

Ask Amy Amy Dick­in­son

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