Dust off the glitter, give to a nonprofit
DEAR READERS » Many of us are now in the recovery mode of the holiday season — after gorging on gingerbread and eggnog and letting the glitter of the season release us from December’s gloom. In the spirit of the season, I present my annual roundup of charitable organizations readers should consider supporting.
Your donation may go farther at a small local nonprofit than at a large charity. All contributions count.
This is a subjective list, based on my own interests. 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.
Charities Helping Children: The mission and the work of Cradles to Crayons (cradlesto crayons.org) is simple: to provide the physical necessities of childhood. From clothing, to equipment and supplies, this organization takes in donations, offers community volunteer experiences, and distributes goods from their network of warehouses.
Dolly Parton. Need
I say more? This heroentertainer is providing over a million books each month to children through her Imagination Library (imagination library.com). Quite simply, she is a force for good in the world: (dollywood foundation.org).
Kids in Need Foundation (kinf.org): Their motto is “School supplies. Changing lives,” and they donate school supplies nationally to school (and kids) in need.
College Track (college track.org): This organization starts assisting students in ninth grade, making a 10-year commitment to provide services and scholarship money to students who otherwise would not be able to attend college.
Direct Relief (direct relief.org): This organization, which has a storied history, operates in all 50 states and 70 countries, delivering medicine, staffing medical clinics and providing medical safety nets to underserved populations.
Polaris (polarisproject. org): I first became aware of the work of Polaris through a family member’s advocacy. Human trafficking is modern slavery, and victims are often vulnerable people who are coerced, dislocated and then forced into slavery — often in the sex trade. Victims of trafficking are sometimes in our midst, at bus stops, motels and truck stops. Law enforcement, clerks and long-haul truckers are now being trained in ways to spot and rescue these individuals. Victims can text BeFree (233733) and be connected with an advocate.
Homes for Our Troops (Hfotusa.org): One of my perennial favorites, this group raises money and then turns the funds into action — building a new home or adapting an existing home for accessibility. The finished home is then given to a disabled veteran. All services and materials are donated.