Non-profit organizations need our support year round in order to keep doing the incredible things they do to help make the world a better place. The holiday season always brings the need for support into particularly sharp focus, so, like last year, I’m going to mention a few of my favorite charities in order to help spread the word.
Heifer International helps families around the world break the cycle of poverty by providing animals and training to allow them to become self-reliant. Twenty dollars buys a flock of geese for eggs, thirty dollars buys a hive of bees for honey, one hundred and fifty dollars buys a llama for wool. You can check out their gift catalog here, or just make straight out donation. As a bonus, for the literary-minded among you, if you make your donation to Heifer International through Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilder’s you’ll have the opportunity to win some incredible prizes – signed books, arcs, artwork, etc. Plus, Pat is matching all donations, so your gift works twice as hard.
PAWS, the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society is the city’s largest no-kill shelter. They recently opened a new facility to provide low-cost veterinary care, with a focus on spaying and neutering pets, cutting down on the number of unwanted and abandoned animals that end up in the city’s already over-flowing shelters. In addition to monetary support, they also have many beautiful and loving animals in need of temporary and permanent homes.
Child’s Play – a charity by geeks, for geeks. It was started by the good folks at Penny Arcade, and it gives donors the opportunity to purchase toys, games, and books for children’s hospitals across the country (and a few international ones as well) through various wishlists set up on amazon.
DonorsChoose.org, similar to Child’s Play, Donors Choose lets you browse wishlists assembled by teachers at schools across the country. You can fund a science experiment, an art project, or provide books to help kids learn how to read. You can also set up a recurring, monthly donation, to keep your gift going all year long.
These are just a few of the worthy charities out there. Go find a cause you care about, and support the hell out of it, this year, next year, and every year.