Tag Archives: Charity

Give Your Support on Giving Tuesday

Give on Giving Tuesday

Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a worldwide movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy. Although charitable giving can and should take place year round, Giving Tuesday was intended to kick off the charitable season after the frenzy of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday can be a day for us to put holiday shopping on hold while we think of those who are not on our gift list, but are so deserving of our generosity.

There are hundreds of organizations whose mission is to make the world better, and our support fuels their success. Even a small donation will make a difference.

Plus, it feels good to donate. It really does.

Giving Wisely

I make a point of researching charities through Charity Navigator, which lets you know how much of your donation actually goes to the intended cause as well as other important information about the charity.

If you make your donation TODAY on the Charity Navigator website, your donation will be matched 3:1. That’s hard to pass up.

Here are some worthy organizations that are personal favorites of mine with high rankings on Charity Navigator. The important thing, though, is to give to an organization you care about.

Animal Welfare

Main Line Animal Rescue is considered by many to be the finest animal shelter in the United States. With more than five hundred active volunteers, thousands of animals helped every year, a state-of-the-art veterinary clinic, innovative training and educational programs, and almost sixty acres of fenced pastures and walking trails, MLAR is a godsend for animals and animal lovers. MLAR is nationally recognized as a leader in the fight against puppy mill abuse.

Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue helps Since 1993, Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue has successfully placed over 4,500 Golden Retrievers and other DVGRR dogs into new homes. DVGRR has been recognized for innovative work in rescuing and rehabilitating puppy mill breeder dogs.

PAWS Chicago (stands for Pets Are Worth Saving) is Chicago’s largest no-kill humane organization, focused on adoption, free spaying and neutering, and community outreach. It provides a warm and cozy environment for pets waiting to be adopted.

Wildlife Conservation Network protects endangered species and preserves their natural habitats by supporting entrepreneurial conservationists who pursue innovative strategies for people and wildlife to co-exist and thrive.

Health

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is dedicated to funding research with the highest probability of preventing, slowing or reversing Alzheimer’s disease.For many years, Alzheimer’s research was completely stifled by a lack of funding. This organization, privately funded, was set up to dramatically accelerate research and focus exclusively on finding a cure

Give Kids the World Village is a 79-acre, nonprofit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

National Pediatric Cancer Foundation is dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. The focus is to fund research to fast track less toxic, more targeted treatments by partnering with 20 leading hospitals nationwide.

Human Rights

National Women’s Law Center champions policies and laws that help women and girls achieve their potential throughout their lives — at school, at work, at home, and in their communities.

Southern Poverty Law Center fights hate and bigotry and seeks justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.

Teach for America brings committed individuals into low-income classrooms to become teachers with the power to dramatically expand students’ opportunities. In turn, the teachers learn from their students, and gain a better understanding of the problems and the opportunities in our education system.

The Environment

World Wildlife Fund is devoted to conserving nature and reducing the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

National Resources Defense Council works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.

Give Your Support to Giving Tuesday

I hope you will support Giving Tuesday. Happy Holidays!

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12 Things Jews Can Do on Christmas

As an observant Jew, Christmas is not my holiday, and yet the traditions for me on Christmas Day are as predictable as those experienced by my Christian friends.

Our traditions on Christmas Day

Instead of gathering around the Christmas tree opening presents? My family and I gather at the local theater for a movie.

Instead of sitting down for a sumptuous Christmas dinner served on lovely china? We’ll be at our favorite Chinese restaurant eating with chopsticks.

This year, though, has given me pause. In spite of the many blessings in my life, I am heartsick about what is happening in our world.

And I am fearful that the unending violence has rendered us numb. We are like deer in headlights, stunned into inaction.

Our world is gravely in need of repair. We all know this, and yet we feel helpless. What can we do that will make a difference? Nothing, right?

But to do nothing to acknowledge the malaise in our world and do what we can to reverse it is tantamount to acceptance. And that is simply unacceptable.

There is something we can do. And for us Jews, what better day to start than Christmas Day? A small gesture that, although seemingly insignificant, can make a difference. That can change our course and set us on a better path. Or at the very least create a feeling of goodwill.

Because if we all perform little acts of kindness –not just on Christmas Day but every day — maybe we can start to repair the world.

Tikkun olam, it is called in Hebrew. To repair the world.

Mitzvot, in Hebrew. Good deeds. Acts of kindness.

Instead of hopelessness, why not choose hope? Wouldn’t this be a great way to end this sad year and launch 2015 on the right note?

A few ideas for what we Jews (or anyone) can do on Christmas.

  • Volunteer a couple of hours somewhere. At a soup kitchen, a facility for the elderly, an animal rescue.

What Jews Can Do on Christmas Day

  • Contact local hospitals in advance to see if they can use some help on Christmas Day.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors to make sure they are safe and warm. Offer to drive them to church if they would like to attend but have no transportation.
  • Bake cookies and deliver them to your local police department or fire department. Thank them for all they do to protect your community

What Jews Can Do on Christmas Day

  • Go through your closets to weed out unused clothes and toys and bag them up to deliver to a local charity.
  • Weather permitting, go for a walk in a local park. Take a trash bag with you and gather up debris.
  • Make sandwiches and take them, along with unused warm coats and blankets, to homeless people.
  • Instead of shopping online, find an organization doing good for the world and make a donation.
  • Write letters to your legislators concerning issues that are important to you.
  • Traveling on a toll road? Pay for the person in the car behind you.
  • Go through your collection of books and set aside the ones you don’t want to keep. Box them up and donate them to a library.

10 Things Jews Can Do On Christmas

  • Wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone you see.

10 Things Jews Can Do on Christmas

Can you think of any other ideas?

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#GivingTuesday Embodies True Holiday Spirit

giving Tuesday ambassador

Giving  Tuesday

Have you survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday? They’ve become as traditional as turkey and pumpkin pie on our Thanksgiving tables. But whether you are a shopaholic delighted to get great deals or a Grinch who bah humbugs the whole scene, I hope you will join a national day of caring today, #GivingTuesday and make it another day that is red-inked on your calendar.

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday (hashtagged because this is being promoted heavily on Twitter) is a national giving campaign recognizing the importance of philanthropy and service to non-profit organizations. Last year was the first time the initiative was launched by the folks at the 92nd Street Y who partnered with the United Nations Foundation, and the outcome was a huge success.

Along with many other bloggers, I am adding my voice as a Social Media Ambassador to get the word out about this special day of compassion.

With the warmth and merriment of the holidays upon us, it is the perfect time to think of charities that need our support.

There are so many ways to make a positive impact with your donation of money or time. Nicholas Kristof mentioned a few deserving organizations in his op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday. You can see how far a modest donation can go to help others. Will you take a moment today to do your part to make the world a better place?

How do you know where your money actually goes?

Have you ever made a donation and wondered how much of it would reach its recipients? How do we know if a charity is all it says it is? We expect that our dollars will  be spent not on administrative costs or salaries but on direct service to its cause.

The reality is that not all charities are created equal, and some are run more efficiently than others. We need to do our due diligence by checking out the financials and business practices before we decide to click on “send.”

Sounds a little daunting, doesn’t it?

That’s why I was very happy to learn of Charity Navigator, a website that evaluates charities around the world. This is an amazing resource that has done the legwork for you and can help guide you in your decision-making process. You can click on the name of the organization and instantly get a handle on how it manages its funds.

Charity Navigator CEO Ken Berger explains that we often make decisions based on our heart, which is not entirely a bad thing, but it is important to us as donors to know how organizations will spend our contribution. Therefore, we need to check the data to see how charities are performing and use this information to guide our decisions.

I spent some time on this site and was surprised more than once. I was relieved to find out that an animal charity that I have supported for years rated highly in every category, but dismayed to learn that another one did not. This information has helped me make my choices this year.

I give because

Need some ideas for giving? Lindsay at The Naughty Mommy has some excellent suggestions. You can also get lots of information at the #GivingTuesday website.

How will you give back on #Giving Tuesday?

Disclosure: I have received no compensation from #GivingTuesday or Charity Navigator for this post.
All opinions are my own.

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