Giving Tuesday is a fairly new designated “shopping” day in the U.S. and is held the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. The cynic in me isn’t sure why it’s the last day of the designated spending days, after you’ve spent all your money self-indulging and spoiling those in your life, but what do I know.
It is better to give than receive, and we’re blessed far more by what we invest in others’ lives over our own. So how do you choose with countless organizations around the world? If you give to charities, I thought it might be nice to share a few of my favorites, in no particular order.
Can you make it one day without using any water? Me neither. Imagine having none or no access to clean, healthy water. This organization builds wells and water systems in developing countries…with 100% of donations going to the projects.
A longstanding charity that works tirelessly to save children’s lives around the world. Yes, same as other large organizations, they’ve had challenges throughout their time but continue to improve their efforts and resources. Many other organizations operate by connecting through their resources to access many remote communities.
Christian Library International
A few of you know I’ve been working on a huge, multi-year purging project ridding my home and life of the “extra stuff”. Why is it taking so long? I began with surface items and working in phases as I learn to let go, then search again. I ask myself, “How much of this do I really want to pack when I move next?”
Books. We all have a lot of them. Do you throw them away? Take them to a used book store? Donate to a Goodwill to sit on their thrift store shelves airing to earn $1?. A couple years ago, I found out about CLI, a Christian organization that supplies books to prisons. I shipped a large box to them, found the process easy and received a letter for my taxes.
Speaking of books, with all the tragic events that have happened recently, this organization has considered how to help in a big way by realizing a need none of us tend to think about: How to comfort children in the face of tragedy and natural disasters. Reach-A-Child places children’s books in the hands of first responders providing them a tool to engage with a child on-the-scene. How marvelous!
An organization giving cameras to children, teaching them photography skills and empowering them to not only capture their own world and tell their story, but also sell their photos to raise money for their community needs.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (better yet, your local organization helping victims)
Sexual harassment and similar offenses have become “hot topics” in the U.S. recently, and while Hollywood stars, media moguls and politicians are in the spotlight, there are everyday women no one hears about on the receiving end of everything from “benign” comments all the way up to downright beatings or worse. This topic is a hot button for me…We’re often quick to stand on the sidelines, say it isn’t our business or question why the woman doesn’t just leave. I have ZERO tolerance for such behavior and always wish I could do more.
As a woman-owned business with a large number of women clients, this one is a no-brainer to include in this list.
This charity isn’t just about donating money, but getting involved hands-on. Photographer, Jeremy Cowart, began this effort in Tennessee several years ago and it’s now a worldwide event…and it’s coming up next weekend!
The first Saturday of December is Help-Portrait Day. Photographers, makeup artists, hairstylists, digital imagers, etc, donate their time and/or equipment and tools to provide families a holiday family photo. What’s the big deal? The recipients are people who may never have had a photo taken, have a family member in prison, some even homeless or living in shelters.
Not a portrait photographer and wonder what you can do? I’ve helped in the print room, setup, etc. See if there’s one in your area for Saturday, December 2!
As always recommended before giving, research the charitable organization to be sure they’re registered as a 501c3 charity and a higher percentage of donations go directly to the cause rather than administrative.
It was difficult to choose from the charities important to me so I decided to make them global or photography-related. I hope you’ve found my list interesting and will make a choice to give, even if not to any of these. We all have something near and dear to us.