Give The Gift Of Giving

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In this country, it is customary to give back during the holidays also known as the gift of giving. We are a generous group of people. In fact, according to the Giving USA Foundation’s Annual Report on Philanthropy, Americans gave more than $373 billion to charity in 2015.

Each year, Americans tend to increase their generosity as the amount individuals give continues to rise each year. Although, giving money is not the only way to help. The gift of giving can include donating your time and any special talents that you may have like sewing, fundraising, cooking, etc. Since it is better to give than to receive, check out these great gifts that you can give that are worth every penny.

Whether you are interested in helping children, the elderly, the homeless, people with disabilities, refugees, the environment, pets, veterans, or those that have been affected by disasters, there is a charity organization waiting for your help. I know the gift of giving helps me to feel more positive in a world that sometimes feels overwhelmingly negative. For more ways to reduce holiday stress, click here.

It Truly Is Better To Give Than To Receive

Where To Begin To Give

Kids and Education

The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy was founded over 25 years ago, by the former first lady who believes that everyone should have an equal chance to succeed by giving them the ability to read and write. The foundation focuses its efforts on early childhood education, adult literacy, and educational technology. The non-profit works with family literacy programs to tackle one of the greatest challenges in our country. For more information, visit barbarabush.org.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee was founded in 1962. The Hospital conducts cutting-edge research to increase the survival rate for children diagnosed with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. The children are treated at no cost to the families. St. Jude remains one of the leading pediatric cancer research centers in the world. Stjude.org.

Victims of Natural Disasters

The Brother’s Brother Foundation is helping support Haiti following both the devastation from Hurricane Matthew in October and the earthquake in 2010. This international charity is based in Pittsburgh and has contributed over $4 billion in textbooks, food, medical supplies, and seeds to nearly 150 countries over the last 58 years. Brothersbrother.org.

Baton Rouge Area Foundation is helping victims of the August floods this past year. This foundation serves 600 fund donors, manages their charitable accounts, and makes grants on their behalf. They give more than $30 million to nonprofits each year that provides money, supplies, and volunteers to give assistance to flood victims, visit shelters and give to companies that are starting employee assistance funds. Go to Braf.org.

Charities Serving Veterans

The Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust is located in Cold Spring, KY. This worthy organization provides free rides to VA facilities, conducts job fairs to promote the hiring of veterans, and assists rural vets with their mobile services. They provide health care to veterans suffering from PTSD, spinal cord injuries, substance abuse, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and more. For more information, visit Cst.dav.org.

K9’s for Warriors is a nonprofit that places trained service dogs with military veterans that are suffering from service-related issues such as traumatic brain injuries, physical injuries, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Visit K9sforwarriors.org for more information.

gift of givingThe Elderly and The Hungry

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization focusing on Alzheimer’s care and research. The association is based in Chicago, but has local chapters nationwide to offer support to patients, families, and they also provide assistance to caregivers and doctors that are looking for clinical studies and trials. Find a local chapter at Alz.org.

Hunger Free America is a national nonprofit group that works with elected officials to enact policies and programs needed to end hunger in America. They aid families in getting assistance with federal nutrition assistance programs, offer a hotline that families and individuals can call when they need food, and provide subsidies to poor families that are not able to access fresh food.  They believe that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, there should not be nearly 13 million children going hungry. Hungerfreeamerica.org.

Helping the Environment

The Rocky Mountain Institute seeks solutions to combat climate change. The institute, in Basalt, Colorado, works with members of the military, large corporations, academic members, nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, and the government seeking to reduce the amount of carbon emissions globally. They are also working towards reducing the use of electricity throughout the U.S., and helping companies and communities build more efficient, eco-friendly structures. To learn more, visit rmi.org.

The Conservation Fund has helped protect over 7.5 million acres in all 50 states since 1985. The Fund collaborates with government agencies, notable conservationists, and community leaders to quickly protect properties that contain a historic significance in relation to wildlife and/or recreation. Every Fund program uses conservation to achieve positive economic and environmental outcomes through innovative practical means that benefit the natural world. For ways to help, visit conservationfund.org.

Remember, it is great to give during the holidays, but these wonderful organizations need donations and volunteers every day throughout the year. Make it a part of your New Year’s Resolution to find a charity that you are passionate about, find a local chapter, and donate your talents to making a difference in 2017 and beyond.

Great Organizations To Consider:

The American Red Cross

The United Way

The Carter Center

The Clinton Foundation

Greenpeace

American Civil Liberties Union

The American Cancer Society