Giving to others is the best gift you can offer this holiday season and with just a few shopping days left, maybe your procrastination can render truly magnificent results. Granted kids love new toys and trinkets but most adults have nearly everything they need (or at least have the means of getting what they want.) Given these facts, combined with how good it feels to do good, why not offer donations to the world’s best charity organizations in lieu of gifts for Christmas 2012? Think of it as an investment for the overall well being of many rather than some! To help you select the charity to offer your tidings to, here is a list of the 10 Best Charities To Donate To This Christmas (And Any Day):
1. The Salvation Army
Since 1865, The Salvation Army has spread its Christian dominated charity mission, shops, and work from London, England to 126 international countries as a 1,442,381 person strong member network. It’s founding purpose, the “advancement of the Christian religion...of education, the relief of poverty, and other charitable objects beneficial to society or the community of mankind as a whole,” has helped millions upon millions of people weather difficulties and disasters. As the second largest charity in the U.S., the organization has helped over 32 million Americans and has established community centers, disaster relief programs, and refugee camps throughout the globe. Best of all, ninety six percent of all of the donations the Salvation Army receives go straight to the people who need them most.
To learn more about The Salvation Army or to make a donation, go here:
2. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Since 1962, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has followed through on the premise of “to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric, catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.” With .81 cents of every dollar donated to the organization donated directly to the research, advancement, and treatment of children referred to St. Jude, this charity is one of the best. With headquarters based in Memphis, Tennessee and several affiliated hospitals, clinics, and universities throughout the nation, St. Jude’s dedication to help the world’s most precious resource is truly fantastic.
To learn more about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to make a donation, go here
3. The Disabled American Veterans
During 1920, the Disabled American Veterans organization was formed in to help military members wounded during their time in service. With the mission to help disabled veterans and their families build better lives, this charity’s benefit programs, support services, highly accessible disability compensation, guidance, community services programs, educational programs, insurance, and a network of volunteers throughout the U.S., the Disabled American Veterans have helped over 1.2 million former military members. Additionally, this grassroots charity offers disabled veterans representation to lawmakers with their promotion and advocacy of the most prevalent issues many have sacrificed for the U.S. by, as the charity’s motto states: “fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served.” It’s greatest accomplishment has been the ways in which its mission has improved morale and care as disabled veterans navigate their post-active service life.
To learn more about The Disabled American Veterans organization or to make a donation, go here:
4. Make A Wish Foundation
Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, the Make A Wish Foundation grants wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions. With 62 chapters throughout the U.S. and 36 international affiliate offices, this charity is dedicated to impacting and enriching the lives of over 250,000 aged 2 to 18 year old children worldwide. With 25,000 volunteers, wish granters, and special events assistants, the Make A Wish Foundation is dedicated to “share the power of a wish” within the 47 countries it operates in. This grassroots organization has enriched the lives of families and communities with referral sources, sponsors, and donors contributing to make every possible wish come true.
To learn more about the Make A Wish Foundation or to make a donation, go here:
5. The American Legion
When veterans returned to the U.S. following WWI during 1919, they began the American Legion. It’s promotion of Americanism, children and youth assistance, national security, foreign relations, veteran’s affairs and rehabilitation, and community service have made the American Legion one of the greatest means of strengthening communities. As a social and mutual aid organization dedicated to commemorate and support veterans and U.S. armed services members, the American Legion steadily grew to become the 3 million member strong group it is today. It’s primary purpose is based in the motto to “For God and Country” and grew from its headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, and offices in Washington, DC to include over 14,000 posts worldwide. Its support of and funding for veterans benefits, veterans affairs, hospital systems for former military personnel, and youth programs based in sports, merit, and educational funding have reached the lives of millions.
To learn more about The American Legion or to make a donation, go here:
6. The Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House is a grassroots charity dedicated to providing means of support to directly to improve the health and well being of children and families. Since the mid 1980s, “the house that love built” has offered “homes-away-from-home” for parents and families of critically ill or injured children who are hospitalized far from the places they live. This organization offers 7,200 rooms in houses throughout 52 countries for families to eat, sleep, nap, or rest near where their children are receiving medical treatment. There are also 161 family rooms within 19 countries where families can launder their clothes, shower, rest, or nap near their hospitalized child. Additionally, within 6 countries, there are over 42 Ronald McDonald’s Care Mobiles which help 100,000 children with mobile clinics offering affordable medical and dental care. Generosity from donors and a huge network of volunteers have helped keep families stronger by keeping them together through the difficulties of hospitalizations.
To learn more about The Ronald McDonald House or to make a donation, go here:
Ronald McDonald House
7. The Military Order Of Purple Hearts
In 1932, the Military Order of The Purple Heart was established to exclusively protect the recipients of those who have earned the oldest U.S. military decoration from being wounded or killed on or after April 5, 1917. This charity helps veterans as well as their next of kin through donations and the support of volunteers. The Military Order of Purple Hearts is a group based on improving the overall welfare of disabled and needy veterans through protection and interest, accessible healthcare, disbursement of collected housewares and automobiles, social programs, and the operation of thrift stores.
To learn more about the Military Order Of Purple Hearts or to make a donation, go here:
8. Lion’s Club International
Melvin Jones founded the Lions Clubs International within Oak Brook, Illinois during 1917 to meet and strengthen the local and global needs of communities. As a secular service organization, today the Lion’s Club International has over 1,368,683 members and 45,500 clubs throughout 205 international countries. With the motto “We Serve,” projects based in community projects, volunteer programs, vision programs, hearing programs, wellness programs, youth programs, and environmental programs help to make the world a better place. Most importantly, all funds which are donated to the Lion’s Club go directly to the people the group helps since administrative costs are paid by members.
To learn more about the Lion’s Club International or to make a donation, go here:
9. The Vietnam Veterans Association
During 1978, the U.S. Congress founded the Vietnam Veterans Association, a national, non profit corporation geared toward promoting the interest of military veterans of the Vietnam War era. In the days since, the charity’s efforts in advocacy, health care, and other governmental services while promoting a positive public perception of Vietnam veterans has increased attention and assistance for Vietnam veterans and their families. With a national task force for homeless veterans and organized stand downs, this group’s founding principle “never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” impacts the lives of every person it reaches. This group also increases public awareness with the award winning VVA Veteran magazine and a national scholarship fund to youths as they expand their educational horizons. With 50,000 members throughout 525 local chapters in 43 states, the Vietnam Veterans Association has greatly transformed and improved the lives of those living with the effects of the Vietnam Conflict.
To learn more about The Vietnam Veterans Association or to make a donation, go here:
10. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Since 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has operated as a nonprofit organization to “provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” The horrors of abuse, abandonment and mistreatment do not eliminate the need for positive outcomes nor negate the hopeful dedication of serving the victims of injustice. As animal rescuers, the ASPCA also works to educate pet owners, promote best animal practices, provide temporary shelter for displaced pets, reunite lost or missing pets with their owners, and assist authorities on the prosecution of those who commit offenses against animals. Additionally, the ASPCA coordinates volunteer efforts, offers supplies and relief services following natural disasters, and deploys rescue groups to recover abandoned pets. Animals don’t have a “voice” for themselves but the work that the ASPCA does to speak for them is a great act of kindness.
To learn more about The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or to make a donation, go here: