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Thread: Favorite or best charities you donate to?

  1. #1

    Favorite or best charities you donate to?

    Did a search, didn't really find anything along these lines (unless it was burried in one of the Random Thoughts threads, but, uh... they're too big to go through ).

    I'm thinking about donating to charity, and I really want to address some of the major issues that mean a lot to me. So, I've already decided on a few:
    • Fuel Fund of Maryland - helps provide heat and energy to needy families
    • Maryland Food Bank - provides food to soup kitchens and pantries
    • Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry - supports donation of fresh venison to food banks
    • Habitat for Humanity - helps families find homes

    I'm also considering donating to the Gesundheit! Institute (if you've seen the movie "Patch Adams"), to the local public library, and to a local medical center (a gift in memory of my dear friend, who was treated there).

    Basically, I'm trying to address: hunger, heat, shelter, healthcare, and education. All so very important, and yet so many people go without them. I'm not opposed to doing things like giving back to my alma mater, or my department there, but I'd prefer to make a difference for the people who really are jammed up.

    Does anyone have any favorite charities they regularly give to? Any suggestions for good ones working in my areas of desire, which I may have overlooked?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    You might want to check out Charity Navigator. The site provides information on over 5,000 different organizations (you can browse by category) and evaluates their financial health.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    For myself - American Diabetes Association

    For my father - American Cancer Association

    On the Charity Navigator, searched for "urban planning" and got the National Building Museum.
    Oddball
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I donate money to a charity in my neighbourhood thqat has its fingers in everything. I ask them to direct it to meals on 2 wheels (bicycle delivered meals).

    I donate time for sport.

    I refuse to participate in work's united way drive for various reasons.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  5. #5
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Mercy Corps which "exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities." They are from my hometown and have done some incredible work.

    Local food bank....they always need more of everything: food, money, and time.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  6. #6
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I've given to Earthjustice and 1000 Friends of FL.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I have never done United Way because too many employers coerce employees to donate, to maintain a "record".

    Every year the county at which I just worked for 12 years, adopts a charity and we had lots of fundraisers and I participate in those.

    Local Humane Societies often need immediate donations of pet food, blankets, cat litter, toys, etc and I've done that.

  8. #8
    Thanks guys. I found another one on Charity Navigator that would be a good fit for me: National Federation of the Blind.

    I've also done some more thinking and researching, and there are three more charities I'm looking into: House of Ruth, a domestic violence center and shelter for women and children; Fellowship of Lights, which runs a teen shelter in the city; and Girls and Boys Town.

    Believe me, there's a very personal reason behind each and every charity I pick, especially these.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SuperPenguin View post
    Thanks guys. I found another one on Charity Navigator that would be a good fit for me: National Federation of the Blind.

    I've also done some more thinking and researching, and there are three more charities I'm looking into: House of Ruth, a domestic violence center and shelter for women and children; Fellowship of Lights, which runs a teen shelter in the city; and Girls and Boys Town.

    Believe me, there's a very personal reason behind each and every charity I pick, especially these.
    House of Ruth is a wonderful organization that has many locations across the US and usually helps women domestic abuse victims and homeless women, along with their children. They've been on my donation list a few times.

    I think sometimes people don't think they have much to donate but even small amounts like $25 can make a difference, not to mention the gift of volunteer time.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    We donate to.....

    American Cancer Society
    Cherry Street Mission (Toledo homeless shelter organization)
    Ronald MacDonald House
    Some others

    Based on my opinion on federal, state, and local spending, we donate significant amounts to those organizations.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    I donate $$$ to the Paralyzed Veterans and Habitat for Humanity.

    I donate time and $$$ to Italian Greyhound rescue groups in my area (there are 2).

    My husband donates at work to American Cancer Society and some other group - both a direct result of issues in the owner's life.

    Together we donate time to the Community Garden and their programs.

    While it's great to donate, you have to choose the organization that best meets your goals/desires. Some groups need money more than people, others are vice versa, and other groups may need supplies. Find the organizations that need what you want to give, and the rewards will be multiplied!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  12. #12
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Transit for Livable Communities is heavily into promoting bicycling and walking.

    I have been looking for a charity to recieve my remaining assets, and the one I have chosen, at least for now, is Environmental Defense. This decision was based soley on this

    http://transportation.house.gov/Medi...0Testimony.pdf
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    i typically donate to animal and environmental groups. this year is supported the Humane Society of the US, the Massachusetts SPCA, Mass Audubon, Defenders of Wildlife.

    when in NOLA after Katrina i was a member of the Katrina Krewe - a grassroots organization who went to different parts of the city and picked up litter, trash, storm debris. i miss working with them.

    i'd like to get involved in more organizations but they always seem to meet on nights that i have meetings or play soccer.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  14. #14
    I'm thinking about donating 10% of my income to charity, but it feels so insignficant. Darn those charities, the ones that actually show you faces and tell you stories about the people you help. And darn them again, for telling you how much (or how little) your donation does.

    I would love to donate time, but as is, I'm stretched thin between work and my other community activities. Of course, if something like Katrina ever happens again, I don't care about the consequences -- I'm quitting work, loading up the truck with supplies, and hitting the road. (Seating is limited, so if you want to join the trip, sign up early!)

  15. #15
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Because we are taking about charities here I justed wanted to share a gem of a site that tells you more about how individual charities financially operate and how efficient they are. www.charitynavigator.org
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  16. #16
    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Because we are taking about charities here I justed wanted to share a gem of a site that tells you more about how individual charities financially operate and how efficient they are. www.charitynavigator.org
    The only thing I've found about that site, however, is not all charities are included. They don't cover certain charities, like medical institutions or schools, and they need to have at least 4 years of the appropriate filings with the IRS in order to rate the charities.

    It is nice to see things like how much the top executives get paid though. Really, it's a bit disgusting when the CEO of a charity is taking home half a million a year.

    There are other groups, like the Better Business Bureau, that can provide information about charities. And then I found this site, too: http://www.independentcharities.org/

    Of course, being the skeptic that I am, I have to wonder how legit the organizations are that rate charities as legit or not.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Fat Cat's avatar
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    Fat Cat

    Muscular Dystrophy Association is our favorite because Mrs Katts brother died from this and we know first hand how the funding is spent. We also have been in test programs

    Also the Human Society is a good one.

    We both also donate time and funds to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and we know first hand how much it is appreciated. If you have the time this is very rewarding

    I am sure that there are many other good ones out there

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Church
    United Way (through work)
    Habitat for Humanity
    Local Food Bank
    three or four others on a sporatic basis
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Catholic Social Services, the United Way, and an Urban Beatification Project.

    I had donated to habitat for humanity for several years, until I saw a couple with three kids move in… and unpack their flat screen plasma TV out of their Escalade (which they bought after the house was completed). I filed a complaint with the board and they said that they felt that it was a good family to receive a home.

    A year later the house raided for drugs.
    You get what you give.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    National Zoo - big supporter of their work in education and preservation
    NC Zoo - One of THE best zoos in the nation, we donate to help injured and orphaned native wildlife by supporting The Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
    Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
    Animal Welfare League of Arlington
    Brother Help Thyself funds and nurtures nonprofit organizations serving the GLBTQ and HIV/AIDS communities in the Metro Baltimore / Washington areas
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  21. #21
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Church ($ and time)
    United Way - only because I know how well the local chapter is run ($)
    EarthShare of Texas (a United Way for Environmental causes) ($)
    National Wildlife Fund ($)
    Humane Society of the United States ($)
    [local] Animal Shelter Society ($ and time)
    [local] Volunteer Fire Department ($)
    Habitat for Humanity (time)
    National Arbor Day Foundation ($)
    Big Brothers and Big Sisters ($ and time)
    The Epilepsy Foundation ($ and time)
    Boy Scouts of America ($ and time)

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  22. #22
         
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    United Way - through work
    Salvation Army - through cleaning out closets and rooms in the house
    Humane Society - $$
    American Heart Association - $ and time
    American Diabetes Association - $

  23. #23
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    • Church - more time and work than money - we take care of the church grounds and the cemetery for free and we do the schedule for church service
    • Rotary Club
    • Rotary International
    • local museum
    • local YMCA
    • 3 camps that our kids go to have scholarship funds we give $ to
    • food to the food pantry
    • work at the blood bank once a year

  24. #24
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    These are various groups we have donated to in the past. This is not an annual thing (definitely don't have the money for that...), but groups we have given to over the years:

    New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
    KUNM (our local Public Radio station)
    American Cancer Society
    Breast Cancer Research Foundation
    American Diabetes Association
    NMPIRG
    Village of Arts and Humanities (Philadelphia)
    Harwood Art Center (where I work)
    Jewish Family Services
    American Friends Service Committee

    I also donate a good deal of time to some of the programs we run through my work such as the neighborhood gardens (started this season) and an annual Parade. I have also done things like answer phones for the Public TV station fund drive (which was a weird experience),
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Church
    Local Food Bank
    Same here, with the addition of several environmental groups. Plus, I done some volunteer work for the local homeless shelter through church.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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