The Season of Giving

During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is equally blessed in regards to finances, education, freedom and opportunity. There are so many different charities that all seem to crop up at this time of year and it can be really hard to determine who should get your valuable charitable donation. You can research most charities, which can be time-consuming, frustrating and confusing. I’m not going to provide you with a list of ideal charities/gifts because it’s just too exhausting and it’s been done by countless blogs before. I will instead explain why I chose the two charities I donated to this year.

The first charity I donated to was Heifer.org. They provide so so much it’s impossible to explain in a single sentence. Everything from animals to education, access to clean water, sustainable farming resources,  Heifer covers a wide range of opportunities to help impoverished countries. This donation was a no-brainer. I like the fact that they explain what the gift will entail, rather than an ambiguous statement about financial donations. Your gift has a direct, positive and lasting impact on the recipient. I donated a gift of honeybees and the recipient will not only be able to feed their own families using the honey, but provide a source of income through selling the honey, pollen and wax. At a very low $30, this donation will also help local agriculture by introducing a pollinator. Gifts with Heifer can be a one time gift, a monthly donation or through funding a project.  It’s a great option if you don’t have a lot to give but you want to make the most impact for your dollar.

My next donation is a little closer to home for me, literally and figuratively, what with my paramour being a firefighter. (I’m a sucker for the turnout gear.)

The second non-profit I donated to is the Leary Firefighters Foundation.  Founded in 2000 by actor/comedian/writer/producer Denis Leary, the foundation provides equipment, training materials, new vehicles and new facilities to firefighting crews across the United States.  As we’ve heard on the news, massive cuts are being made to public safety departments across the U.S. as we struggle under the economic turmoil. As a result, crews either don’t have what they need or the equipment they use is old or broken. (I will expound on this topic in an upcoming post). The donations you make will go towards repairing and replacing the equipment, as well as funding valuable training for crews. As Mr. Leary states, their one ultimate goal is to make sure everyone gets home safely.

When it comes to charitable donations, make sure the cause you’re contributing to is important to you. That’s really the best advice regarding donations that I can possibly give.  If there’s a cause/organization you’d like people to know about, please share the information in the comments!

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