Tuesday, December 16, 2008
So That More May Have a Happy Holiday...
'Tis the season and all that jazz... 'Tis better to give than receive... With the latter sentiment in mind I offer up a small collection of organizations that I have supported over the years, and I have faith that they do the most with whatever donations that they receive to improve life for the planet and all creatures who reside here. Here's my list of suggested organizations that could very much use any extra money you may have at the end of this year:
INDN's List is the organization that is nearest and dearest to my heart. Kalyn Free is a real-life hero to me and thousands of others who want to see Natives have a stronger political voice in this country. Why not support a progressive cause that is truly making a real difference in this nation? Visit the link and see the results that INDN's List has gained in just four years of existence.
Futures for Children is an organization that sponsors Native children in the American Southwest (primarily Navajo and Pueblo), but even if you don't have enough money to mentor a child (about $450.00/year), you can still help in many other ways. One excellent way that you can support the important work of the FFC is by shopping at the FFC online store. They have beautiful handcrafted items such as fetishes, pottery, jewelry, and kachinas. Most of the items are donated by the artists so most of the profit goes directly to helping support the programs that FFC sponsors on reservations and in pueblos across New Mexico and Arizona.
The Native American Rights Fund is a non-profit 501c(3) organization that provides legal representation and technical assistance to Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide - a constituency that often lacks access to the justice system. NARF focuses on applying existing laws and treaties to guarantee that national and state governments live up to their legal obligations.
Because I am a dog lover, I encourage donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Even if you can't afford to make an outright donation to your local SPCA, at least please remember when you are ready to add a pet to your family, that the SPCA is filled with great potential pets that desperately need a good home.
I was reared in the Quaker faith and although I am loathe to list a religious charity, I can with good conscience recommend the American Friends Service Committee and their sister organization the Friends Committee on National Legislation. I know that both of these organizations will use your donation to promote peace, justice and equality in this country (FCNL) and around the world (AFSC).
That about sums up my message for the holidays. If you are fortunate enough to have a job, a home and people around you who care about you, then count your blessings, and please consider making a donation to one of the above listed organizations or another organization of your choice. There are so many groups who are doing such important work and in these dire times, donations are down, so please give whatever you can. Give until it hurts, just a little bit. I guarantee that it will hurt so good :-)