Musing about gifts to the recalcitrant, I stumbled upon something really super.
It just struck me that giving someone a donation to charity as a Chanukkah or Christmas present is giving twice—immediately to the friend or family member and then at the same time, it’s a gift to a stranger or institution or some aspect of the world…to the world itself.
Thus you get a doubly good feeling.
The word ‘charity’ does, after all, derive from caritas, caring…
Today I have my holiday cards and ink pen at the ready, all set to match charity to recipient. It’s going to be interesting. Fun.
Until recently, moved by heartbreaking commercials on television and appealing brochures in the mail, I’ve sent contributions—modest as they may have been, they were what I had to give–thither and yon.
But wanting to give really good gifts, I consulted Charity Navigator.* Uh-oh. Favorite charities—some very big names—proved woefully inefficient. I did more digging.
The following all rate 4 stars which means 90%-100% efficiency. Dollars go where you want them to go. Highest number tops each list. N.B. Only one or two organizations in a category mean that’s all there were with 4 stars. Organizations formed to aid Ukraine seem to be too new to have been evaluated, but JDC is active there.
In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d share the list (www.charitynavigator.org). Way better than giving pears or socks.
Hunger and poverty, national and worldwide:
Feeding America (www.feedingamerica.org)
The Hunger Coalition (www.thehungercoalition.org)
Salvation Army World Service Office (www.sawso.org)
World Food Program USA (www.wfpusa.org)
JDC (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (www.jdc.org)
The environment, conservation:
National Geographic Society (nationalgeographic.org)
Sierra Club Foundation (www.sierraclubfoundation.org)
Natural Resources Defense Council (www.nrdc.org)
Trees for the Future (www.trees.org)
Civil and human rights:
Civil Rights Corps (www.civilrightscorp.org)
Southern Poverty Law Center (www.splcenter.org)
NAACP Empowerment Programs, Inc (naacp.org/empowerment-programs)
Amnesty International (www.amnestyusa.org)
Africa Network for Animal Welfare-usa (www.anaw.org)
Birds of Prey Foundation (www.birds-of-prey.org)
Oceans Initiative (www.oceansinitiative.org)
Medical and scientific research:
Alfred E Mann Foundation for Scientific Research (www.aemf.org)
Art and culture:
World Trade Center Performing Arts Center, Inc. (www.the Perelman.org)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org)
Help anywhere in times of need:
American Red Cross (www.redcross.org)