Everyone wants to change the world, and one of the easiest ways to make it better is to find great charities to donate to and give back to society. If you have the Internet and power, you are in a more stable place than billions of other people on Earth. Time and money are two of the greatest ways to help the world and those who live in it. Whether it is five dollars, five thousand, or a free afternoon, it will help to make a positive difference in our world. Here are a few of my favorite great charities to donate to and give back to society with some extra time or extra income.
World Vision is a great charity that has grown from small beginnings to one of the largest charities in the US. If you are interested in helping children throughout the world, this is one of the best charities to donate to and give back to society through. World Vision donates everything from goats and chickens, to medical services, to children in developing countries. One of the reasons that I love this organization so much is because their goal is to help every child live the best life possible and reach their full potential. How could we not get behind something as simple but powerful as that?
Kiva is a bit like the Kickstarter of developing countries. Like Kickstarter, you can opt to give money to help an entrepreneur start-up or keep a business going. Loans are given out to small businesses and are paid back to the lender, usually, within the year. After you have a return on the investment, you can either keep that money or start the process over again.
In the span of all the charities in the world, this one is pretty small, but their footprint is quite big. Free Wheelchair Mission’s goal is quite simple - to provide wheelchairs for those in impoverished and underdeveloped countries. Each wheelchair costs about $70 to make and is capable of dealing with all kinds of harsh terrain. FWM also has corporate sponsors so everything you and I donate goes straight to building wheelchairs and getting them to the people who need them instead of towards the charity's operating expenses. .
The Jane Goodall institute was founded by the primatologist, Jane Goodall, as a way to educate people about and improve the global treatment of apes. Jane Goodall’s understanding of apes and the issues of African people have combined with this institute. If you read anything published by or for Jane Goodall, it is obvious that she believes that knowledge leads to understanding. This is at the core of her institute and is one of the greatest reasons they have been able to decrease the destruction of nature reserves, unneeded death of apes, and increase the health and well-being of entire African villages.
One-for-one organizations like Tom’s Shoes are one of the most popular forms of charity today. These are great since we are purchasing products that both advertise for them and help those in need. Another great charity similar to Tom’s Shoes is Sevenly. Every week Sevenly chooses a different charity to help and creates an entire, limited edition line of clothes around that organization. Each organization has a new goal for funds raised and people informed. This is a pretty neat idea since we are able to help by simply pinning a shirt or sharing them on Facebook.
Most everyone would agree that clean water is vital for a healthy life. Charity Water has based their entire organization around this fact. Like Free Wheelchair Mission, Charity Water has corporate sponsors so everything we donate goes directly to building wells in other countries. One of my favorite things about Charity Water is that you can donate your birthday. With this you can form a fundraiser that people can easily log-on to and donate to your birthday fund instead of getting you a random gift card or pair of shoes. Then, you all get to learn about the well you help build together!
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is an organization based out of Kenya that helps foster orphaned rhinos and elephants. One of the most devastating parts of the ivory and rhino horn trade is the orphaned baby elephants and rhinos that are left behind. Elephants, like primates, need their families and social structure in order to survive. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust fosters those orphaned elephants and rhinos in a nature reserve where they can grow and live out their lives without the risk of being poached.
There are plenty of great charities that could use our time or money to help tons of people and animals in need. These are just a few great organizations across the globe, but there are plenty of others, both local and international, that are doing incredible things to make our world better. What are some of your favorite charities?
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