today is giving tuesday! i love this day. it’s a day sandwiched right in between our thanksgiving day, when we are focused on being grateful, and the christmas season when we are focused on loving others. so while every day of the year is a good day to give to charities, it feels like an especially good time to combine those feelings of gratitude and love in a recipe for serving and helping others.
so today i’m sharing a few charities for you to consider as you begin your giving tuesday, and a few tips for giving to your own favorite charities…
charity 1: heifer international
every christmas for several years, we have made it a christmas tradition to sit down with our kids and choose animals on the heifer international site. (while you’re still just giving money), it’s a more tangible and easy-to-understand way of giving that our children wrap their heads around. they get really excited about choosing the animals! and we talk about how each animal could help you (milk from this animal to sell to make money for other food, medicine, or tuition for school…eggs from here to do this…babies from these bunnies to do that….). what is also great about this organization is how they support the idea of self-sufficiency, education, and enabling people to help themselves and then teaching them to lift their neighbors and communities with what they have been given. they do a lot with providing basic needs and empowering woman (something we witnessed firsthand in peru) too.
charity 2: save the children
as a mother, this is something near and dear to my heart, helping children who often seem the most vulnerable and innocent. save the children works hard to support kids everywhere they can, sometimes in response to a sudden emergency or natural disaster, sometimes with ongoing programs that fight hunger, lack of education, sexual and physical abuse, and often in response to war, conflicts, and mass migrations. for the many of you that come to my blog to check in from all around the world, this a very international organization too, with a legal presence in many countries around the world. (here is the international site for save the children to choose your specific country site).
charity 3: charity water
life can’t go on without water! it’s hard to survive let alone stay healthy or have time and resources to get ahead unless you have access to clean water and have a way to bring it into your community. charity water is a very efficient organization that has already made a huge impact by bringing cleaning drinking water to millions of people around the world. there are other great charities (like water.org) working to get safe water for drinking and sanitation and, on a related note, many working to get toilets to the millions of people without one, too. whether it’s drinking or flushing, this is one of the absolutely most impactful ways to change someone’s life with a very small donation. water.
also, here is an article i shared a couple weeks ago with suggestions on how to help victims of the fires in california. a lot of people are still really feeling the impact and hurt of that horrific situation, and this article pointed directly to ways we can best help those in california.
tip 1: get your donation matched!
tons of companies having matching programs for their employees’ charitable contributions. it’s very possible that the company you work for will give the same amount you give to your charity! and it’s often as simple as filling out an online form with a copy of your donation receipt. so check that out before donating.
tip 2: check up on your charity!
you can use sites like guidestar or charity navigator to see how much of your donation goes to the cause you care about. they have efficiency ratios that show how much of your $1 goes to running the organization vs. how much goes directly to the cause. they have overall scores and rankings, and guidestar even makes it easy to find the tax filings for charities if you are extra worried about what happens to your donation (you can see salaries of their top officers!). try doing a quick search before finalizing your choice!
tip 3: follow your heart!
it sounds so cheesy, i know (but like, hi. have you met me?!), but it’s so important to choose what is important to you and not what is important to others. if you love animals or the environment or fighting human trafficking or advocating for mental health or more religious and political liberty, then give to something for that cause! giving locally to something in your neighborhood or region is a great idea too, since there are always needs right where we live. if you want more ideas, ask your friends and family for how they give to others and support causes (it’s a great conversation to have!). and after you have found a cause, don’t be afraid to share your cause with others. we have chosen to help charities that friends and family have shared with us before, it works! i’m always so grateful to those who shed light on causes they love because it inspires me to learn more about them or think about the causes that are near and dear to my own heart.
just give! $1 or $10 can go a long way and you’ll be so happy you did. in this midst of all the black fridays and cyber mondays and crazy holiday sales that just keep popping up everywhere for each of us, this is a perfect day to just pause all that and give something, anything!
i’d love to hear in the comments about some of the charities you are working with or have loved supporting in the past. it’s always wonderful to hear about the great work people are doing around the world! thank you for all you already do. i feel like my readers on this blog are always so on top of things like this year round and i love you for it.