Before the ball drops and the bubbly pops, don’t forget those last-minute charitable contributions that help your year-end tax bill and a worthy cause. Here, one of our favorite annual traditions: a list of our own staff’s favorite charities that could use your support now and every day of the coming year. Or hey, maybe they’ll just inspire you to discover a great new one or remember an important organization of your own.
Kristen: Team Rubicon
Every year, Team Rubicon gets my vote as a worthy cause. Not only do they assist the needs of individuals affected by tragedy in all parts of the globe, they employ the skills of veterans to do so. In my mind, it’s a two-fer.
I like supporting smaller, local initiatives that may not get a lot of press, and one way I find these causes is via Indiegogo. By browsing by city or cause, such as Animals or Education, I can find something that touches my heart. They also make it easy to search for Verified Nonprofits for those end-of-year, tax-deductible donations.
Over the last two years, I’ve gotten to know the remarkable work of the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life program which provides life-saving vaccines where they are most needed. Their work is literally the difference between life and death for so many children around the world. Make a donation of only $5, and it means one child will never die from measles or polio. Certainly puts that $5 latte in perspective.
Kate: World Vision
I’m a huge fan of World Vision and the work they do all around the world, especially their leadership in the area of maternal and child health in developing countries. Every year we give our kids gifts from the World Vision Gift Catalog, and they love talking about how a little child halfway around the globe got a goat or school uniform or much-needed medicine because of them.
Julie: Denver Dumb Friends League
I’m such a fan of the Denver Dumb Friends League–and really, all pet shelters and adoption organizations that help find forever homes for pets. DDFL has been doing great work for over 100 years, especially in the wake of the devastating floods in Colorado last fall.
Jeana: Pajama Program
The security of a child’s bedtime routine – getting into pajamas and reading a book with mom or dad in bed – is one that should never be taken for granted. The Pajama Program, a fantastic non-profit, delivers pajamas and books to children in need and gives them a bit of normalcy and comfort when they need it the most.
I love Heifer.org, so I love that the scifi and fantasy authors I admire pull together to motivate their fans to donate as much as possible. WorldBuilders has raised over $100,000 for Heifer.org this holiday season through eBay auctions, geeky gift sales, and a special lottery for once-in-a-lifetime book prizes. Get a signed book for a friend and know you’re helping kids in need through the gift of ducks.
Pilar: Save the Children
Kids advocating for other kids in need is so important to me as a parent. I want my own two to learn the value of compassion and kindness, which is why they choose how we support Save the Children. From animals-as-gifts to tuition for schoolchildren, their “grown-up” choices always surprise me. What’s more, Save the Children makes sure 89% of the monies they receive go toward their life-changing programs, ensuring that kids in the United States and in 120 countries around the world have the chance to grow up healthy, safe and prepared for a better future.
Shari: Run 10 Feed 10
I do love multitasking and the thought that I can run for my health and sanity and feed others at the same time does my heart good in so many ways. Run 10 Feed 10 is exactly what it sounds like: Run a 10K and feed ten hungry people in your local community. And if you’re not a runner, you can still donate to someone else’s Run 10 Feed 10 fundraiser.
Kristin: Four Diamonds Fund
The Four Diamonds Fund helps families affected by pediatric cancer remember that they are not alone — both through family support and research funding. My own experience with the Four Diamonds Fund has come through witnessing the amazing Penn State University Dance Marathon (THON), which is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. All funds raised go to the Four Diamonds Fund — over $101 million to date. Students fundraise for an entire year and then dance for an entire weekend with no sleep and no sitting down — all to benefit this wonderful cause.
Stephanie S: Holland Bloorview
Holland Bloorview, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, has become close to my heart over the years. As I’ve visited the facility for swimming lessons with my own children, we’ve seen what an incredible place it is for families needing support for children with disabilities. We feel the positivity and hope as soon as we walk in the door and my kids have even donated their birthday money to help support the hospital. We love how Holland Bloorview helps all children experience a life without limits.
Looking for more wonderful charities to support? Take a peek at our archives.