change begins with me
Now that Thanksgiving is almost upon us, it's truly the holiday season - and so it's time to start shopping for holiday gifts again. Whether you're fed up with holiday consumerism or just sick of trying to find a parking space at the Beverly Center, consider making a donation to one of these charities. Whether it's in someone else's name (which means you could cross it off your list without even getting up from your computer, with nothing to wrap!) or even a $10 donation from yourself, in the spirit of the season, anything you give will get us all a little closer to peace on earth and goodwill towards all man.
I LOVE LA
Adopt a shelter bed, a day of street outreach, or a homeless family at the Midnight Mission, in Skid Row downtown.
Help a local kid develop and express their creative voice at 826 LA, which needs money for their soon-to-open center in Echo Park.
(Note - there may be a branch where you are too! Check here for more info.)
Help the LA Conservancy maintain historic LA landmarks so the city stays cool.
Eastside Preparatory School is for East LA kids, who are historically underrepresented in college. The school has helped many be the first in their families to get Bachelor's degrees.
YOU GET YOUR MONEY BACK
With Kiva, you lend money to entrepreneurs in developing countries, allowing them to expand businesses like small grocery stores or cattle farms and repay you! The small infusions of capitol benefit the individual business and the communities they're in, making you an international financier for the power of good.
(I have two active Kiva loans right now and am amazed tracking the progress of my small businesses!)
SUPPORT THE TROOPS
With Treat Any Soldier, you can select a care package to be sent to soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The National Military Family Association supports and advocates for families of deployed soldiers.
The Disabled American Veterans fund provides services, treatment, and financial support to disabled soldiers.
FOR THE KIDS
Help children in homeless shelters have sweeter dreams with blankets, toys, and goodnight stories from Project Night Night.
The First Book organization ensures that kids from low-income families nationwide get their first book.
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (don't hate it because of the silly name) supports music education in public schools, donating thousands of musical instruments to schools.
MAKESHIFT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE
Planned Parenthood offers high-quality sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning, gynecological care, pregnancy testing, and abortion services.
Fund research to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS at the AIDS Research Alliance.
Fund research to prevent and treat breast cancer at Susan G Komen For the Cure.
The LA Free Clinic has been giving free health care to kids, teens, adults, and families without insurance for 40 years.
HEAL THE WORLD
At Doctors Without Borders, $35 can feed 200 children, and $50 can vaccinate 50 people against deadly epidemics like malaria or polio.
Provide a month of care for a woman or child rescued from sexual slavery for just $30 at Shared Hope International.
Free The Children helps kids in Africa and rural Asia get access to clean water, health care, and primary education.
The American Refugee Committee is providing blankets, health care, food, and protection from rape to Darfur refugees.
Amnesty International continues to keep an eye on human rights issues worldwide, including child soldiers in Uganda, Iraqi refugees, and internet censorship in China.
STOP GLOBAL WARMING
Adopt half an acre of rainforest in Central or South America for $25 at the Rainforest Alliance.
The Union of Concerned Scientists, consistently bringing accurate science to the global warming debates.
Conservation International is working to preserve global biodiversity before we destroy it.
Heal the Bay works to keep the California oceans, coasts, and watersheds clean.