Charity Thank You - JuliePedraza.com

Our family decided to create a charitable tradition a few years ago. Each of us chooses a charity to learn about, then we gather around the table to share what we’ve learned. We then decide which we’d like to donate to and whether to donate items or money. It’s a heartwarming tradition. Here is our vetted list of the best charities to support right now.

There is a shocking number of charities that keep a majority of the donations they receive. Nothing ticks me off more than fat cat greed taking advantage of those in need. It’s surprising to know the CEO of one of the largest nonprofits in the US is a very fat cat.

It’s important to investigate charities with whom you want to partner. We like Charity Watch because they rank charities by transparency and financial disclosures.

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”

—Mother Teresa

THE BEST CHARITIES TO SUPPORT RIGHT NOW

1. Operation Paperback gives new and used books to American troops overseas. They began in 1999, sending their first shipments to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. They have since shipped 2.9 million books to over 30 locations overseas. They send approximately 15,000 books to troops per month.

2. Cell Phones for Soldiers gives your older and newer cell phones to soldiers overseas. Since 2004, they’ve given more than 400 million minutes of free talk time to servicemen and women. And they recycled more than 25 million cell phones, reducing the impact on landfills.

3. Cristina.org gives your computers to those seeking education, rehabilitation and job training. Founded in 1984, their mission is to put computers to work to develop human potential.

4. Guitars 4 Vets gives your guitars and amplifiers to vets struggling with PTSD. Their mission is to share the healing power of music. They do this by providing a guitar and free guitar instruction in a structured program.

5. Soles4Souls gives your new and used shoes to those who need them. They also help create jobs and empower people to break the cycle of poverty.

6. The Environmental Defense Action Fund implements clean energy solutions and finds sustainable ways to grow food and supply water. They also work to foster the next generation of strategic climate leaders.

7. All Hands and Hearts addresses the needs of communities affected by natural disasters. They arrive for first response. And they stay late to rebuild schools and homes.

8. GiveDirectly sends your money to the world’s poorest households. Since 2009, they’ve delivered $500M+ in cash to over 1 million families living in poverty. Families have used donations to buy medicine, irrigation and livestock, etc.

9. Scholarship America awards scholarships to students. In 1958, Dr. Irving Fradkin asked everyone in his community to give one dollar to a scholarship fund. This was enough to help every student in the community attend college. Today, they are the nation’s largest nonprofit, private scholarship organization. They have distributed $4.5 billion to more than 2.8 million students …and counting.

10. PetSmart Charities is the leading funder of animal welfare in North America. Since 1994, they’ve given over $451 million to organizations that transform the lives of pets.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up and who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

—Denzel Washington

It’s important to identify and support the charities whose missions align with yours. Be sure to read your chosen charity’s About page to confirm how they use your donations. There are so many in need. From books to shoes, your donations matter. If you’re able, please join me in supporting these charities and those they assist in any way you can. 

As always, thank you for being here and sharing the articles you appreciate most. If you haven’t subscribed, please do so below. And if you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment or reach out via email or Instagram. My mind and inbox are always open. —xo

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