Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year - New Charities?

I had a discussion with my mom over the holidays about charities that we support.  It put me to thinking about which charities I actually support during the year and which ones I have supported consistently.  Unless I've forgotten one, here's my (fairly short) list:

Adopt A US Soldier - I've had a soldier (or two) sponsored consistently since December 2010.  I've always supported the military.  For years I sent boxes to my sister when she served elsewhere, then when she returned she gave me names of friends to send boxes to.  After a while I found a site (now closed down) where you could purchase a package and send it to a soldier anonymously.  Eventually I found this organization and have stayed with them since.  If I had the time and time management skills I'd need, I'd volunteer to be a local representative.

Zoo Atlanta - I bought my first membership when I was in college.  I have maintained membership since then, just expanding it out to include family.

Toys for Tots - My kids and I give a toy (or two or three) to this one yearly and have since I had kids.

Lily's Cloak Thrift Store - A part of the Lilburn Co-Op.  I'm not as consistent as I could be here, but we do take used items to the thrift store and food stuff to the cooperative.

We usually do a local book bag/school supply drive yearly (we missed this year, some how).  My daughter and I have done Operation Christmas Child.   For the past couple of years, we've supported the Latvian Angel Project.  At various points I've donated to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Wounded Warrior Project, National Parks and Operation Overcoat.  Most of my charities tend to be locally based or go specifically to local chapters.

The problem I've had is that reading about various charities you hear about this, that or the other thing that makes them unappealing.  Generally, handling of funds going primarily to overhead/management instead of to those who need it most.  That really bugs me. I understand that the bigger the charity, the more people it has to employ to make sure it runs efficiently and consistently.  However, it should be well balanced enough that there is an actual benefit to it instead of just being an employer.

Are there any other good charities out there that you support?

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