Charities - Give love, receive love
Originally, I listed my favorite charities on the general Do Good page, but I began adding so many, and they were so far down the page, that I worried they would not be seen by others. So I’m now making a page devoted specifically to my favorite charities, in the hopes of spreading the word about their amazing work as far as I possibly can.
Please take the time to learn more about any of these charities that stand out to you. They are all incredible, and are all incredibly important.
I talk more about Vet Ranch at this tumblr post but the short of this is that I really love this Youtube channel. Vet Ranch started from one vet (Dr. Matt) who used donated money from Youtube views of videos to save the lives of homeless animals, and animals saved from euthanasia in shelters. It since expanded to other vets he’s pulled in too, all in Texas. Dr. Matt explains it fully on their about page, but there are many animals who are injured or in danger of euthanasia who have treatable issues but where no one can or will pay for that treatment. Many vets end up paying for things out of pocket when they can, but they can’t afford to do that all the time. They have their own families. So, Vet Ranch channel shows these animals who are saved by the money from donations and Youtube videos, starting from when they come to the vet, what their issues are, what the vet thinks will have to be done to help them, then it shows them helping the animal, clips along the way of their recovery, and finally them fully healed and sometimes even already adopted at the end. It’s extremely moving.
If you’re interested in donating to them, you can through http://www.abandonedpetproject.org/. If you have no money for donations, even just watching, liking, and sharing their youtube videos does a lot!
If you’re unfamiliar with Malala Yousafzai’s story, she is a Pakistani young woman who, as a girl, was shot in the head by the Taliban to silence her speaking out for girls’ right for education. She did not stop speaking out even after that; she only spoke louder, more powerfully, and compassionately. She stands for the rights for girls to be educated all around the world. She is the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate and she fights every day for books instead of bullets; for education for all. One of her quotes is,
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”
She and her father co-founded the Malala Fund, which does many things but one of my favorite parts of it is investing in local leaders and organizations and/or creating programs which help provide quality secondary education for girls.
charity: water does a lot of awesome things, which I will try to condense. First, 100% of your donations go straight to the field. They fund their staff through private donations so you know that every penny you can afford is sent straight to the people you want to help. Second, they let you do cool things like donate your birthday, which I’ve done twice so far. That way, if you can’t afford to donate but want to help, you can tell people to donate to your campaign instead of buying you presents. One of my favorite things about charity: water is how they keep you updated on the project you funded, even over 18 months or however long it takes. At the end, they tell you exactly where in the world it was (with google map coordinates included), show pictures of it, tell you how many people you helped and how… Here’s an example, from the Daduwa Community my 30th birthday campaign helped fund with other campaigns. I recommend you watch The Journey to see the steps.
Partners in Health is the charity I have loved and been devoted to the longest. I highly recommend the book about Dr. Paul Farmer and the start of Partners in Health, called Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Their goal is both medical and moral: to transform global health, one patient at a time, by bringing quality medical care to the poorest, most stricken areas of the globe. They partner with sister organizations to create long-term relationships and work in solidarity. Instead of tromping in there and forcing American best practices onto a situation where it makes no sense, they look at the realistic setting and help create a sustainable solution. For example, in places like Haiti it is very arduous to reach a central hospital, so they teach volunteers from rural villages how to administer drugs and care for their neighbors to nurse them back to health or manage their illness. That way, only the healthy volunteers need to make a journey that could be impossible even in a life or death situation for someone who is ill. I cannot explain enough how amazing PiH is. You need to read that book and see their work to truly understand.
Best Friends Animal Society/Sanctuary is a leader in the no-kill movement, runs the largest sanctuary for homeless pets, and is one of the USA’ s largest animal rescue organizations. Their sanctuary is 3,300 acres with another 33,000 acres leased from the US Government, and it houses over 2,000 homeless animals. They save animals of all kinds: dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, horses, and more. They’ve helped rehabilitate animals that everyone else (even other animal organizations) thought were too traumatized and had been made too vicious to live, like the Vicktory Dogs. Their sanctuary is so large that they have an entire ‘town’ dedicated just to dogs, one to cats, and more. They were also featured in the National Geographic docuseries DogTown. They are working with other organizations to try to make the United States a no-kill shelter country for animals, and that work is starting mostly in California and other states. All the animals who are rescued by Best Friends are given the best medical care, a place to live and stay that is best suited to them, rehabilitation if they need it, and many of them are adopted out to loving forever homes. The animals who cannot or are not adopted for any reason live the rest of their lives in happiness and comfort, knowing they will always be loved and never forgotten or ignored for a day in their life. You can visit their sanctuary, volunteer and more. I highly recommend you check them out.
Project For Awesome (aka P4A) is best explained by them: “During Project for Awesome, thousands of people post videos about and advocating for charities that decrease the overall level of world suck. As a community, we promote these videos and raise money for the charities.” Then, the top-voted charities get the money divvied up between them. The totals you see above are what we raised in 2014. I say ‘we’ because P4A really does feel like a community event. It’s an annual event, the second Friday and Saturday of December, so if you missed it in previous years you can still contribute. There’s so much that could be said about the awesomeness of brothers Hank Green and John Green who started this, but that would be a whole page on its own so let me just send you to a hilarious songified version of an argument they had about whether or not Batman sucks to get an idea of their humor + seriousness, and tell you to look up Nerdfighteria, DFTBA/Don’t Forget To Be Awesome, and/or vlogbrothers on youtube if you want more. Oh, by the way, yes that is John Green the author of The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and more.
Animal Aid Unlimited is one of two charities I discovered through youtube that always make me tear up when a new video comes out. They’re an organization that focuses on the area around Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, and rescues and heals all street animals– dogs, cats, donkeys, it doesn’t matter. If a resident finds a street animal who is injured, they call Animal Aid Unlimited who come out and save the animal. One thing I love about their youtube videos is they always show the outcome too.
The second of two charities I discovered through youtube, Hope for Paws is an animal rescue based out of Los Angeles, California. Co-founder Eldad Hagar responds to calls of animals (typically dogs) in need; who have been abandoned or who are street animals who are hurt or in danger of dying. He crawls through whatever muck needed to safely get the dog, and then brings it back to a vet to be washed and checked out if needed. His videos usually make me tear up. Most of the time you can see them after they’ve recovered, and he seems to join up with other rescues to get the dog into the right foster home.