Now, more than ever, giving back and taking action in our local communities is very, very important. Providing funding for social services, supporting programs to help those in need, and showing kindness, love, and compassion are vital to creating a country—and a world—that we all want to live in. So, skip some of the presents this year (or use that gift money) to help some worthy causes. Here, a look at some top-rated organizations to consider supporting.
A national food bank network, Feeding America supports 200 food banks and provides food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security, educates the public about the problem of hunger, and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. It receives one of the highest ratings on Charity Navigator (opens in new tab), a watchdog for non-profits—so you know your donation is going to make a difference. Donate here (opens in new tab).
The American Civil Liberties Union has been working to preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the U.S. for nearly 100 years. With more than 500,000 members, nearly 200 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys, and offices throughout the U.S., the ACLU of today continues to fight government abuse and to defend freedoms including speech and religion, a woman's right to choose, the right to due process, citizens' rights to privacy and much more. Donate here (opens in new tab).
Natural Resources Defense Council
With an amazing Charity Navigator score, the NRDC works to protect the earth and all that live on it by defending endangered natural places, protecting clean water, and promoting renewable energy. Donate here (opens in new tab).
Prevent Child Abuse America
This charity works to help families and kids live healthy, happy lives. Working with chapters in 50 states, Prevent Child Abuse America provides leadership to promote and implement prevention efforts at both the national and local levels. They also have a program called Healthy Families America, which implements home visits and education proven to improve child well-being to nearly 100,000 families every year.
Planned Parenthood is a trusted provider for health care across the nation. In fact, 1 in 5 women have chosen Planned Parenthood for health care at least once in their life. These health centers provide a wide range of safe, reliable health care—and the majority is preventive, primary care, which helps prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screen for cervical and other cancers. And it's a center which many low-income (along with others) rely upon to get the health care they need and can afford. Donate now (opens in new tab).
National Alliance to End Homelessness
This organization is a federation of private, public, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to ending homelessness and providing policymakers with data and research. It's scored a PERFECT score on Charity Navigator, meaning that your donation will be going straight to work to prevent and help homelessness. Donate now (opens in new tab).
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I'm Sam, the senior editor at MarieClaire.com. I love shining a light on awesome people doing things that matter, cool products and hacks for everyday life, and advice you'll actually use. I'm pretty much always looking for the perfect GIF for any situation. When I'm not trolling the internet, I can be found dancing like a weirdo or napping like it's my job. Right now, I'm probably eating or drinking something filled with sugar or booze. (Sorry, mom.)
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