Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Five Favorites: My Favorite Charities

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

It's Wednesday so that means it's time to link up with Ashley over at The Big White Farmhouse for another Five Favs!

When I was growing up, my dad was a huge volunteer.  He was a volunteer fireman for five decades.  When health problems prevented him from being able to fight fires, he did worked on fundraising and selling raffle tickets.  I grew up seeing him volunteer.  I, too, wish I had even more time than I do to volunteer, but here are my five favorite charities.  You will often find me donating to them through my eBay sales.

1.  Rowlesburg School.   I'm part of the PTO even though I don't have children.  This school has the highest poverty rate of any in our county, and it's where my dad went to school.  I got involved with them several years ago when I saw a contest based on need of the school.  I got out my video camera and eventually they won a $5,000 grant.  When I saw how outdated some of their equipment was, I have been helping as I can ever since.  I save boxtops for education.   I constantly watch for sales on school supplies.  I have eighty notebooks sitting in my living room to take to the next PTO meeting.  I paid five cents each for them.  I also volunteered (or was I drafted?) to try and secure donations for the spring fundraiser.  The PTO makes sure that there is a field trip once in the child's school years to Washington D.C.  I never was able to visit Washington until I was an adult, and I think this is a fantastic idea as we live about four hours away.

2.  Nuru International.   A couple of my college friends founded Nuru.  My friend Jake was in the Marines and a Navy Seal and he saw how the poorest countries often become recruiting grounds for terrorists.  The work Nuru does is to go into a larger village and teach the population to become self sustaining.  They have pulled out of their first village and are in the second with the first one being fully self sufficient.  They are providing a hand up and not a hand out.  The people are having enough to eat, getting education, and providing a better quality of life to the poorest of the world's poor.

3.  Adoption Charities.   I think adoption is a wonderful thing.  Many times there are large expenses that come with adoption.  I sometimes donate to Show Hope through eBay.  Friends of mine have received matching adoption grants from them as well as Lifesong for Orphans.  I also donate to groups that provide services and support to foster children, such as one that provides a backpack filled with supplies to each child who comes into foster care.

4.  Catholic Relief Services.  Did you know that 92% of the money donated to Catholic Relief services gets to where it is supposed to go?  Having an administrative budget, fundraising budget, etc. of only 8% makes it one of the best charities to donate to that helps in times of crisis.

5.  Anything local.  Schools, food banks, volunteer fire departments, churches.  There is some good work being done out there by hard working volunteers.  Buying a raffle ticket now and then, saving toner cartridges, donating items no longer needed to a local church thrift shop (or St. Vincent De Paul's), they keep donations right in the community.  I also like to help out people I know who need it who might not otherwise receive it because of life circumstances or they may not know where to go to ask for help.

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