Charities You Ought to Know
BY Simcha Fisher
| Posted 12/14/12 at 5:00 AM
As some of you know, I got a little irritated at the news that Michael Voris and the mostly-reliable Fr. Z have chosen to launch a bizarre Lenten retreat Carribean cruise (I believe that's what's known as a "statistically improbable phrase"). I was planning to write a mildly snarky post called "Ten Ways to Spend a Thousand Dollars," listening nine ways you could spend your money well and wisely, and then also this dopey "retreat" -- which, yes, costs over a thousand dollars per person, and takes place on a luxury cruise ship which, like all cruise ships, offers those three pillars of the Lenten season: cocktails, casinos and show girls.
So I started hunting for the names of worthy charities which would make my point. But as I researched and read about the good work that people are doing all around the world, the Lord removed my heart of snark and gave me a heart of flesh. I wish I had a thousand dollars times a thousand to spend, and I would send it all to these wonderful people who are doing God's word in the world, person-to-person, day after day.
Here is a list of charities which I have discovered recently, which may not be as well known as some of the giant organizations, but which do such good work -- some of them ingenious, many filling a niche need which I never even realized existed.
The following charities all come recommended by someone I trust -- in many cases, from someone who is a direct volunteer workers with these organizations. Of course you should do your homework before sending money to any charity. Charity Navigator gives some useful tips for "Best Practices of Savvy Donors."
Here we go!
First, my family's favorite charity:
Save a Family Plan
I am blown away by their efficiency: 100% of your donations go directly to the poor. They don't just give the poor food and shelter; the help them invest to become self-sufficient. We first partnered with a destitute family in India several years ago, and this family no longer needed our support years ahead of the projected schedule. A top notch international NGO run by Catholics, serving poor Indian families of every caste and religion, and fully in allegiance with the Church (so you don't have to worry that you're accidentally funding abortions or something).
Christian Foundation for Children and Aging
Popular with many, many of my friends, this is a lay Catholic sponsorship program encouraging the dignity and well-being of the poor and marginalized in 22 countries around the world.
A Down Syndrome adoption ministry with many programs to help families fund the very expensive adoption of children with special needs. Many of these children are barely surviving in horrendous institutions, and there are so many families who would like to rescue them, but can't afford it. Full of wonderful, hopeful stories and easy ways to help.
The Laboure Society
This organization "assists aspirants to priesthood or religious life who find themselves unable to answer their call due to personal debt."
Amazima sells handcrafted jewelry made by poor women in Uganda, who are guided and educated on how to manage money to support their families
The Guiding Star Project
Creats "holistic, comprehensive centers nationwide that provide support for natural means of family planning, fertility care, childbirth, breastfeeding, and family life" and is endorsed by Abby Johnson and Lila Rose, among other "big names" in the pro-life community.
This simple charity organizes volunteers to commit to sending cards, letters, and the occasional small gift to support and encourage patients going through chemotherapy.
Aid to the Church in Need
A long-established international organization that offers a wide array of programs"to help suffering and persecuted faithful worldwide" They alleviate suffering and keep the Church strong in over 145 countries.
Tepeyac Family Center
Tepeyac Family Center, a true "reproductive health services" center, they have even had some success in reversing the effects of the RU 486 abortion pill when a woman regrets having taken it! Tepeyac is "a pro-life, OB/GYN, integrated healthcare practice with professional medical expertise that cares for the whole person. Tepeyac offers a full range of obstetrical and gynecological services, including well woman care and cancer screenings, fertility consultation, minimally invasive procedures, global maternal care, a perinatal hospice and level I and II ultrasounds while respecting the dignity and the intrinsic worth of each patient." They try to help everyone who needs it, whether they can pay or not.
Project Guardian Angel
They "provide assistance for children who were saved from abortion at our Women’s Support Centers, but whose moms (and sometimes dads) now have trouble supporting them. Or for children of such poor families that they are in danger of being given up to an orphanage."
China Little Flower
China Little Flower provides hospice care for orphans and abandoned babies in China. They also offer foster care and long-term care for severely disabled children.
The Loomba Foundation
A secular charity benefitting widows and their children. They serve women in countries whose unust laws make widows into outcasts who have no legal way of supporting themselves and their families.
Save the Storks
This program deployes vans equipped with sonogram equipment to abortion clinics, where they do not protest, but gently offer to show pregnant women an ultrasound of their babies. They say, "Approximately 3 out of 5 women we see choose life."
Tree of Hope Foundation
This charity supports women suffering from post-partum depression, educates the community about this condition, and supports further research for treatment
"Called by the late Pope John Paul II a “providential seed of the civilization of love,” L’Arche is a sign of hope in a divided world." This organization fosters mutually beneficial relationships between people with and without developmental disabilities.
A highly-rated Catholic charitable organization that includes child sponsorship programs and an opportunity to choose a gift, such as breeding rabbits, a meat grinder, a solar light, schoolbooks, mosquito netting, or a wheelchair for a family in desperate need.
Mary Queen of Heaven Missionaries
Among other programs, they offer a "Rehabilitation and Livelihood Training Center" for young victims of prostitution and sexual abuse in the Philippines and Cebu.
A community that provides houses of hospitality for expectant women who are alone or on the streets and wish to achieve their goals in a dignified atmosphere. Currently, Maggie's Place operates four homes: three in the greater Phoenix area and one in Cleveland, Ohio.
Perinatal Hospice and Tender Care of Washtenaw County
Their mission is to support families who have chosen to carry a dying baby to term.
Connected in Hope Foundation
This charity rescues destitute Ethiopian women from lives of hard labor by offering their gorgeous handmade scarves for sale on the global market.
Open Hands Resource Center
This Christian charity simply offers temporary emergency relief, such as warm clothing, food, and shelter, to anyone who needs help in the Concord, NH area.
An all-volunteer organization, they work primarily in Hispanic communities of Detroit, "offer[ing] un-questioning material aid to mothers, including help with utility bills, rent payments, diapers, groceries, cribs and automobiles. Support for the mothers continues through the pregnancy and beyond."
Free Wheelchair Mission
80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries. This charity "transform[s] lives through the gift of mobility."
Add your favorite unappreciated charity here! And if you don't currently support any charity, remember that even a small amount of money, wisely given, can make a difference in someone's life.
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