The holidays evoke a spirit of giving. And as you give presents to your family, friends and even work colleagues, also consider giving to causes and groups that may be important to you. Read below for a glimpse at several organizations that do a wonderful job impacting the world.
Many of us take our ability to read and write for granted. Doctor's visits, parent-teacher conferences, our participation in the workforce and so much more would be infinitely harder without a decent command of the English language. ProLiteracy strives to combat the struggles that are correlated with illiteracy. At a time when unemployment rates are troubling, one of ProLiteracy's vital missions is to help adults in the workforce. As its website explains, "individuals at the lowest literacy and numeracy levels have a higher rate of unemployment and earn lower wages than the national average. Low literacy costs the U.S. at least $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment." ProLiteracy offers a number of ways that the community at large can support their mission, from donations to volunteer opportunities. It is also looking for cause-related marketing campaigns, which involve the cooperation between a nonprofit organization and a private company. Perhaps your small business would like to assist with a vital problem his holiday season.
*International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee endeavors to help refugees by expelling the growing negative stigma associated with refugee relocation. According to its website, more than 23 million people benefited from their organization in 2015. It gave 2.6 million people access to clean drinking water or sanitation and "supported 2,384 clinics and health facilities that helped more than 315,000 woman deliver healthy babies." Donations to this organization support a growing population of refugees at the mercy of international warfare.
*Global Fund for Women
Global Fund for Women pushes to ensure that basic human rights are extended to all, despite existing gender boundaries. It gives women more control over their health by increasing access to reproductive health services, especially in communities where women have little opportunity for such services. It also supports women in violent situations, including victims of domestic violence. The Global Fund for Women hopes to change people's mindsets concerning women's rights. As it says on its website, "winning rights for women is about more than giving opportunities to any individual woman or girl; it is also about changing how countries and communities work. It involves changing laws and policies, winning hearts and minds, and investing in strong women's organizations and movements."
*Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
Mental illness too often goes ignored. The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation works to emphasize mental illness research. It does so by cultivating donations and support, which go directly toward funding scientists who work on advancements in curing and understanding mental illness. According to the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation website, "since 1987, we have awarded more than $360 million to fund more than 5,000 grants to more than 4,000 scientists around the world." If you're looking to make a direct impact on an important cause, consider donating to this organization.
*Action on Smoke and Health
It's no secret that tobacco use is one of the country's leading causes of illness and death. Action on Smoke and Health advocates for increasing regulations on tobacco on a national and global scale. "While smoking rates in the U.S. are lower than they have been in almost a century, the tobacco industry is wealthier than ever and has moved its marketing efforts into the developing world, cultivating new generations of customers and subjecting millions to addiction, disease and death." Action on Smoke and Health focuses on educating the public and enacting public policy to limit tobacco use on a global level. If you think everyone has a right to clean air, this is a great organization to support.