Crowded mall parking lots and never-ending shopping lists can make it difficult to get into the holiday spirit. Giving gifts is fulfilling but hours spent shopping and elbowing out other bargain hunters can leave you feeling drained.
Whether you’re saying “ba-humbug” or trying to find gifts for those who have everything, one simple way to put a smile on everyone’s face is by donating to charities who make an impact on the world. We love the idea of cutting down on the purchase and accumulation of stuff we don’t need, and shifting the focus to helping someone else.
Instead of spending $20 filling up your friends and families homes with knick-knacks or giving a gift that will probably be thrown away to sit in a landfill for hundreds of years, that same $20 bill could provide $100 worth of food and essentials to children or animals in need.
There are currently 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the United States according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS). Because sorting through the list to find where to donate your hard-earned money can be daunting, we want to share with you some of our favorite charitable causes you might consider as you shop for your holiday gifts this year.
You might not think about the islands of Borneo and Sumatra very often, but they are special for many reasons. The rainforests on these islands are the only places on Earth where tigers, rhinos, orangutans, and elephants all live together. Illegal poaching and deforestation for palm oil and other materials are threats to this environment and the habitats of animals who’ve lived there for eons. The good news is that several charities are working to protect it.
Since 1995, scientists have discovered 400 unique species on these islands, and there is even an unknown mammal species that was photographed by one of WWF’s cameras. WWF is working to stop illegal deforestation while providing alternate income for local people to protect the species there.
More than 1,000 orphaned orangutans are living in rescue and rehabilitation centers because their homes are being completely destroyed. SOCP is currently rehabilitating orangutans, flying drones to monitor habitats, and building an Orangutan Haven for orangutans who are currently quarantined.
With donations matched 1:1, every $3.41 donated to the Rainforest Trust saves one acre of rainforest. Since the equivalent of five football fields is cleared every minute in Sumatra, these donations are essential for conserving the plants, animals, and way of life for the people living on the island.
Empowering mothers and families worldwide
It’s no secret that we love and support moms around the globe. One of the mothers who inspires us most is Robin Lim with Bumi Sehat in Bali, Indonesia. Robin is a midwife, humanitarian, and CNN Hero of the Year. Her birthing and educational clinics in Indonesia empower all women by providing access to clean health centers.
Pregnant women who are impoverished are welcomed with open arms at Bumi Sehat, where they are helped through a natural childbirth and postnatal care. Robin and her team are saving and improving lives each day, and we are so proud to be partners with this organization.
More than 700 children under 15 are infected with HIV daily. Since many of these infections are passed from the mother, EGPAF works in 15 countries worldwide with research, advocacy, and HIV service delivery in the countries with the greatest HIV burden on behalf of the children affected. Many newborns with HIV don’t reach their second birthday; EGPAF is working to solve this crisis.
1 out of 5 kids in the United States don’t get the food that they need—that’s roughly 16 million children. With programs that provide meals for hungry students and help families cook healthy meals on a tight budget, No Kid Hungry is dedicated to ending childhood hunger.
Your dollars can make a big difference this holiday season. Find an organization you are passionate about and make a meaningful donation as a gift to yourself, your loved ones, and the humanitarian effort worldwide. You can check off all the names on your shopping list and know that your gift will make a difference in the life of our planet.
Julie Hays is the Communications Director here at Hyperbiotics. Health writer and mama of two little girls, Julie's on a mission to empower others to live lives free of the microbial depletion many of us face today. For more ideas on how you can maximize wellness and benefit from the power of probiotics, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
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