Posts

Give-My-Money

There are countless aid organizations, charities and foundations working to fix the world’s problems. From technology-based companies to loan providers, to construction companies, to sustainable agriculture, the options are truly endless.

If you are a donor who wants to make a difference, but you are overwhelmed by the volume of deserving organizations, here are some tips on how to choose the charity that’s right for you:

1. Decide what area of support interests you.
Do you want to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, heal the sick and injured or stabilize a suffering economy? There are many different categories of aid that each function for different purposes. Decide which type of aid you are most passionate about.

2. Ask yourself who you want to help.
Maybe you are more inclined to help refugees escaping violence than children needing surgery, or maybe you understand more about providing technology to darkened communities than rebuilding communities affected by natural disasters. Different groups of people are affected by different conflicts and issues. Once you narrow down the country and specific group of people you want to help the most, it becomes easier to choose which organization will fit your needs.

3. Do a background check on the organization or charity.
Donating money can be incredibly rewarding and beneficial, if you are donating to the right cause. Many false organizations exist that scam good-hearted donors, exploiting their lack of knowledge about the aid organization market to cheat them out of their hard-earned profits. Call the office and ask questions about where and how your money will be used. Research the organization and look at reviews from other donors.

4. Ask fellow donors where they donated.
Asking local community members or friends and family where they like to donate money is a good jumping-off point. This will help to get your own ideas flowing.

5. Work for the organization.
If you have enough free time to volunteer at one of the organization’s events or intern in its offices, you can get a first-hand, inside look into how the organization operates and exactly what is being done to reach its goals.

6. Decide how much money you want to spend.
Many people think that donations to charity must occur in lump sums, but there are many flexible program subscriptions that offer monthly payments. Decide which payment plan is right for you and what you can afford to give.

If you follow these steps and choose your charity wisely, your donations could drastically improve or even save the lives of people around the world.

– Hanna Darroll

Sources: Forbes, Charity Navigator
Photo: Zero Hedge

Viola_Davis
In the August/September 2015 issue of AARP The Magazine, Viola Davis of ABC’s hit series, “How to Get Away with Murder,” talks about growing up in poverty and why giving back is important to her.

Now the star of a drama that has 9 million viewers on the edge of their seats, Davis said she is living her dream by just being able to afford a house. “When you grow up poor, you dream of just having a home and a bed that’s clean — that’s a sanctuary,” Davis said.

In her interview with AARP, the actress said that she grew up in a household with five siblings in an old building in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Her mother worked in a factory and her father groomed racehorses. “But grooms don’t make money,” Davis said. “Definitely not enough to feed a family of eight.”

Her family received food stamps that paid for groceries which did not last the entire month. Occasionally, Davis had to resort to garbage dumps for scraps and sometimes she had to steal from a store. When she was caught, she felt so ashamed that she forced herself to stop. Davis then had to count on other means to eat.

“Most of the time, the school lunch was the only meal I had. I would befriend kids whose mothers cooked three meals a day and go to their homes when I could,” Davis said.

The summers were difficult because she did not have school to feed her, but the winters were not much easier. The pipes in the building where she lived sometimes froze over, so the family did not have water to clean with or drink. The furnace broke, and the family would have to use each other’s body heat to stay warm.

Despite her hunger and unstable home life, Davis performed well in school. She and her siblings wanted to make sure they did not live in those conditions in the future.

“School was their haven,” Sara Davidson, AARP The Magazine writer, said. “And they stayed late, participating in sports, music, drama and student government.”

School was not only Davis’ means for nourishment but also where she found her calling. She entered the Upward Bound program, which funded her education at Rhode Island College. After graduating, she attended Juilliard for their drama program.

Continuing in her success, Davis won two Tony awards and later received two Oscar nominations.

Though it seemed as if Davis’ rise to fame was only increasing, she still had her doubts about being cast in a lead role. In her childhood years, she had experienced racism every day.

“People would throw things out of their cars and call us the N-word,” Davis said.

Because of this, she thought she was too dark-skinned to earn a big part in a Hollywood movie. “That notion was upended when, in 2014, she was offered the starring role in How to Get Away with Murder,” Davidson said.

In addition, although Davis was more than pleased with her life as a professional actress, wife and mother, she yearned for something more. She was asked to be the spokesperson for Hunger Is, and now she is dedicated to giving back.

Hunger Is was formed by the Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The campaign seeks to end childhood hunger. With her own experience in the matter, Davis gave a touching speech about her childhood struggles. The two non-profits then donated $100,000 to the causes of her choice.

Davis divided this contribution between many organizations in her hometown including Central Falls High School’s Thespian Society.

Helping kids achieve their dreams, or even getting them meals, has brought Davis more happiness than acting. Although she had a difficult childhood, Davis is still looking up.

“There’s buoyancy and lightness in me. I’m not angry about my life. I’m not bitter at all. I’m happy,” Davis said.

To read more about Davis’ interview, visit the AARP website.

– Fallon Lineberger

Sources: AARP, Entertainment Weekly, Hunger Is
Photo: Flickr

Anne_Frank_Giving_Back
This author’s previous post illuminated philanthropic quotes from five of the greatest male writers of our times. Here, we introduce to you five great female writers and what they have to say about giving back:

So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind,
Is all this sad world needs

—Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Wilcox was an American poet whose style was simple, but the meanings therein were often profound. Some of her great works include Poems of PassionA Woman of the World, and Poems of Peace.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

—Maya Angelou, As a writer, poet, and a significant member of the Civil Rights Activists during the 1960s, Angelou is perhaps most known for her autobiographies, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Other famous works include Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I DieThe Heart of a Woman, and Letter to My Daughter.

As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.

Mary Anne RadmacherRadmacher is a writer and artist, and teaches writing seminars. She is best known for Lean Forward into Your Life, and Live Boldly.

No one has ever become poor by giving.

Anne Frank. While hiding with her family from the Nazis during World War II with another family in Amsterdam, she kept a diary which was discovered after her death in a Nazi concentration camp. Her diary, The Diary of a Young Girl, is well known across the world as the heartbreaking memoir of a young girl’s transition into adolescence and an attempt at understanding an adulthood she’d never reach.

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.

—J.K. Rowling, a writer with a rags-to-riches story, is not one who needs to be convinced of the importance of giving back. After making it to the list of richest people in the world in 2011, Rowling managed to donate so much money that she failed to make it to the list in 2012. Along with her multi-faceted fantasy Harry Potter novels, JKR is known for The Casual Vacancy, and The Cuckoo’s Calling, which was written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

– Aalekhya Malladi

Sources: GoodReads, Poetry Foundation, Telegraph
Photo: HTML Giant