Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas is coming.

I know that a lot of people in the blogosphere are putting up their gift guides for Christmas, but I thought I'd do something a little different. I love presents as much as everyone else (and possibly a little more), but I think this is a good time to remember how much we already have. I always seem to want more, even though I have everything a girl could dream of. So instead of a gift guide, I present to you a list of five charities that could use some support:

1. Give Kids The World

"Give Kids The World is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids The World Village for as long as there is a need."

A good friend of mine has been interning with GKTW and loves every minute of it. It's a great charity that provides lasting memories for families who may not get very many more with their children.

2. BETACenter

"BETA Center's mission is to give children and parents the knowledge and support needed for strong and healthy families, with a focus on teen moms and at-risk families." 

This charity helps teen moms stay in school and teaches them important parenting skills. They have a residential program that provides housing for young pregnant women and mothers who have nowhere else to go. 

3. Save the Manatee Club

My love for manatees is likely caused by a tragic book I read as a kid, Sam the Seacow. Not only are they adorable, but they're also a vital part of Florida's natural environment. The Save the Manatee Club concentrates their efforts on:

"1. Increasing public awareness and education
2. Sponsoring research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts
3. Advocating for strong protection measures, such as boat speed zones and sanctuaries
4. Taking legal action when appropriate"

Manatees are the cutest. And the charity was founded by Jimmy Buffett and Bob Graham. Instant cool points.

4. Heifer International

"With gifts of livestock and training, Heifer projects help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as "living loans" because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal's offspring to another family in need. It's called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace."

Heifer International aims to help end world hunger by providing livestock and training to families in need. Instead of a one-time gift, a gift through Heifer International can provide years of sustainable nutrition and income for a family. And on a personal note, my brother and I bought a goat for my Mom for Christmas last year and she loved it. 

5. Kiva

" exists to alleviate global poverty, and does so by bringing together low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world and people looking to participate in the fight against global poverty. The idea for Kiva was born in 2004 when the founders were working with a microfinance institution in Uganda. They were amazed by the powerful, positive impact of microfinance, but saw no way to participate themselves (they had $50 to loan to a Ugandan farmer, but how?). believes that empowering the poor to work their way towards economic independence is a sustainable way in which to fight global poverty."--via

Kiva aims to empower the poor all over the world by providing small loans for people to start their own businesses in order to be self-sufficient. It's not technically a gift because you get your money back when the person you loaned to has the funds, but it's a good way to help someone get on their feet. 

So there you have it, folks, five charities--Florida-local and global--that could use your support this holiday season. Happy giving, everyone!


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All materials on this blog belong to me, unless stated otherwise. I try to give credit where it is due, but the internet is a vast wasteland of images separated from their creators. If you own something I post that is not attributed to you, please contact me and I will fix it stat. STAT. Like a doctor running down the hallways of the hospital to restart someone's heart. Exactly like that.