Everyone knows about the Red Cross. Everyone can recognize the Salvation Army logo. But what about local charities that don’t have the benefit of a multimillion dollar awareness campaign? What about small, unique charities that are doing something different for their communities? If you’re looking to donate to a one-of-a-kind organization this year, here are just five groups that could use the extra funds.
1. First Book Literacy
When discussing the problem of literacy, many people fail to realize that early readers can’t immediately jump into classics like Moby Dick and Pride and Prejudice. They need simple picture books and children’s books first, and that’s where First Book Literacy can make all the difference. They’ve donated more than 60 million easy-to-read books across the U.S. and Canada.
2. Heifer International
Heifer International tackles poverty head-on by giving struggling families and villages the thing that they need most: livestock. The citizens are given cows, pigs, chickens, goats and even beehives to both feed their families and use things like milk and honey as money-making ventures.
3. Sing for Hope
Sing for Hope places street pianos in New York for everyone to enjoy. At the end of the year, the pianos are permanently donated to schools and community centers so that New Yorkers of all ages, incomes and economic backgrounds can be inspired and transformed by the power of music.
4. Community Voice Mail
Community Voice Mail programs offer a free phone number and voice mail service for the poor and homeless. This enables them to apply for jobs, contact loved ones and receive benefits from government programs without having to rely on payphones or homeless shelter phone lines. It empowers them to live better lives while also fostering independence.
5. Donors Choose Education
This charity allows donors to decide where their money goes. It offers a full list of projects, programs and classroom initatives that need funding, and donors can pick and choose which endeavors they’d like to support. Most donors even receive pictures and thank-you notes from the students after the projects are complete.
These are just a few charities that could use a giving spirit during the upcoming holiday season. If you’re tired of wondering where your money goes every time you donate to a big-name organization, consider a contribution to a smaller and more intimate charity instead.