Most people spend the majority of the holiday season worrying. I worry about what to get my boyfriend, which of my friends I have to splurge on this season, and what to get my little sister who has everything.
However, there are many people every year who don’t have the luxury to worry about buying gifts for their own friends and family. These same people have trouble affording their homes, feeding their families, and providing necessities for their children. So instead of worrying about whether or not to get your boyfriend that ultra-expensive wallet, why not take some of that extra money you have lying around this season and donate to someone who really needs it? Or, if you don’t have your own money to spend, why not use some your Christmas Break to volunteer your time?
Here are five charities that are definitely worth your money and your hours.
1. Project Night Night has a mission to make homeless children know that someone in the world cares about them. The charity donates bags containing blankets, books, and stuffed animals to children without a place to live. By giving children comfort items, Project Night Night hopes to lessen the trauma that is associated with not having stability in one’s life. If you would like to donate or get involved in the charity, visit www.projectnightnight.org
2. First Book is a charity that provides new books to low-income children to help them learn how to read. Its founder learned that almost 80% of preschool and after-school programs that are catered to low-income students do not have age appropriate books, and these children easily fall behind in school and never completely learn how to read or love literature. First Book has already sent over 70 million books to children in need, and you can donate to them on their website at www.firstbook.org.
3. Ronald McDonald Houses give funds to sick children’s families to help their families stay with them during serious medical crises. The homes provide “homes away from homes” for families so that they can be near their children at almost no additional cost. Not worrying about money allows families to focus on their child’s sickness and getting them better, and also allows families to travel to seek the best medical care without worrying about both taking care of their child and dealing with keeping up their home. To get involved by volunteering or donating money, visit rmhc.org
4. Nothing but Nets is a campaign to help save people from malaria. Their focus is in Africa, where malaria is the largest killer of children and many of the homes are not built well enough to protect families. A $10 donation to this charity can help buy an anti-malaria bed net and educate families oh how to properly use it. If you are interested or donating to the cause, go to www.nothingbutnets.net.
5. New Eyes for the Needy helps families without health insurance obtain free eye exams and eye glasses. The organization provides help to vision-impaired people both in and outside of the United States, helping children do better in school and adults obtain jobs due their newly increased vision. If you would like to donate old glasses or money to this organization, please visit www.neweyesfortheneedy.org.
As you can see, it really doesn’t take much to change someone’s life. So take some of that money to allocated for holiday shopping and add a few other people to your list this season. It’s easy, it will make a difference and it will make you feel even better than finding the perfect gift for your beloved parents.
What other causes need us right now? Share them below so other CollegeCandy readers can help them out!