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Christmas Gifts That Keep On Giving

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Every day somewhere in the world you will find people suffering. You may find someone whose home was recently destroyed by a tornado or someone who is homeless and starving due to financial difficulties. There are many reasons why people suffer in this world and there are also many organizations which exist solely to aid those people who are unable to help themselves. The holidays are a perfect time to lend a helping hand or to donate money to help these organizations help those who need aid the most. Helping others not only benefits the recipients of your generosity but also provides you with a sense of pride and joy for your good deed.

Feed the Children

Feed the Children is an organization which not only provides food and supplies to children in need but also offers medical aid and emergency relief support. In addition the organization helps to create initiatives for self-sustaining communities. An example of their work was the distribution of over 150,000 backpacks in 2011 to homeless students attending U.S. public schools. The organization also provides aid to children in 10 foreign countries by feeding school-age kids on a daily basis and offering de-worming medication (which is critical to combating hunger globally). When you donate money to Feed the Children 86 percent of all their expenditures goes to program services including: food, medical disaster relief, childcare and community development. There are many different ways individuals or companies can help this organization help others in addition to monetary donations which include: volunteering at one of six distribution centers, sponsoring a Feed the Children truck, matching gifts, workplace campaigns and product donations.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army helps the people of the world in many different ways such as through prisoner rehabilitation and by fighting human trafficking. The organization divides its services into three categories which include: Community and Fellowship, Rebuilding Lives, and Comfort and Support. The Community and Fellowship category includes Kroc centers, youth camps and recreation. The Rebuilding Lives category includes prisoner rehabilitation, drug and alcohol rehabilitation and the fighting of human trafficking. The Comfort and Support category involves Christmas charity, elderly services and Community Cares ministries. There are about as many different ways to help the Salvation Army as there are programs that help others through the organization. These ways to help include: auto donations, planned giving, donating furniture, clothing and other household goods, thrift stores, volunteering, miles, stocks, bonds and funds, corporate partnerships, and gift annuities.

American Cancer Society

Helping to fight cancer can be as simple and fun as walking around a track or a park as part of a team for a Relay For Life event. There are many events which help to fight cancer that happen throughout the United States. You can even become part of a cancer prevention research study if you meet the necessary qualifications. The American Cancer Society strives to educate people about cancer and how to stay healthy, help people who have cancer find treatment and support and conduct cancer research. The categories for programs and services that the organization offers which you could volunteer to help with include: Breast Cancer Support; Prostrate Cancer Support, TLC Hair Loss & Mastectomy Products; Hope Lodge Lodging, Rides to Treatment, and Online Support Communities. As with many charitable organizations there are many different ways to donate to the specific cause. Some donation examples include: memorial and honor giving, employer gift match, online auctions, and personal fundraising. The headquarters for the American Cancer Society is located in Atlanta, Georgia but there are also 900 local offices throughout the U.S.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross helps over 100 million people throughout the world each year. It provides aid in some manner to people in 187 different countries and is comprised of more than 13 million volunteers. The American Red Cross provides five important areas of service which include: Disaster Relief, Supporting America's Military Families, Health & Safety Services, Lifesaving Blood, and International Services. There are many ways you can help the American Red Cross. Donating blood or hosting a blood drive are two essential ways to volunteer. Blood is always needed to help save lives. You can also fundraise or involve your school or workplace in giving. Even teaching, hosting or taking a class can be a way to aid this organization. Helping internationally or becoming an advocate are volunteer options as well.

Make-A-Wish Foundation

Granting wishes for children who suffer from life-threatening medical conditions is the goal of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The organization states that every 38 minutes 226,824 wishes are granted worldwide. More than 25,000 volunteers help to make wishes come true for these seriously ill children. There are four stages that determine whose wishes will be granted which include: Referral, Medical Eligibility, Finding the True Wish, and finally Creating Joy. There are many ways you can volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can volunteer your talents and your time or you can donate money. You can also donate treasures, use frequent flier miles, shop, fundraise or do planned giving.

Local Humane Societies

Humane societies are organizations dedicated to helping animals. The Humane Society of the United States is the largest animal protection organization in the U.S. Some of the important tasks which the organization performs include: advocating for better laws which would protect animals, providing emergency response and rescue for animals, providing emergency clinics and shelters for animals, reforming industries by conducting campaigns, investigating animal cruelty cases, and providing animal care through centers for wildlife rehabilitation and sanctuaries. There are many ways to volunteer for your local humane society or the Humane Society of the United States. Monetary donations, shopping to aid animals, cars and coins or by creating your legacy are all examples of ways to help the organization help animals. You can also volunteer to help with things such as pet adoption events or by adopting an animal yourself. Finding loving homes for homeless animals is a very important part of humane societies.

Special Olympics

The Special Olympics trains both adults and children throughout the world (on a year-round basis) who have intellectual disabilities for athletic competitions. The competitions involve numerous Olympic-type sports. The organization provides many opportunities for these individuals to improve their physical fitness while experiencing the joy of sharing their skills with their families. Training for and participating in these competitions can make the people who are competing truly feel like they are a champion and can really accomplish something in their lives. One way you can volunteer for the Special Olympics is by becoming a coach or an official. You can also raise money for the organization and/or donate money yourself. Eighty-four percent of monetary donations are used for the programs. As is similar with other charitable organizations you can also donate money by text, through eBay auctions, through tributes or memorials, by conducting personal fundraising and through other means.

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