What’s a holiday season without gifts? Images of trees surrounded by gifts and Santa carrying sacks full of presents are inescapable during the month of December. But at some point in life, the thought of more *stuff* starts to feel a little bit, well, gross. The holiday spirit is one based in community and generosity, which means it’s a good time for those of us fortunate enough to have financial security and loving families to reflect on how to pay that good fortune forward. What better way than donating money, goods, or time to a charitable organization?
There are countless groups dedicated to supporting women and families, and they do that work year-round, often without the resources necessary to help everyone who needs it. Here are some organizations worth giving to this season—and every season, if you can swing it.
This 70-year old organization, founded by an American farmer, is dedicated to helping families around the world through sustainable agriculture, support for small, women-owned businesses, and promoting girls’ education, to name just a few of its projects. Its American branch, Heifer USA, supports local agriculture programs around the country. At a time when 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger—including 13 million U.S. children—donations have the potential to answer the question, “Where will my next meal come from?”
Feeding America is a national network of food banks that distribute some 4 billion—yes, billion—meals every year. The holidays are an especially difficult time to face food insecurity, and the volunteers at Feeding America work to provide high quality, healthy food to those who need it. But it does more than simply provide food; it is also dedicated to improving food safety, saving food that would otherwise go to waste, and researching ways to break the cycle of poverty in which too many families have become trapped.
Founded by a group of office workers in Boston, 9 to 5 has grown into one of the largest and most respected organizations dedicated to advancing the rights of working women. If you care about gender discrimination, paid family leave, safe workplaces, and fair wages, you’ve probably already heard about some of 9 to 5’s major successes. We’ve still got a long way to go before all working women have good, secure jobs that allow them to provide for themselves and their families, and the members of 9 to 5 still need help.
This Chicago-based organization’s mission couldn’t be clearer: “Mobilizing people and organizations to expand educational and employment opportunities for America’s working women.” In addition to fighting for workplace equality, WE focuses on helping women, especially low-income women in low-wage jobs, succeed in higher education.
Founded as the Women’s Legal Defense Fund, the NPWF has spent more than 40 years fighting for women’s rights. After winning a landmark case that established that sexual harassment is illegal professional discrimination, it took on issues ranging from changing child support laws to ensuring family leave to gaining wage equality.
(Image via Pexels)