Charities that Reach Around the World

Introduction

Fellow Hub Pages writer, Yvette Parker, asked the question "Do You Support Charities? Why or Why Not?" My answer is yes, but the recipients of my support, financial or time, are chosen carefully. My rubrics for giving is whether the organization helps increase the quality of life for the greatest number of people and the approach they take to accomplishing their goals.

This hub outlines which charities I like to support and my reasons for supporting them.

Our swing at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens

Beautiful places are important to conserve for people to spend time in.  Pictured is a swing at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA
Beautiful places are important to conserve for people to spend time in. Pictured is a swing at Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, MA | Source

Pictures of places conserved by the Trust for Public Land

A man carrying a canoe in the Northwoods of the Minnesota  in the Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wildnerness
A man carrying a canoe in the Northwoods of the Minnesota in the Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wildnerness | Source
A group of people view the Pacific Ocean from a rocky cliff along Coast Dairies, CA during the Sand Hill Bluff Dedication.
A group of people view the Pacific Ocean from a rocky cliff along Coast Dairies, CA during the Sand Hill Bluff Dedication. | Source
Children playing at the opening of the Hayes Valley Playground in San Francisco, CA. Part of the Bay Area "Parks for People" program.
Children playing at the opening of the Hayes Valley Playground in San Francisco, CA. Part of the Bay Area "Parks for People" program. | Source

The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land is an organization is dedicated to increasing the natural landscapes and urban green areas that are available for public enjoyment. They want to help the planet thrive and increase the likelihood that natural habitats are preserved, instead of disappearing due to private development projects. Part of their mission is to reduce the stress in the lives of humans by giving them beautiful places to spend their free time, generation after generation. Children are very important to this process because it is reasoned that those who grow up enjoying public parks often work to conserve them when they grow up.

Here is a summary of the process they have for making dreams become reality:

1. Research is conducted. There is often a plethora of research that needs to be completed about ownership regarding the land proposed for purchase. Sometimes land from private owners separates the public land parcels from each other, and these owners are often approached regarding selling that land so that the land designated for public use is connected as a whole in a meaningful way.

2. Money is raised and the land is purchased. The money that they raise is used to buy land in a public space so that access to that land is kept public. The TPL is in partnership with the residents, so they contribute some, but not all, of the funds for the land purchase. .

3. TPL Architects Facilitate Town Planning Meetings. The next step they take is to sit down with the residents of the town/region that the parcel of land is located in to determine goals for how the land will be conserved and used. The goals of the residents of the town for whom the land is being conserved is very important, for the purchase of the land is meant to increase the quality of life experienced by all of the townspeople. Therefore, the needs of the people who live close to and will be enjoying that land are taken into consideration.They are invited to meet with TPL staff to plan how the land will be used.

4. Blueprints for Planning are Drawn. Often, the purpose for a land parcel has been suggested by the land's nature or location: woods, lake, playground, train tracks that can be turned into trails, etc. Yet, there plans must be drawn as to what the area will ultimately look like. Details such as handicap accessibility, materials used for special features, steps, and the placement of benches are important to determine before physical work is begun.

5. The Work Begins. Once the purpose for the land and the goals for making the land accessible for all of the residents to enjoy are determined, a plan is drawn for how the goals will be achieved and the purpose of its use realized. The TPL workers involved in project are leaders in the planning process, but require the townspeople to be involved in the actual renovation project so that they experience the pride of accomplishment and ownership of the space.

6. Mission Accomplished! Some examples for this are the renovation of urban playgrounds, parks, trails, gardens, forests, seashores, and walkways surrounding water. For a deeper look at what the organization has been able to help communities achieve, please visit their web site via the link provided in this hub.

What happens when fewer and fewer children have a chance to enjoy nature?

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

Children who are not given enough time to explore nature lose the chance to develop skills that are important to their development. In order to keep natural places alive and well in our world, our children must be given a chance to develop a positive relationship with the natural world.

 

Catholic Worker Movement

I was born and bred Catholic all my life, but did not discover the treasure of the Catholic Worker Movement until I was in my 30s. Catholic Workers spend their energy and time helping others. They live humble lives with few material possessions, and strive to work for peace and true prosperity in the world by challenging the practices of those who hold the most power and money. Their practices are based on their firm belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. They live with less so that others may have more.

Almost all Catholic Worker houses are filled with volunteers who spend their energy cooking, cleaning, and giving food and clothing to those in need of such help. Peter Maurin Farm in upstate New York houses people who grow and harvest food to feed themselves and the poor around them. They have dedicated their lives to Social Justice and take great risks in favor of that cause.

For a donation of $1, you can receive a year's worth of issues of their newspaper, which discuss current events, the activism activities of various Catholic Worker groups, books worth reading, and the everyday life of the various Catholic Worker communities.

There is a palpable sense of community among those who have chosen this lifestyle. I have often wanted to join myself, or at least visit one of their houses to help out. The "Mother House" is located in Manhattan, but there is also one in Central Massachusetts. There are also CW houses in Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Belgium, and other countries. All of the workers in these houses are committed to honoring the worth and dignity of each person they meet, to extend to them love and compassion, and to give them a voice where they would otherwise be invisible to the world.

Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement ~

Loaves and Fishes: The Inspiring Story of the Catholic Worker Movement
Loaves and Fishes: The Inspiring Story of the Catholic Worker Movement

The story of Dorothy Day and her founding of the Catholic Worker Movement. The inspiration of her vision is still alive and thriving.

 

Women Build for Women at the Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity recently held a "Women Build Week" for women to build homes for other women, often single mothers.
Habitat for Humanity recently held a "Women Build Week" for women to build homes for other women, often single mothers. | Source

Habitat for Humanity

The Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that helps people help themselves. Families apply for help in building a home because they do not have the income to support a mortgage themselves, and the cost of renting enough space to live in an apartment building or condominium is prohibitive.

When families are accepted into the program, they are expected to work alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers, contributing their "sweat equity" to the project. Recipients of homes built with the help of Habitat for Humanity learn from experience about how to build and maintain their homes.

There are many projects happening all over the country, and the world. There is a page on the Habitat for Humanity web site that gives information for finding a current local project to those who would like to donate financial resources, hardware, and/or time.

Visiting animals at Overlook Farm

A Spring Lamb in April
A Spring Lamb in April | Source
A child petting a chicken
A child petting a chicken | Source

Heifer International

Heifer International is also an international organization that strives to help families in developing countries gain and keep economic stability through giving them a viable way to work to feed their families.

Recipients of gifts from Heifer International are given animals that will produce food for them, such as meat, milk, and even honey if they are given bees to keep. They are assisted with building places for their animals to live, and gardens for raising plants that will thrive and grow a harvest of food in the areas where they live, whether that be in a desert or on a mountainside.

One Saturday in early April, my daughter and I visited Overlook Farm in Rutland, MA, with fellow Unitarian church members. The children of the church were about to begin a fundraising 6-week project for HI , called "Fill the Ark," which raised $500 for the organization.

We all enjoyed meeting the animals raised by HI staff, including sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, and chickens. The children were very excited to see a baby chick hatching in an incubator.

In addition to meeting animals that were being raised for families all over the world, the children were also given the chance to visit a village of houses built in the style of the areas in which HI serves: China, Tibet, Poland, Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and even rural areas of the United States.

The children were able to see how different types of landscapes determined what could grow there, and what animals would thrive there. They also learned that once animals are given to a family, the recipient families pass on their good fortune by giving the offspring of their animals to other families to raise. As a result, when you give to Heifer International you give gifts that keep on giving for years and years.

Are you ready to help?

Has this hub inspired you to give to any of these organizations?

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© 2012 Karen Szklany Gault

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Comments 2 comments

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 3 years ago from London, UK

That's beautiful and generous of you Karen. It's also extra special when people are also actively involved too. E.g You meeting the animals raised by Hi Staff.

God fill your pocket more to be a channel of Blessing. :-)


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 3 years ago from New England Author

Thank you, Lady E! Glad you enjoyed this hub, and thank you for the blessing. :0)

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