A few years ago, I was introduced to a true children's book about the chicken man. Basically, the man lived in an economically disadvantaged country, and he was having a rough go of it. Fortunately for him, a group came in and gave him some chickens. Those chickens reproduced, and now he is the largest egg and chicken supplier in his area providing a sustainable income to him and his family.
Fast forward to a concert I attended last November. My friend scored free tickets to see Lady A, so of course we went. While we were there, the groups were encouraging fans to donate to the group Heifer International. If you aren't familar with Heifer International, you can check out their website at http://www.heifer.org/. In a nutshell, H.I. takes donations for animals, and the animals are sent to needy families around the world. Not only do the animals provide food, but they provide a steady source of income. I'm all about this program because when you donate you aren't artificially inflating their economy. This is a way to help folks in need and teach them a skill. To me, it seems like a win/win.
After a season of reading a bunch of books on volunteerism, I decided it was time to send the goat. I set aside some money and was able to send a goat AND a flock of chicks. I hope and pray these animals make a noticeable difference in the quality of lives they come in contact with.
I've also been working on my 30 volunteer opportunities. As a teacher, each of us had to create a club this year. Since I have a passion for volunteering, I decided to start a Service Learning Club. So far we have made Christmas cards for soldiers and baked cookies at the soup kitchen. We also plan to send Valentine's day cards to kids with cancer and oragami flowers for seniors in a local nursing home. My hope is to get the kids out into the community as much as possible this spring, but for now we have a limited budget, so we're doing what we can close to home.
Since we're getting close to Christmas and people tend to be more generous, I'm wondering what your favorite charities/organizations are. I'd love to hear about why you are passionate about them!