For our wedding, my fiance and I decided not to do a gift registry, in part because we already either have or can get everything we need, and because we mostly just want people to come out and celebrate with us, not to just shower us with gifts... We don't need more stuff, you know?
So in lieu of gifts, we've decided to send out a list of 5-10 charities and organizations and suggest that our guests take the money they would have spent on gifts for us and donate it.
We have a few organizations in mind, but I figure there are probably tons of worthy causes out there to support. So I want your help. What causes are you most passionate about? What charity or organization do you know about that does awesome work and needs more support? Let me know! Post a link or some sort of contact info and a brief description of what they do.
Dress for Success -They are an amazing organization that helps women to be ready to enter the workforce - through helping them find jobs to interview for and providing interview preparation, outfitting each woman with a suit for interviews, and helping each woman pick out a professional wardrobe once they land the job as well as poviding ongoing support to keep them on the path to success. It's a great way to help bridge the wage gap, and empower women. When a woman can provide for herself and her family, she feels good about herself.
Aware is one close to my heart, because of the whole manic depressive thing and I used to help them out a little. It's a charity in Ireland that aims to help raise awareness and defeat the causes that lead to suicide. As suicide is one of the highest causes for males deaths, and has claimed several of my friends, I really admire the work they do.
The Maytree Respite Centre is a really great place here in London. It's a donations-funded shelter for people coping with self-harm/suicidal thoughts/post-attempted suicide. I've never needed to go there, but there have been times where it's seemed reeeeeally close that I would. They are run by two people with huge hearts who help people on the brink by providing 4 day programmes to counsel them until the immediate danger is passed.
I like KIVA a lot. The whole idea is to provide microloans to individuals in developing countries, so that they can make the most out of their resources to start a business/venture! http://www.kiva.org
"We know how damaging it is to take a young person away from their normal life – their friends, their environment, and put them in a cancer ward with small children or older people.
We know that young people have a much better chance of survival if they are treated by teenage cancers experts, in an environment tailored to their needs. So we’re working every day to make that happen.
We don’t believe that teenagers should have to stop being teenagers, just because they have cancer. So we build specialist units in NHS hospitals which improve the quality of life and chances of survival for young people with cancer."
This charity is very close to my heart, as my good friend spent some time in one of these units before he died and I know that they helped him a great deal. It was so much better that he was around other people his own age, going through the same problems as him, instead of being stuck in either and elderly or kids ward. He was always so grateful the TCT for all they did, and I am too.
I actually came up with my own charity idea about a month ago... I'm hoping to make a lot of money first and then maybe I'll be able to bring it to life! But for now - just need to work my ass off to get that money :) one day... maybe... i hope...
My blog is often about social justice, mostly on the realm of poverty... I Co-Founded a national non-profit in Canada and I post a lot of my passion into my personal blog... I'm most passionate about a $25 million HIV/AIDS campaign we're running (http://onehope.ca) Check it out and let me know what you think :-)
I'm a fan of ASPCA and other local rescue shelters, Habitat for Humanity and some pro-life groups.
Our church actually had a fundraiser recently to help the local women's crisis pregnancy center get another ultrasound machine - the center said that they saw a lot of good come from the first ultrasound machine they got, as women would come in thinking abortion was the only solution to their crisis, but once they got hooked up to the machine and could actually see the little baby inside them, a lot of times it would change their mind and they'd start considering other options such as adoption or even rethinking about keeping it and raising it. They felt a second machine would really help them be able to keep up with the numbers of women that come, increasing their chances of getting to see what was growing in them first before only considering abortion.
Now don't get me wrong - I'm very pro-life, but at the same time, I STRONGLY support laws like the proposed measure in South Dakota awhile back, which would ban abortions except for in the cases of rape/incest and serious health threat to the mother.
I didn't always feel that way - prior to an ethics class I took in college and a friend from high school terminating her pregnancy early, I was very anti-abortion, no ifs ands or buts, however taking this class, I realized, I wouldn't blame someone for wanting an abortion if they were raped - there's no logical reason they should have to have a daily reminder of that tragic event for 9 months straight, even if they do decide to give it up. I think in a case like that (and incest too, although really, in most cases, isn't incest usually associated with rape?) is a valid reason for someone to have an abortion if they want it - even though the baby may not have asked to be born, the victim of the rape didn't ask to be raped either and getting over something like that and moving on I can imagine is hard enough without a daily reminder! I also agree that when it comes to the health/life of the mother, if having the child is going to bring some major health risks that could potentially kill her anytime during the pregnancy or while in labor, I think she has every right in that case to decide if that's a risk she would be willing to take and if she would rather die in labor but have the child be born or vice versa - I think in that case the woman should have a right to decide if she lives or dies. And like in my friend's case, they learned near the beginning of her 2nd trimester that the baby was developing with spina bifida and part of the skull wasn't covering the brain, so that when it was born it would pretty much die right away. In a case like that, knowing that your baby is going to die as soon as it's born, I couldn't blame her for terminating it early - being able to see and hold her stillborn child would have caused even more emotional health damage to her than the abortion and she was already a pretty emotionally frail person to being with.
On the other hand though, I'm soooo sick and tired of girls and women having sex and getting pregnant and just thinking "oh, it's okay, I'll just go 'take care of it'" like it's a form of birth control - I actually knew a girl in high school who did this and it was just so gut-wrenching to know how many times she was having an abortion because they weren't using a working form of birth control - it's not that hard to find something that works! And yes, I know condoms and other contraception have that slim percentage of failing, however, honestly, in my opinion, if you feel you're mature enough and ready to have sex, then you should also be mature enough and ready to handle whatever comes from it. There's plenty of GOOD people out there that for whatever reason can't have kids of their own but would LOVE to adopt - it's a shame to see people just getting abortion after abortion because they see it as a quick solution to their own stupidity and carelessness.
We are doing the same thing for our wedding although we are doing it in lieu of favours and putting little cards on the tables informing guests that we have donated. We are both passionate about charities that really need help and really make a difference - we are going with our local Humane Society and also World Vision.