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What are you gonna do about it? [Charity] Thread

amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhourThe woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
edited June 29 in Debate and/or Discourse
Alright, it's officially half way through 2024 and I told myself I was gonna start three things this year, this being one of them.

Shit's rough right now, and we need some good vibes. This thread is to talk about any kind of charitable organizations you support, be it voluntarily, socially, or financially.

It's a place to discuss better ways to help out in the community, or discover ways you CAN help if you're not sure how to get started.

What this thread is for:

- Show us examples of you doing for others!
- Give us good links to good ngos/charities to support!
- Show us what you do in your community and how we can sign up to do it as well!

What this thread is not for:

- Forum drama, whatsoever. We all know it's an election year.
- Critiquing someone else's charity. If someone comes in here and talks about how they run a soup kitchen out of their Baptist Church, you either say good job or shut the fuck up. I will be asking the mods to politely enforce this.
- Political Canvassing. Yes it is a charity, and you're welcome to discuss it, but it's not the purpose of the thread just because it's election year. There's a lot of day to day shit people need help with first. I do want to hear if you like drive a vanpool for people to go vote, or other stuff like that. That content is welcome!

Also just to add, dropping in to say "I bought a stranger lunch today" or something is also fine and good and should be acknowledged.

Lastly, the point of charity is to help and not get brownie points and we all know that. I made this thread to just be able to talk about the good vibes you get when you do something for someone else, and to have it as a reference for things a lot of us may not have known we could volunteer for.

I mean that's it, it's pretty simple. Think of it as a little slice of the better parts of the holiday forums.

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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    I'll start.

    I have three main things I focus on for my political, financial, and physical support. Everything else takes a back seat and will gets votes or dollars, but these come first.

    - Civil Rights - Admittedly, other than not be a dick, I don't do as much with this as I'd like, and I'm down to learn how I can do that. I'm a pretty good ally to the local LGBTs and I vote blue, but I could do more.

    - Ending Food Scarcity - This is one where I do the most, cause I have a farm. Wife and I do the farmer's market on Saturdays (starting this year) and we always make a bunch of extra stuff to give away to anyone who wants/needs it. I also try to at least quarterly do a full day at the food bank, packing food backpacks for kids so they've got two square meals on them if they need them. Past that I donate money to the food bank also, even when I volunteer for the day.

    - Environmentalism - I'm a hippie. I want to die with a lower carbon footprint than Ed Begley Jr or Bill Nye. Eventually I want this whole farm to run off wind and solar. I pick up litter where I find it, I recycle, and upcycle. I get clothes from thrift stores when possible (majority of the time unless I have a wedding or funeral) I want to start selling upcycled tote bags for groceries at my market stand and maybe start actually melting down my own aluminum for projects. I've messed with heating and reforming HDPE2 (#2 Plastic) and I'd like to do more of that.

    So what you got for me?

    Also if you're looking to donate to a good place that feeds a lot of fucking people

    https://www.secondharvestmidtn.org/

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    Something that I do on a regular basis (although I haven't done this year) is help with sorting food donations at local food banks. They rely on volunteers to help sort food that gets donated, and then package it based on needs and various criteria. This is very labor intensive work, and what helps more than money or food (which they will both accept, don't get me wrong) is your TIME, which is quite precious.

    A new charity that I got to assist with this year was helping with fundraising for a local children's musical workshop. Every year, this community music center gives a bunch of music lessons and scholarships to various kids so they can learn how to sing or play an instrument. This greatly aligns with my personal interests (as most of my free time is spent singing a cappella music in various groups), so it was quite fun.

    8i1dt37buh2m.png
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    That's awesome, and I 100% agree what a food bank needs is your time.

    My future thoughts are that I'd like to eventually maybe take in some foster pets when the local shelter is at capacity, (we've adopted all of our dogs from the same shelter and donate, but we don't volunteer there, they're pretty well staffed) and maybe one day have a camp site for GSA/BSA troops to come out for their merit badge stuff. I was never in that program, but they used to come out to an archery club I was at for their wilderness survival stuff and I showed them how to make a fire by rubbing sticks together and using a flint and steel, it was fun!

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    hlprmnkyhlprmnky Registered User regular
    One thing we’ve been doing for over a decade at this point is giving $10 a month to Doctors Without Borders. It’s not giving time in my community but as far as giving money to an organization, my theory has been that the organization going in and helping people when everyone else is running in the other direction is probably about the best value per dollar I can get. I really appreciate you taking the time to put this thread together @amateurhour - I hope to get inspired to do educated about more ways to help closer to home by following it.

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    ReznikReznik Registered User regular
    +1 Doctors Without Borders, they are my main non-local charity. Absolute superheroes there.

    Locally, I donate to the humane society monthly. There are so many strays and so many surrendered/abandoned pandemic pets.

    I'd like to do more but I'm goddamn tired all the time, so for now chipping in a few bucks is what I can do.

    Do... Re.... Mi... Ti... La...
    Do... Re... Mi... So... Fa.... Do... Re.... Do...
    Forget it...
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    We signed up for Heifer for a bit. I'm happy to have donated and I like what they stood for on paper, but I'm still doing research on whether or not they're a net positive or net negative.

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    AtomikaAtomika Live fast and get fucked or whatever Registered User regular
    I donate to the Children’s Health Fund, Last Prisoner Project, and local LGBT charities. I also work with at-risk communities and help manage HIV medication tracking for all of Washington state, and give seminars to doctors and providers about modernizing their understanding of LGBT healthcare needs and considerations.

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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    I have recurring monthly donations to UNHCR, Doctors Without Borders, and the Fred Hollows Foundation. Fred Hollows was the first because it's to buy synthetic lenses which can restore eyesight in third world countries - basically the sheer amount of difference going from "blind to not blind" must make to someone is immense.

    I've also donated a bunch of money to a few Ukrainian war causes. It's not tax deductible but fuck Putin.

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    syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Heifer in the past. I like the idea of donating livestock and my family would come together annually and do that at Christmas instead of getting big gifts for each other.

    Currently World Central Kitchen and Doctors Without Borders gets money from me because those two groups are doing gods’ work right now.

    I occasionally send money to HRC.

    And Summer donates a TON of time with animal rescues and helps find homes for the pets of people who have passed away.

    I am way too busy to donate my time, but I have no issue throwing a bunch of my ill-gotten spoils of capitalism at the problems that I can see and help solve.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    I've never deducted charity on my taxes. Not for some moral standpoint, I just don't have to itemize, my shit's pretty simple (at the moment, in a few more years when we've got three income streams and a working farm, I'll need to itemize)

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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited June 30
    My partner and I donate 11% of our pre-tax income to charity because we want to outdo the Mormons.

    We have a spreadsheet that we at least try to keep up to date. The big ones right now are a lot of donations to large groups of charities thanks to the ActBlue bundling thing that support abortion access, trans rights, food insecurity, immigrant and refugee rights, and bail funds. Actually that reminds me I need to update the spreadsheet. In general I think it helps to have a budget because it's set aside and you don't really think about it and then at the end of the year you're like oh yeah I provided 50,000 meals that's great! And obviously 11% is arbitrary, but having it be a percentage of your income means you don't have to spend too much time thinking about if you can afford to give $X/mo to a cause.

    Then for donating my time I’ve mostly been doing local politics stuff, which means a ton of canvassing and phonebanking. And trying my damndest to get all my nice introverted friends to come out and do it with me. There's so much stuff to do locally and it's generally just like a combination of achingly boring and also kinda weird to navigate, but I think it's worthwhile. Town council drama all seems so small-time but it also determines whether or not we're actually going to get critical infrastructure repaired in time or ever improve a lot of things. It's ideally not something you leave up to the most curmudgeonly retirees.

    Edit: We also basically never deduct because some part of our contributions is always going to action funds and non-501c(3) places and the standard deduction keeps skyrocketing so you'd need to donate like $30,000 as a couple to strictly tax-deductible places.

    durandal4532 on
    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
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    spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited June 30
    We're donating to the Trevor Project, HRC, and the Bail Project, to a fund that helps run the rural Pride event, to the DNCC, and to the local Dems as well. We're both NAACP members. We're active in the local scene trying to turn the 85-15 vote split into 75-25 in this rural Texas county.

    We also donate to public radio, and to The Paramount Theater in Austin. :)

    spool32 on
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    zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    This year we are donating to Biden, the DNC, and about a half dozen local candidates we like.

    We also donate to the World Wildlife Fund and a local animal rescue, usually a good sized donation to each at the end of the year.

    It's not a monetary donation, but we are reaching out to the Ruffled Grouse and American Woodcock foundation along with a foundation that's trying to reintroduce blight-resistant chestnut trees to see if a chunk of our property in Tennessee would be good habitat for preserving those species.

    Less organized donations we contribute to the school and work backpack / coat drives and to their food bank drives when they have them. This past spring we bought softball gloves and facemasks for the girls on my daughter's team who didn't have / couldn't afford them.

    Beyond that I'll usually donate $25 or $50 and sign petitions when good causes (Clean Water, stuff like that) do canvassing in our neighborhood but that's usually pretty random.

    I try to be active on our local traffic calming / pedestrian safety committees and with the local public school but honestly haven't attended many municipal or school board meetings since COVID beyond some budget stuff.

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    BSoBBSoB Registered User regular
    edited June 30
    My son just started Volunteering with the local animal humane shelter with a program they call page pals.

    What he does is goes down and reads to stray cats and kittens to get them used to being around humans and make them more adoptable.

    It's like a quad win for anyone with kids 6+. There is a dog version but you must be 16+ and take a couple (extra) safety classes. The cat reading only takes one short class before you can start.

    He gets to learn the value of volunteering, practice reading and be around cats (which he loves). Also the cats get help they need.

    (As a parent you do have to be able to steel yourself against the weekly requests to adopt a new animal. )

    https://animalhumanenm.org/get-involved-2/volunteer/

    BSoB on
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    ReznikReznik Registered User regular
    coincidentally, Summer Games Done Quick started today and they're raising money for Doctors Without Borders, if you like some speedrunning to go along with your charitable donations. https://crowd.gamesdonequick.com/

    Do... Re.... Mi... Ti... La...
    Do... Re... Mi... So... Fa.... Do... Re.... Do...
    Forget it...
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    Martini_PhilosopherMartini_Philosopher Registered User regular
    It varies from year to year.

    Donated to several charities. In 2016, our Christmas presents to our friends were donations in their names to places like food banks and The Trevor Project. I can't remember them all. The largest, corporate backed local food related charity, Harvesters, tends to get a lot of our attention and dollars because they will pick up leftovers for hot food kitchens to redistribute and fresh veggies & ingredients near their sell-by date for same day handouts. I spent one summer working with my now former job's summer urban garden project for them.

    We tend to avoid church related charities due to many of them being associated to anti-LGBTQ religious movements. And living in the Heartland makes it somewhat difficult to have a strong, local impact because of how many of them are associated around here.

    My wife and end up donating to the IFC and Kiva a lot of the time because of that.

    All opinions are my own and in no way reflect that of my employer.
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    durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    Speaking of canvassing, I went out and hit around 75 or so houses today and took a break in between to do some voter registration at an event in a local park. It was nice! Saw some good dogs, talked to a lot of nice people, registered around a dozen voters. The general vibe was ‘my main issue is I hate trump so much I would vote for literally anyone on the Dem ticket”

    Except the one RFK supporter who said they’d do their own research so I shouldn’t tell them any new facts or opinions to try to sway them.

    Take a moment to donate what you can to Critical Resistance and Black Lives Matter.
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    TefTef Registered User regular
    This is a nice thread topic!

    I set up a program with my brother where we partnered with an organisation who get young gang bangers off the street. We help them transition into a more mainstream lifestyle by teaching them some life skills (budgeting, cooking etc) and get them started into the trades. The agreement is if they can hang with us for 6 months (paid) doing construction work, then we will link them up with our clients and they will get a fully paid apprenticeship. Of 40 kids, 23 of them have been in apprenticeships for more than 2 years, and 11 of those who dropped out went on to hold down other full time jobs, just not in construction or fabrication. Two of the guys made the Prime Minister’s award for excellence in youth vocational education, and one of them, who is a final year carpentry apprentice, is in the running to be national apprentice of the year. One of the most powerful moments in my life was going to the Prime Minister’s award ceremony for that last young fella with his mum and his grandma. He gets off the stage, grabs me in a big bear hug and whispers in my ear, “I wish you were my dad”. I will carry that moment for the rest of my life.

    The work these guys did was building tiny homes, which we then turned into accomodation for long term homeless people, and people fleeing domestic violence.

    I’ve since moved countries and that work has scaled back a fair bit, but it’s still going on without us, which is cool to see.

    I get involved in a bunch of small scale stuff. Helping set up and run a community garden, a toy library, we got our hands on an old workshop and we fit it out properly. a bunch of folks, mainly retirees, volunteer their time to fix stuff (furniture, household electronics, minor car stuff, and small motor mechanical stuff) for people who can’t afford to replace their gear or get it fixed in a shop. We set up a thing for young underemployed people to do yard work for pensioners and disabled folks who can’t do it themselves. I’d love to do more with that but between my baby daughter and my new job, I just don’t have the time nor the energy.

    I do some mentoring and go-fer type work for a group that’s finding accomodation for queer youth thrown out of their homes by their families.

    Do some work with some anti-fascists (strictly all legal and above board, not burning down a Target or anything like that)

    I do a bit of coaching, mentoring and pro-bono management consulting for collectives who are trying to get stuff off the ground but just don’t really have a strong grasp on setting this sort of thing up.

    help a fellow forumer meet their mental health care needs because USA healthcare sucks!

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better

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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Hey can you elaborate on this a bit?

    I do some mentoring and go-fer type work for a group that’s finding accomodation for queer youth thrown out of their homes by their families.


    That's something weef and I have discussed but kinda know nothing about it.

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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Also everyone who has posted so far...

    GOOD JOB©

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    hlprmnkyhlprmnky Registered User regular
    @Tef could you also elaborate a little on
    I do a bit of coaching, mentoring and pro-bono management consulting for collectives who are trying to get stuff off the ground but just don’t really have a strong grasp on setting this sort of thing up., specifically any details or advice around finding candidate groups, getting them to understand the value proposition, and building a “client portfolio” which might be transferable to a different geographical market? I completed an MBA this summer and while the original driver for going was to be able to say to colleagues “your mind tricks don’t work on me, because I have also been to your business school”, to my dismay I found that I have some aptitude for solving organizational and business problems and enjoy so doing. I would love to put those skills to work for people who are trying to do good things.

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    TefTef Registered User regular
    Sure! None of it was an intentional effort to seek that sort of work out, unfortunately. It was incidental, where I was doing work with groups and opportunity arose. that first group saw value in my advice, and it just grew by word of mouth. It can be real hard to get going, at least it was for me. I mean, I’m pretty cop-coded (big, white, beard, middle aged, etc) and most folks tend to be pretty concerned about divulging too much to people they don’t trust implicitly. Not that they were doing anything illegal, but it’s a pretty common sentiment amongst lefty groups given the uh, history.

    What gave me a start was doing some work with a group who do working migrant welfare stuff. There’s a lot of misinformation pushed by employers on migrant rights, so I wrote this group up a white paper on the ins and outs of the migrant work visa system, which also included a bunch of stuff on OHS legislation. This then led to them seeking me out on other bits and pieces and eventually, some work with a migrant workers union itself as they were having some drama with some perceived mismanagement of union dues (it was a misunderstanding, there was nothing untoward going on that I saw). This led to just random coaching opportunities on like, running effective meetings, some basic book keeping, scheduling, etc. I have tried approaching groups and saying “hey, I did [x] for this other group, let me know if you want help” and it never led anywhere. It wa only ever when it was like, “hey, I told this person about what you did for us with blah blah, and they want to ask you about some stuff”

    help a fellow forumer meet their mental health care needs because USA healthcare sucks!

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better

    bit.ly/2XQM1ke
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 1
    I spend ~two hours every Saturday at the local food pantry. Mostly doing clerical work moreso than bagging things because a lot of nonprofit places need better tech support and help cleaning up database entries. Like... basic tech support. We also have recurring monthly donations to:

    -ACLU
    -Brave Space Alliance
    -Care for Real
    -Catholic Charities
    -Global Polio Eradication Initiative
    -Greater Chicago Food Depository
    -League of Women Voters
    -Neo-Futurists
    -Paws Chicago
    -Planned Parenthood
    -Refugee One
    -Working in the Schools

    moniker on
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    TefTef Registered User regular
    Also just to flip this around a bit, I think it would be good to talk about when we have received charity, and talk about the impact that has had. I think it is all too common for people to get wrapped up in feelings of shame for needing help, and while everyone loves to be the magnanimous benefactor, it takes the grace to accept help to make bond of communal love happen

    For me, when I was a teen, I was struggling to accept my bisexuality, and was in a pretty dark place from about 16 to 24. I had a female work colleague who spent two years working on me, getting me to go out on our time off, be involved in the queer community, and taught me to love myself. I was like and emotional sponge during that time, but she kept putting her time and energy into me, and I really don’t think o would be where I am today without her.

    More recently, I lost my rental house in some bad flooding. When my community found out, people leapt into action to help me and my family out. I’ll never forget getting home to my temporary accomodation from a long day at work, and bunch of my comrades were there, with everything that could be salvaged from my house. While I was at work, they had gone around with cars and trailers, and fully cleared out my house for me. The sense of love I felt when I realised what they had done for me instantly energises me, years later

    help a fellow forumer meet their mental health care needs because USA healthcare sucks!

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better

    bit.ly/2XQM1ke
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    TefTef Registered User regular
    Hey can you elaborate on this a bit?

    I do some mentoring and go-fer type work for a group that’s finding accomodation for queer youth thrown out of their homes by their families.


    That's something weef and I have discussed but kinda know nothing about it.

    Most of my stuff is like, driving people to appointments and such, or helping them move into new accomodation, take them for grocery store runs and stuff like that. This group I’m involved with I met through some pro-Palestine work I did. I don’t know your situation, naturally, but I imagine there are a bunch of groups in your area doing stuff. Literally just reaching out them like, “hey we got a car, we would be happy to do an evening week if you need someone to drive people or stuff around”.

    help a fellow forumer meet their mental health care needs because USA healthcare sucks!

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better

    bit.ly/2XQM1ke
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    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Thank you for that! I honestly hadn't considered it.

    You bring up a good point about receiving charity.

    I've filed bankruptcy and been on unemployment. I absolutely am thankful for government services even if they could always be better.

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    furlionfurlion Riskbreaker Lea MondeRegistered User regular
    edited July 8
    I am volunteering at my son's summer camp. It is called Camp 42 and is a secular focused camp for kids of all walks of life to come and find others like them. As part of that i am 3d printing 80 pop pop boats for the kids to assemble and play with to help them see science in action. In turn, my wife and i quality for the reduced tuition for the camp. I have way more time than i do money so i help out in that way when i can. Back in April my wife and I worked with her company, a non profit for victims of domestic abuse, and United Way to help rebuild my landlady's back porch. It was pretty rotted. Most of the people just showed up for one day but i helped prep the site so i put in another 10 or 15 hours the week before tearing down the old deck.

    Lastly, and this one is kind of a mixed bag, i donate platelets as many times per year as i can. Now i do get paid for this, but i am also one of the 1 in 10,000 or so who has a pretty bad reaction to the anticoagulant so i am fucking miserable the whole 2 hours. Like on the verge of vomiting for the last hour or so, feet propped up, ice pack on the back of the neck, etc. I consider it a wash for the money i get because it is only like $35 and i would gladly pay that much money not to feel like that during the donation process.

    furlion on
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