Giving, In Good Times and Bad

Times are tough. So why should we give? For one, no matter how little we think we have, there’s probably someone else who has less. And two, it just feels good to help someone in need. Whether you have money or not, here are 9 great places to give. Some won’t even cost you a cent! Don’t forget to check out They’ll tell you how well these charities do at managing your donations.


Your local food pantry
In this part of CT, I’d recommend MACC in Manchester or the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic. They’re really hurting right now. Volunteer your time or donate food & cash to keep them running.

Ethiopia Reads
This organization plants libraries in Ethiopia, where children have had very little access to books. It started with one man & his donkey pulling his cart of books through the villages. Who wouldn’t love that?

World Vision
They provide a variety of aid. They have a great gift giving catalog.

Compassion International
Sponsor a child for $38 per month. Correspond with your child by writing letters to each other.

Samaritan’s Purse
They provide a variety of aid, but I’m especially fond of “Operation Christmas Child.” Fill a shoebox with small gifts for a girl or a boy and track where your box goes.

American Red Cross
Give blood. It’s free. Better yet, they pay YOU with packages of free cookies & juice. I have to say, I’m a little bitter that they wouldn’t take a million dollars from the Dixie Chicks after Hurricane Katrina. They can have my blood, but I’d rather donate my money somewhere else. :)

Heifer Project International
You “purchase” an animal for someone in need (which provides them with food and income) and they have to pay it forward (by sharing knowledge, passing on offspring, etc). It creates a life of sustainability & hope.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand
Have a lemonade stand and raise money for pediatric cancer research.

This is one of my favorites. A $25 loan can help a woman in Peru buy vegetables for her market. She pays you back. You can relend to someone else, or get your money back through PayPal.

Help me find a 10th great place to give. What’s your favorite charity?



Children are inspiring! Logan’s friend Kai held a handful of bake sales to raise money for the the relief efforts in Japan, where his grandmother and Aunt live. He donated the amount ($592.99!) to World Vision.


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