As most of you know, I am very much so a big child care and protection advocate. I’ve spent a lot of time working with children and though I don’t lay that aspect on in my novels (I don’t like preaching at people), I still like to try to raise awareness for different issues where possible.
As the Holiday season comes to a close, I wanted to let everyone know about a few great charities if you’re looking for a good new years resolution or a charity for next Christmas…
#1. St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital:
This Hospital is an absolutely wonderful organization. Founded in 1962, St. Jude’s is a research Hospital tackling childhood illnesses and diseases in the hopes of finding a cure. One of their big focuses has always been Leukemia, and since the hospital’s inception, the survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia has gone from just 4% in ’62 to over 94% today. That is absolutely amazing.
81% of every dollar donated to the hospital goes directly help people. Roughly half goes to patient care and half goes to research. This is a hospital that is a 503c charity and is one of a few pediatric research organizations in the United States where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay.
So if you’ve got a little money to spare and want to give to a cause that continuously helps countless people on a daily basis, this is truly one of the best.
Check out their website above if you’d like to get involved, and click here to donate.
#2 Toys for Tots
That commercial always warmed my heart around the Holiday season. Yes it’s more of a Christmas organization, but it’s still worth mentioning. This is a charity organization that is run by U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and delivers toys to less fortunate children whose parents otherwise couldn’t afford presents. Over 97% of your donations goes to our mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children. Less than 3% go to operating costs.
Where to donate? Click here to give money or buy a couple of toys and keep an eye open for places with this logo around the holidays where you can go to drop them off:
#3 The Ronald McDonald House Charities:
I don’t even know where to start with this one… Globally, there are currently 322 locations in 63 various countries. Ronald McDonald Houses act as a place to stay for families with hospitalized children who are receiving treatment and is only accessible to families who reside within a prescribed distance from the treating hospital as determined by the board. Ronald McDonald’s Houses provide over 7,200 bedrooms to families around the world each night, with an estimated value of $700 million in lieu of hotel costs. That doesn’t include the number of family rooms and mobile homes that they also have available!
If that weren’t enough, in 1997, The Ronald McDonald’s Learning Program was formed in Australia to help children who had suffered serious illness and returned to school. The stated mission of the program is to provide educational support to these children who have fallen behind in their education. It’s the only one of its kind in that country.
Where to donate?
Visit pretty much any McDonald’s restaurant around the country. There are drop boxes and donation bins or click here.
#4 The Home for Little Wanderers:
This is one that I’ve spoken of before. I worked here for 3+ years right out of college as both a direct care worker and a teacher. It is a wonderful program, especially around New England that offers a safe haven for children that have no home, are no longer capable of living at home, or are taken from broken homes due to abusive or neglectful parents. These kids deserve all the love and care in the world and have barely been given a chance at life.
It is also one of the oldest programs of… well any kind. Originally founded as an orphanage in 1799, The Home today plays a huge role in delivering services to thousands of children and families each year through a system of residential, community-based and prevention programs, direct care services, and advocacy.
Um Jim… Harrington house???
Yes, in case anyone is wondering, the Boston location was dedicated to my grandparents after my family helped secure and renovate the property for the The Home For Little Wanderers. So I guess you could say that child advocacy runs in the family.
Where to donate:
Click Here or if you live in the New England Area, keep an eye open for fundraiser events!
Last but CERTAINLY not least:
#5. Children’s Hospital Boston.
Ugh… Excuse me… I need a moment…
That is a hard image for me to look at without tearing up… I fail each time and yes, I’ll admit to a little bit of emotional blackmail on the part of the charity with that picture, but it is damn effective… especially if you have had a child that was in a position like that (which I have).
This is one of the most famous and most venerable children’s hospitals in the world. They’ve had issues over the years politically, but that is far overshadowed by the immense work that they’ve done. With more than 680,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory space, Children’s is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center. Its discoveries have benefited children and adults since 1869.
Two scientists working at Children’s have won the Nobel Prize and 5 have won the Lasker Award which is given for major contributions to medical science.
It is truly an amazing organization with connections to Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s hospitals.
I remember when my son was here, never once were we asked to leave the room during his care, we had doctors, nurses, and even a priest come by to ask if we need anything. We were kept in the loop constantly whether on site or not, and still feel we owe a lot to the wonderful care our boy received. Today he is a healthy five-year-old whom, excepting a scar on his stomach, you would never know had been through such a traumatic ordeal.
Where to donate:
I usually put a little shameless self-promotion down here. Not today, go back up!