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Which charities do you support?
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clotilde
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:42 pm    Post subject: Which charities do you support? Reply with quote

I've decided to allocate some blog space to a different charity or NGO each month, adding it to the right-hand side of every page of Chocolate & Zucchini, with a link to their donation page.

The first one I've chosen is Trees for the Future, which funds reforestation projects. I tend to be drawn to organizations that address environmental issues, fight poverty, and/or help developing countries help themselves, but I would love to hear your suggestions of charities I could feature next. I'd also be interested to know why you feel strongly about it, and whether you have a personal connection to it.

Because the readers of Chocolate & Zucchini live all over the world, I think it would be better to promote organizations that have an international rather than a local reach, but perhaps I'm wrong -- I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. In any case, they would need to have a website on which one can easily make an online donation.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you want to share!
Clotilde.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The S.P.C.A. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ) and the Humane Society are my two main charities since the furry ones have given me far more than I could ever give them. And The Pink Ribbon Campaign which works to raise money for breast cancer research is next on the list.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thank you Clotilde, for this idea!
I hope everyone will first think of our earth-- we're all in big trouble without it.
Rich and I support the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, which simply buys land and keeps it completely undeveloped, for wildlife. They have protected about 5 million acres so far in North America. (Not limited to the Rocky Mountains, by the way.)

We also give to Planned Parenthood, believing that the world's population has gotta quit growing!
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caridade



Joined: 25 Aug 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little biased, but I work for a fantastic and effective non-profit. TechnoServe is a US based international development non-profit - focused on fighting poverty for nearly 40 years by helping entrepreneurial men and women build business that create wealth for their families, opportunities and employment for their communities and markets for rural producers. TechnoServe principally works in agricultural value chains - with individual entrepreneurs and farmer cooperatives in 15 countries across Latin America, Africa, and more recently India. Business solutions for rural poverty.

what's more is that there is quite a bit of fabulous food coming from the farmers and entrepreneurs - cashews from Mozambique and now from Kenya and Tanzania, high quality coffee from Tanzania, Rwanda and across Central America, artisanal cheeses from dairies in El Salvador and fresh milk from farmer cooperatives in Kenya, banana in Kenya, pineapples from Ghana and South Africa. It is a pleasure to visit the projects, because you always eat quite well! Smile
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great initiative Clotilde. I nominate Doctors Without Borders. I personally am always in favour of donating to all Cancer Research.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a lovely idea!

We give to Medecins sans Frontieres. Brave healers who give their skills to people without adequate care. I'm sure everyone knows about them already. They're the first into any tragedy anywhere. May their tribe increase! And, at least, let's celebrate them.

Also Habitat for Humanity which may not be familiar to people outside the US. This is an organization that provides single family homes for people who can't afford reasonable housing in which to raise their families. People qualify for a HfH home by putting in hours working for the organization including time spent winging a hammer and sweeping up building debris. So, by the time they get to the top of the list, they are fully committed to keeping their home and qualified to do much of the maintenance for themselves. These homes are located in communities of other HfH families so they have the support of other responsible families moving up out of poverty. This organization changes lives and futures.

And also, and possibly most importantly of all, National Public Radio in the US. If you follow the contemporary American scene you are probably aware of how insular and non-responsive our government has become. You may not realize that this is possible, in large measure, because laws concerning media (newspapers, radio & TV stations) have changed to allow individuals to own larger and larger blocks of our media. These individuals are almost exclusively from the conservative political wing. So fewer points of view are heard and even less disclosure of how our White House and entire government and industry operate. National Public Radio, meanwhile, maintains excellent non-partisan news reporting and unparalled coverage of cultural and local stories despite the fact that their funding has been severely cut back annually for many years and legislators are pushing them hard to admit members (foxes) into their boards (henhouses?). Saving the independent flow of information may be the only thing that slows our slide into ignorance, fear and fascism. [OK, I apologize for being dramatic but I'm honestly scared of where this country is going.]

If I remember correctly, Clotilde, haven't you done an NPR interview? Or will soon, I have no doubt! If you haven't we should suggest that they DO interview you to be sure!

Those are our big three. If I think of or hear of other productive, worthy efforts I'll pass them on. Again, what a wonderful, creative and magnanimous undertaking! HOORAY for using all this well-deserved celebrity for something that helps others!
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hear hear!

As we all know, I will support any charity that is involved with animals - especially cats and native wildlife.

My other ones are cancer charities. I will always, always, always donate to them. They have saved the lives of my Mum and I through their research, as well as countless others. It is the least I can do to support them.

I also believe in supporting orphanages and aged care charities. Often they are the ones that are forgotten, and rarely are they ever publicised enough to make a difference to their funding.
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swan



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 450
Location: a Dutchie in HongKong

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I support cancer sesearch, and donate to the Aids foundation, Doctors without Borders, the World Wildlife Fund and Oxfam-Novib, because they do good in bad and poor situations and I love that they have things like the possibility to buy a goat or chickens or a tree or a well or schoolbooks - as a symbolic present for that someone's birthday who already has everything else. You don't really bring a present - buy hey, you did, you gave a goat in Afrika!
And I support one that I think is important, a national Dutch charity (stichting de Zonnebloem, or in English the Sunflower foundation) that actually, fysically, helps handicapped people here in the Netherlands. They have a vacation ship completely adapted for handicapped people and mainly run by volunteers. They do things like renting out a mall on monday morning, (when the shops are usually closed in Holland), making sure they bring runways and things so that wheelchairs can get into every shop - and go shopping with people that cannot always do so themselves. That was a real eyeopener for me and made me decide to support them. The big things are good to sponsor, but the things around us can certainly use some help as well...
Oh, and I buy stamps which donate to good causes (children, elderly people), and when people come to my door to collect funds for good causes (is that a typical dutch thing or does that exist in other countrys as well, volunters who collect money by going from door to door?) they always get something from the coin-jar I specially keep in my hall-drawer.


Last edited by swan on Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bainst



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
Posts: 151
Location: Baghdad, Iraq

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to go with Rainey and the other who give to Doctors Without Borders. I give to them every year, I am a huge supporter of them. I am also a supporter of Africa Aids Watch, and the 46664, a charity started by Nelson Mandela to fight the AIDS pandemic.
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years, we've whittled our list to a few and donate to those more generously than sending smaller amounts to more charities. It's important to us to know that, whenever possible, most of our donation goes directly to those in need rather than toward overhead and salaries.

--Doctors Without Borders
--Project Open Hand (a San Francisco-based AIDS foundation)
--Smile Train (a new one for us...it provides medical help for children born with facial deformities, cleft palates, etc.)
--Sierra Club
--PBS and NPR
--Simon Wiesenthal Foundation
--ALS Foundation (supports research for ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease/ Motor Neuron Disease)

All of the organizations listed thus far are worthy and trustworthy, I believe. However, from experience, may I caution everyone to research where your generous donations go. I once made a donation to a group who promised to use it on children's activities; then I found out that 90% of that donation went into the retirement fund of the sponsoring professional group! I was steaming mad, but I learned my lesson. I am now very careful to do my homework, and I caution you to do the same.
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varnadore



Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 26
Location: Renton, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heifer Prject International. Helps people around the world feed themselves and pass on the gift to their neighbors. www.heifer.org
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in the USA, one known rater of charities is the Charity Navigator.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charity_Navigator

In the emotional days after 9-11, the $$ I sent to "NYC firemen" almost surely went astray, it does make you angry!!
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

swan- What a fantastic idea to outfit a vacation opportunity for people with handicaps! I hope that gets some attention because, apart from contributions, the importance of which shouldn't be underestimated, there's also an opportunity to make people aware of possibilities.

I suppose the closest thing we have here is camps for children with disabilities and debilitating illnesses. Gives them an opportunity to relax and not feel on display or quite so fragile.

One of the big supporters of such things is Paul Newman who formed a food company and donates ALL the profits to his charitable enterprises. He's raised and distributed tens if not hundreds of millions. Makes you feel good that someone who could use his name and his talent to continue enriching himself decided he had enough and put it to an effort that enriches mankind.

Not that his food enterprises need highlighting. It's good stuff and does very well indeed on it's own merits.

Thanks again to Clotilde for thinking of this. Just hearing how people help one another makes me feel safer and more welcome in the world!
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Griffin



Joined: 09 Jun 2006
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Location: England

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Similar to David, I support the RSPCA (in the UK - the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the World Wildlife Fund because what we as a species do to animals more often than not requires that we help them.

Cancer Research too, because my mum died because of Cancer and I have so many women friends to whom it could happen.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allocating space to discuss worthy charities is a lovely idea! As I was thinking about those charities I support and considering which might be good to recommend here, I happened to learn about an organization that I'd not heard of before: Chefs For Humanity. According to their website, their mission is to fight hunger, provide food nutrition education and emergency food relief when needed, and provide humanitarian aid worldwide.

Here is a link: www.chefsforhumanity.org

I saw their founder, Cat Cora, when she was interviewed for the French Culinary Institute PBS show.

This charity seems to pull together several important missions that appeal to me. They appear positioned to react when there is a need for example with the tsunami disaster as well as the Katrina situation); they also appear proactive by providing education about food and nutrition in areas that can benefit from it.

I was a bit tentative about posting a link regarding a charity that is so new to me, but it did seem to fit the theme here. I'd be very interested to know if anyone else is familiar with them.
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