Lyndsey Schley is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]
Brace yourself: The charities are coming. As December arrives, many organizations begin raising money outside stores. Shops begin asking you whether you want to donate to charity X as you check out. Donation solicitations are everywhere.
This soliciting can become overwhelming, and I do not suggest giving to everyone who asks you. Instead, in this coming month, I urge you to donate either $10 or a few hours of your time to the cause of your choice.
Kiva is a great nonprofit organization that offers small loans to impoverished individuals around the world who often have trouble finding capital to improve their businesses and lives. Kiva connects lenders with thousands of people looking for loans. You get to pick whether you’d like to help Sobia from Pakistan purchase a new sewing machine for her tailoring business, or Efren from the Philippines buy fertilizers and pesticides for his farm.
If your borrower pays you back — which is likely, since Kiva has a 99 percent repayment rate — you can take the profit and lend it to another cause. While the minimum initial donation is $25, that money could potentially be used again and again to help many people.
Of course, there are plenty of classic charities you can help. The Red Cross is known for its disaster relief and blood drives. Habitat for Humanity helps build and repair homes for the needy. Goodwill offers job training and placement services, which are partially funded by its stores; you can even help out by donating used clothing and household items for them to sell.
If you’re an animal lover, Pawsibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron is great local organization to support. The organization both runs a shelter and responds to reports of neglect and abuse. My grandparents adopted Barney, their Australian shepherd, there a few years ago. They were given great information on how to care for their new family member, and it was easy to tell that all the animals were treated well.
Some people prefer to give with their time rather than their money. If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, this Saturday is the year’s last Super Service Saturday, where transportation is provided to take you to work with one of six local charities. The trips start at around 8 a.m., and participants return no later than 1 p.m., according to the website. Registration is required. Information and registration is available on the university’s website.
Knitters or crocheters also can use their skills for good. Knitting for Those in Need is a student organization that makes warm clothing for the needy. Warm Up Akron is another organization that makes afghans for a number of organizations.
All of these are only suggestions. If there is a cause you are passionate about, there is a charity or organization out there to support it. Charitynavigator.org is a website that provides information and ratings for charities, and you can search by cause.
One way or another, take the opportunity to give to a worthwhile cause this holiday season, and feel free to feel good about it because you are making the world a better place.