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Ending the year on a charitable note …

December 30th, 2011 · 1 Comment

This is a tough time for many in this nation and around the globe.

And, our local, national, and global challenges are hard to overstate.

My household, due to luck and good fortune with some hard work and effort thrown into the mix is not as troubled as too many others when it comes to finances even as we are greatly concerned about others challenges and the larger challenges in front of us all.

Even as we have done a reasonable noticeable amount of donations and charity (along with a range of volunteer work, such as both myself and my better 95+% serving on non-profit boards, serving as volunteer in government advisory boards, and …), the end of year provides a reflective (along with tax-driven) moment to up our charitable ante.

Join me after the fold for a note about some of those end-of-year checks and join the conversation in the comments about your donation preferences, gaps in my donation cycle (some money reserved to see if comments drive me to places that I haven’t considered), what (issues/etc …) merit focus and prioritization, etc …

A quick additional note before a list, we have given over the year to a range of charities including local (NPR station, volunteer fire department), food banks (and equivalent), international relief organizations and development groups (Technoserve as a favorite), and UN organizations (both UNICEF and UNHCR) along with furniture, clothing and other (lightly) used household goods to local housing groups. And, not exactly charity, we have contributed to a range of politicians (local to national) through the year along with those noted below. Thus, this is a note about the end of year contributions to add to this list.

Heifer International: Each year, the children put together some of their savings from the year along with matching parent contributions. Giving animals (bee hives and otherwise) via Heifer is their favorite charity and they debate with each other about what animals they want to help provide.

Environmental Organizations: Today, checks are going out to, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and National Wildlife Foundation. RE 350, does one really need to say anything beyond Bill McKibben and the approach to globalize climate change activism. Who would have thought they could transform a number into such a powerful political statement? While I have moderate disagreements with some FOE stances, along with many other Green Group heads, their director (Erich Pica) is someone I respect, who brings a high-quality analytical mind along with a skilled ability to communicate to the table. Erich, hopefully, will increasingly be someone to be reckoned with when it comes to political decision-making on environmental issues. Moving beyond my respect for the new Executive Director Michael Brune, Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal and Beyond Oil campaigns merit our support (even though they are too enraptured with natural gas as a ‘bridge’ to a cleaner energy economy) and, well, I do appreciate the quality of writing in their magazine. If for no other reason, Greenpeace gets in the bucket for their Faceboook campaign. And, NWF gets a check today for two reasons — a series of excellent short reports looking at climate change impacts in different ways that can resonate with the media and portions of the public (such as this one re increasing allergy problems with a warming globe) along with a tip of the hat thanks to one of their staffers, blogger Green Miles (Grant) (note: his blogging is not part of his day job).

Clean Energy, Efficiency, and Environmental Action. When it comes to clean-energy deployment, I like supporting integrated cooking — paths to help replace burning biomass for cooking. Thus, money out the door today to Solar Household Energy (SHE-Inc) and Solar Cooking International. And, again a check to Solar Electric Light Fund who has been doing things like helping with solar powered hospitals in Haiti. The Green Belt Movement inspires me with its efforts to help improve people’s lives in the near term while supporting larger objectives though mass tree planting.

Local: Checks out today to four ‘organizations’: a women’s shelter, a community food bank, a housing group, and the county library.

And, some end of year political donations are going out to Energy Smart candidates / politicians like Darcy Burner, Martin Heinrich, and a few others.

Good news is bad news (and vice versa …). A good news item — there are literally 1000s of institutions worthy of contributions out there. And, well, the bad news is essentially none of them are rolling in dough, the challenges are immense, and (short of Bill Gates) none of us can donate to all worthy charities. However, at the end of year, time to share a bit of ‘our’ good fortune to help ameliorate challenges (from individual to the globe) in one element of an effort to be part of the solution(s) …

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Tags: environmental

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 jam // Dec 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Engineers Without Borders … yes, an excellent organization … thanks.