This year help is needed more than ever, there is a decent chance many of my relatives will be getting “donation in your name” gifts. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun! Here are some of the groups that I particularly like, with a filmi explanation for why you should care. (I feel bad not including any Indian organizations, but I am nervous about endorsing the wrong ones since I don’t know enough about their work on the ground level. All the ones listed below I know well and can confidently endorse)
Southern Poverty Law Center: Founded in 1971, with a goal of using the recently passed Civil Rights laws to defend the oppressed of society. I first ran across the group while researching a paper on My Name is Khan. They were the only group tracking hate crimes against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslims.
Give them money if you want America to be more like this:
And less like this:
Okay, that was national, getting a little more local, Howard Brown Health Center: founded in 1974, by 4 gay medical students who offered free non-judgemental health care and counseling. Moved rapidly in response to the AIDs crisis, for instance founding Chicago’s 24 hour AIDs hotline in 1985. It now has 3 separate locations through out the city, with services ranging from healthcare to sensitivity training for health professionals to services for LGBT elderly. Oh, and it is named for Howard Brown, former City Health Inspector for the city of New York, and one of the founders of the National LGBTQ Task Force, which you can also donate to!
Donate to either of them if you want America to be a little less like this:
And more like this:
And finally, the super local, Donors Choose. Which is a wonderful service connecting classroom teachers with people who can help them buy supplies. You can find a project to support blocks away from you, or all the way across the country. A few years back, my Christmas gift to my grandmother was paying for poetry books for a first grade class in her hometown.