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Anyone know a good charity for the holidays?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by john1, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. john1

    john1 Guest

    I was wondering if anyone knew of a charity for the holidays to give back to. I want to help feed people in need with a donation.

    I wanted to take a % from each job and then money on top of that and buy needed things for the homeless. I feel that is better than giving money so i know it will be put to good use.

    Be awesome to actually get food and give it to those people but not sure how to go about that either.

    Any help is appreciated, Thanks!
  2. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

    Mar 7, 2007
    Washington State
    Many cities have organized homeless communities or tent cities with strict rules. Many of them are comprised of folks like you and I except that they have lost their homes. They live in tents, cars, etc. Most have jobs of some sort and are drug/alcohol free. They have organized together in an effort to help each other try to get back on their feet while. Once you visit one you will be amazed at how rough things are out there for some yet how strong the human spirit is. The city can direct you where there is one. Most of the type of tent cities I am referring to are located in a large parking lot next to a church or on city properties with permission and regulations they must abide by. I donate to one here in the Seattle area and have hired some for labor with good results. Something to consider.......
  3. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    Toys for Tots & the local food bank are two good direct ways to give back
  4. binki

    binki Premium Subscriber

    Jul 23, 2007
    The PRC
    local food banks or salvation army. if you are near downtown los angeles there is a city-within-a-city of desparate folks and a number of places that feed them all year around and even more over the holidays.
  5. Farmboy

    Farmboy Active Member

    Feb 8, 2007
    Auburn, NY
    I believe most towns have a food bank, I know the ones around here are always hurting.
  6. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

    May 16, 2012
    Medina Ohio
    The Salvation Army is mine I will not give to the Red Cross.
  7. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    I think food banks and shelters are good ways to give with good faith that your donation will be used the way you intended.
    Donating to education may have a longer standing impact, but I don't know the channels to go through beside giving directly to local schools. We are getting ready to donate lots shop scraps to a local non-profit art school.
    Another way to help is donating a weekend to Habitat for Humanity, or helping them out with material.
    It's hard to tell which charity will best allocate your donation.
  8. thesignexpert

    thesignexpert Active Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    +1 for Toys for Tots. You can also check with your local churches. They often will adopt a family for the holidays and can always use community help.
  9. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Another + on Toys for Tots. Here they have a food bank called Harvest Hope Food Bank but there should be a good food bank in your area as well. Charity Navigator can help find one that is reputable and accountable. I'm also partial to charities that specialize in veterans who can use some assistance.
  10. webguru

    webguru Member

    Jun 7, 2008
    Keep in mind that the "people" you so desperately care about during the holiday's are also hungry in the middle of July.

    Not trying to cast a cloud over a good deed. I grew up a preachers son watching everyone "care" during the holiday season. Then as soon as the holiday season was gone, so were most of the donations for the needy. The same people they want to help at Xmas time, they turn their noses up at a month later.

    I can't imagine you need to ask where to find someone in need. They are all around us these days. Just look to your left and then to your right, I bet you can't tell who is hungry or not. Find a local food kitchen and donate some money if you like, but your time serving meals will leave you with a better feeling in your gut I bet.
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Many years ago, we would take literally grocery bags full of food to the local homeless shelter. We donated the signs for the place when it was built and after it opened we continued to take the food. This went on for about 9 or 10 years or so. Anyway, one year, they told us.... with our arms full of food, they didn't want it anymore. We were on the loading dock, unloading food. :omg: We were creating too much work for the workers, preparing the food. We were to take our food back and return with completely immediate edible foods, so no preparations were needed or time wasted.

    What a slap in the face. We took four bags filled with groceries, two huge turkeys along with pies and other goodies and gave them to another food bank of some sort.

    We never returned to that shelter again.

    We now are careful where we donate, since we find many places take money for administrative duties and the actual 'needy' don't get squat.

    It's hard to do good things and like mentioned, we tend to do this throughout the entire year, just at different places. Not always the same place seems to spread the wealth around a little bit better and on our terms.
  12. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    good place to start as both would be serving your local area. the other thing that is a nice idea to to look for a place like a local mall that has a tree with names on it that you can take and fill the wishes. a drug store chain has one for people in nursing homes which is what I am going to do as there are so many lonely people that could use a little feeling of human kindness.
  13. webguru

    webguru Member

    Jun 7, 2008

    No more than you just did.
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Yeah, but that's what YOU see him drive to and fro work. :thumb:

    What's he driving around in on his Sunday afternoon drives ?? :Oops:​
  15. webguru

    webguru Member

    Jun 7, 2008
    Thus trying to qualify or "judge" the reasoning behind my statement.

    And my point was if you read the entire post, most people don't think about others needing help other times of the year.

    This is why I suggested a monetary donation as well as a time donation. Gino stated in a prior post about the donated food causing more work for the people preparing the food. Thus the suggestion to donate time. I agree with the admin costs of charities being out of hand in some cases, that is why people need to look into where the money goes. On the other hand, if there were more people willing to donate time, the need to pay people to do it would be decreased.
  16. signswi

    signswi Very Active Member

    Oct 29, 2009
    Hey look, I'm the exact opposite! Salvation Army is evil and I won't have any part of it.

    Doctors without Borders is an excellent non-profit, but whichever non-profit any one of you ends up donating to make sure to check them out with charity navigator first.

    Gino, non-profits dedicated to hunger prefer money to physical food as the overhead is much more costly and it ends up being a less efficient use of every single one of their resources (funds, person hours, etc.). They can feed a lot more people with the money you spent on that food than with the food itself.
  17. webguru

    webguru Member

    Jun 7, 2008
    No harm no foul.
  18. john1

    john1 Guest

    Thanks guys, I was thinking of the local food bank but i have heard there are people not so needy taking advantage of them and i really wanted to help a real person who needed it or persons.

    Me and some friends are thinking about adopting a family or two, I guess as someone suggested....a church would be the place to start looking?

    Stinks the guys and girls on the corners here in town are frauds or i would offer to help them out. Heck one kid i went to school with and see him walking in and out of the local bar.
  19. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006

    Quite frankly, I don't care about your reasoning. I saw it first hand. I walked around the facility many times in the early days and they were happy for the food. We also took tooth brushes, toys and other things. It was so sad to see these people living on a cot with their families and all they wanted was to be treated like a decent human being. Little girls hanging onto pillows, so they wouldn't be stolen and people making sure someone stayed at the nest to hold onto what little they had.... like a coat. Anyway, it wasn't until they started staffing the place with money-hungry do-gooders, that they started switching gears and it became a racket for them.... and them to look good and no one is the wiser of their suddenly high costs.

    Like Pat was sorta alluding to........... they show up in rags, but drive around in Mercedes-Benz and sh!t. They collect 3 or 4 hundred thousand dollars a year in one salary alone and you want me to donate money to the business of making needy people the excuse for their charitable organization ?? F O R G E T - I T.
    I choose how and where I donate and I give directly. If my buck can't stretch far enough, let some others cough some up. I'm not gonna give to those kinda pigs ever again.

    You say overhead, distribution and preparing...... ?? Why should I contribute to the trucker from the agency they purchase in bulk..... and for the most part.... bad bulk ?? Why should I pay for someone to push pencils around and figure out nonsense ?? Why can't I just take my food there and it will feed maybe 100 people.... and well ?? I did the shopping for free.... well, my wife did. I paid for it. I delivered it and took it inside for them. They only needed to add the food to the stock they had to make regardless of how the food showed up on their doorstep.

    You're saying I should donate $500. to Harry and let him run it through the books and after all the necessities are taken out, there's about $23.84 left for food and housing. Yeah, I can clearly see where you're coming from. Feed the monster and let the little ones perish.... in the name of charity.

    I'll go on giving food and money where I want and how I want because it's my donations. You keep paying into the big machine and I'll see ya on the other side and we'll compare then.
  20. StarSign

    StarSign Active Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Southern Utah
    We started doing a Christmas Jar years ago (big mason jar we threw our change in, a couple hundred bucks) and gave it away to someone this time of year. We now fill 4 of the jars a year and when one is full we just wait for someone in need. It doesn't matter the time of year someone always needs help.
  21. ova

    ova Member

    Dec 22, 2008
    Wheeling, WV
    Our city has a small Catholic Charity Center. All donations whether it be food, clothes, or money is used at this center and no where else. Everyday just before meal times, the needy/homeless will start gathering outside the center.

    If you have one in your area, might want to check it out and make sure all donations are staying "home" and used there.

    The questions came up about only donating this time of year. We get about 2 to 3 calls a day wanting some kind of donation this time of year. Everything from bikes to coats to money. Seems like it never ends until a few days before Christmas. We never donate to the phone solicitors. Some angency from Florida calling representing the WV State Police wanting a monetary donation just doesn't sit well with me.

    One year I worked in a food pantry during the Holidays. We had a buffet of sorts set up so the needy could just walk along the tables and pick out what they needed. Canned goods, dry goods, and at the end of the table was their choice of a ham or turkey. A lady with a couple of kids came in and made her way down the table. As she picked out her goods, I was putting them in a box. We get to the end of the table and all the hams were gone. Turkey was her only choice. She complained a little, but took the turkey.

    I offered to carry the box of goods out to her car. When I get there, the car was running and the windows were steamed up. Her husband was sitting in the car waiting for her. He pops the trunk open for me to put the box in, then starts yelling at her because she got a turkey instead of the ham. As I shut the trunk and I was walking back to the building, I could hear him still b!tching about the turkey.

    So sometimes it doesn't matter who you help out or to what organizations you donate , as long you feel you've helped a needy person out is the main thing.

  22. genericname

    genericname Active Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Doctors Without Borders is a great one, as well as Engineers Without Borders.

    As others have mentioned, you don't have to look too far to find people in need though, and local charities need help too. The numbers of people using food banks all across North America are constantly rising, with donations not catching up any time soon.

    Aside from that, I give to Child's Play every year as well. The cash (or Amazon orders!) go directly to getting toys in the hands of kids in your choice of children's hospital. Child's Play differs from a lot of other large charities in how transparent it is; it really has a face, in the few people that run it.
  23. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    All our local grocery stores have pre-made bags you can buy for $6. They have noodles, tuna, pasta sauce, etc.. Just grab a bunch and bring them to the check-out and pay. Volunteers then distribute to families in need. Easy-Peasy with nobody getting their grubby paws on your money like Gino said.
  24. john1

    john1 Guest

    If you have a vehicle and enough to pay for gas and car insurance you would think you don't need help as much as someone who has literally nothing.

    I really am leery of charities as i don't want to get duped but you just never know which ones truly help people.
  25. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    Don't just give them money, show up and actually help first.

    You don't have to volunteer for very long before you'll be able to see past the facade. Most of the charitable groups I've worked with (and done sign work for) are little more than feel good projects. You have a highly paid administrator and a couple of assistants who put together events geared entirely toward getting publicity for donors and making volunteers feel good about themselves. Actually solving a problem isn't really a priority.

    Volunteer a little of your time, see the need that actually needs to be met, and make sure that is the goal that is being worked toward.

    Sure, feeding the hungry is nice....figuring out how they can feed themselves is better. Please, don't get me wrong. Wanting to share your blessings is a nice, commendable thing, just do your homework to make sure you're feeding the problem and not someone's wallet.

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