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A Few Charities I’d Like to Share with You

This is, of course, the time of giving, and I thought I would let you know about a couple of charities that I like and invite you to share in the comments section any recommended charities or favorite causes that you want our readers to know about.

I’d like to emphasize that there’s no pressure from me to contribute to these particular charities – or any at all – I know some of you are struggling to make ends meet. I just thought I’d highlight a couple in case your looking for somewhere to give. There are so many good causes out there, I think many people don’t give because it’s hard to make a choice. So perhaps this will help.

1. The Veterans’ National Home for Children assists struggling military families. One of the hardest things for me to watch as our men and women go off to war is the hardship this puts on their families. This charity was established in 1925 to help. From its website:

Veterans’ children who need a place to live, learn and grow will find a loving and supportive environment at the VFW National Home for Children. In our state-licensed Residential Program, children may live at the National Home their entire childhood through college, but a family member always retains guardianship.

Today’s military, National Guard and Reserve members have a safety net during periods of deployment. If a “family plan” falls through, the National Home may be able to house and care for their children. This program can also assist a spouse with children to meet goals and strengthen the family.

2. David Blicksilver is a young cousin of mine who has bravery and determination equal to any of our military warriors. He has since birth had to endure difficulty and pain of a rare congenital bone condition and the many surgeries he has had to try to correct it. And yet, he barrels ahead through life as if not encumbered and pain-free, with a cheerful optimism that is an inspiration to our whole family.

David Blicksilver
David Blicksilver

His father Owen Blicksilver established a charity at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where David has been treated. The fund aids helps children who need financial help to receive badly needed care at the hospital, which is devoted to orthopedics and rheumatology.

Here is the website for the David Nash Blicksilver Fund for Pediatric Orthopedic Care It can take a moment to load, so please give it a little time. And this is a page telling David’s story.

3. Finally, I’m a confirmed animal lover and I believe our world is not right if they can’t thrive as well, and that we must also act on our obligation to reduce cruelty directed their way.

One of my passions is the tiger, a species that has steadily seen its claim to a place on earth erode as hunters take their trophies, civilization encroaches, and the cats are killed and their carcasses used to provide nonsensical tonics that have as much to do with status as a true belief that they promote wellness.

Save the Tigers Now is devoted to preserving the three thousand or so tigers left in the wild and expanding their numbers. I believe this sublime, fearsome and beautiful animals must be saved.

As long as none of them thanks me in person.

So thank you for considering these charities. I look forward to seeing your suggestions too in the comments section.

18 Responses to A Few Charities I’d Like to Share with You

  1. All highly worthy will probably see at least a small donation from me.

    If it’s okay, I’d like to add one of my own. It’s not generally known, but the American Chestnut is bordering on extinction. This tree was vital to the early American settlers for two reasons: 1) it reliably produced large numbers of chestnuts late in the year which allowed farmers to feed their livestock, and 2) it’s light, rot-resistant wood was important for building houses and fences. And, obviously, it was an important food source for wildlife. Now the importation of a blight from Asia has so decimated their numbers, that the only wild American Chestnut you’ll see will be a sapling that will be killed by the blight before it reaches maturity.

    Work is being done to develop a blight-resistant chestnut with some limited success. There’s still a long way to go to restore the American Chestnut to the approximately 4 billion trees that stretched from Mississippi to Maine.

  2. I joke around that I am scared of nature except for trees, water lilies and tigers. That is a good one. I used to give to–now I give locally to food banks–through the AZ Republic newspaper, which matches the donation. Also, sometimes, to people I know who need a few bucks. But I do know–whatever you give, it will come back to you somehow.

  3. The only public charity I donate to is the Salvation Army. Their unselfish and unwavering support of those who need, and sometimes don’t deserve, help is legendary. They provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, shoes for the barefooted , a kind word and hope for the future.

    My personal “charity” is to slip my granddaughter gas money as she juggles a part-time job with a full-time college schedule.

    • Thanks for the Salvation Army mention srdem65. My wife is on the SA Advisory Board in our town, and everyone involved there is incredible. I appreciate the fact that they see their mission as helping get people back on their feet and eventually independent, vs. providing lifelong handouts to those who would like to milk the system. Drop a few bucks in the red kettle – it is very much appreciated and carefully spent.

  4. I personally love to give to charities like the Marines Toys for Tots, or other local community toy drives. My husband grew up really poor and was the recipient of toys given by strangers for local poor families. I like to know that little ones aren’t forgotten at Christmastime.

  5. I would like to add one, the Brendan B. McGinnis Congenital CMV Foundation. CMV is a virus that when it infects an unborn child has devestating and sometimes fatal effects. When an adult or child is infected they generally show no symptoms, so it is difficult to avoid. The foundation is trying to educate women and the OB/GYN community so testing becomes standard. There is also an effort to create a vaccine that would help eliminate the virus like they did with Polio. If you saw what these children and families go through… It is very moving!

  6. Any of the national Children’s Hospitals. Last year we had to spend a significant amount of time at a Children’s hospital – even Christmas. Amazingly enough – it will be a Christmas to remember. They were able to heal my child and they made the hospital experience one she could endure. Daily project (geared to what she could handle), Volunteers to put on in hospital programing on TV for all kids to call in and participate, meals for the family, Santa visits, and just the amazing level of care they can provide and make it so the children are not scared of the tests and stuff they have to go through. My child already took down presents for the kids that might be there for Christmas this year.

  7. I give to several Charities throughout the year (minimally), but in December I send my largest donations in honor of my Dad (American Heart Association) my father-in-law (Alzherimer’s Association) and now the American Cancer Society because of a family member’s experience this year with cancer; but I also discovered the Fisher House in August. I have a cousin whose son lost both of his legs in Afghanistan in June – fortunately he did not sustain any head injuries but he is in his mid 20’s and how has no legs – his recovery is a long journey but his progress and attitude are nothing short of a miracle. During his recovery in the East and now in San Diego his parents have stayed at the Fisher Houses – they provide housing for military family members when they are undergoing medical treatment at no cost. I created a monthly giving to this organization. It warms your heart when you see our young rising above horrible odds and how great for their families to be able to spend time with them and to not have to worry about housing costs. Take a look at their web site – you too will be touched.

    Phone: (888) 294-8560 or (301) 294-8560
    Fax: (301) 294-8562

  8. I would like to add Southeastern Guide Dogs. We raise pups for the school. They have a program called Paws for Patriots. Not only do they pair those who have lost their sight but they also send them dogs to be companions. I’ve met a few of the service people who have received a dog and it just makes you so proud that you can help in some small way.

    It takes $65,000 to raise and train one guide dog.

  9. Keith, just reading your post and the comments about all the different charities that people donate to warms my heart. There are so many good, worthwhile causes, and just from what is listed here, you can see that Americans are a truly generous and giving people, who care for so much more than themselves. Even in these difficult times, people are giving to help others. This is a truly wonderful thing about Americans. Bravo to you and your readers who give of themselves to help others, be they people/animals/environmental causes. Great post!

  10. Keith, thanks for this post. Tis the season for giving and thinking of others (although wouldn’t it be nice if that were true all year long?). I am glad to learn of good charities. Also, some of the stories I read about people who have REAL problems helps me keep my problems in perspective. I’d like to add one of my own. My husband works for this charity so I know first-hand of the work they do. Covenant House, Florida ( provides shelter for homeless or runaway teens. These kids need a place to sleep and a hot meal but they also need to be taught the things that parents usually teach their children. They also need to be taught that life is good (when you are abused by the very people who are supposed to love you; that’s a difficult concept).

    With our tough economy donations are down but the need is up. I would imagine all non-profits are experiencing this. For those who are looking for a worthy place to give, I appreciate you considering Covenant House.

  11. I like to give to charities that work with dogs and soldiers also cats and one mule to date:). Gave to a man who was donating bugles so no service would have Taps played on a boom box as there was a shortage of players and instruments. I tend to like the little ones at not be much but it helps.

  12. I believe in tithing. I believe in supporting the local economy….churches, food banks, homeless shelters, local SPCA. In addition, there is a home/self sustaining farm for people born with mental challenges -located in Kentucky – Quest Farm. Also like Toys for Tots, Special Olympics, Arbor Day Foundation and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. May God Bless everyone who gives of their time and their money and their prayers.

  13. Keith,
    I think this was an admirable thing to put on your website. There are lots of great charities, and it was a good reminder for me, anyway, about the spirit of Christmas.

    • These are great…This has been a bad yr for us, but anyone can come up with five or ten bucks. I remember once at church, the minister was talking about going down south to see the church’s young people building a house and met a girl who wore glasses provided by her school–but in summer, they took the glasses back. He was berating the program for doing that. After the service, I gave him a check (things were better then) and said be sure she gets some glasses so she can read over the summer. He looked shocked–it was a story…I said wasn’t it true? Well, it was, but he didn’t mean get glasses. He took the check, tho–and later wrote me that he had learned a valuable lesson–sometimes you need to help the person standing in front of you. So I try to give a few bucks here and there to people who really need it–face to face. I wish it could be a lot, but it can’t.

  14. Thanks for the mention! The VFW National Home for Children helps military and veteran families through times of crisis. In addition to our services for those who come to live on our campus, we also have a Helpline (800.313.4200) for families looking for help in their own backyards. We can connect families with resources they might not have known about otherwise. The people who staff the Helpline understand the unique needs of military and veteran families — many of them are veterans or military spouses themselves. Thanks again for helping to spread the word. And merry Christmas to you and your readers!