Again, the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation which runs the near ubiquitous Wikipedia takes my near top honor for charitable organizations. I use it daily and in many ways live on it just absorbing the vast amounts of knowledge. Some of my colleagues in academia may scoff at the lack of quality control or accuracy of its information, but to me its MUCH better than the nothing we had before it took off several years ago. Support the Wikimedia Foundation!
No Earth, no nothing. Supporting the ʻāina, the environment and staving off the effects of climate change is something very crucial and is something that speaks deeply to me as a Kanaka Maoli. Based on the reviews of our friends at Charity Navigator the EDF is one of the top rated environmental charities out there and there particular mission and approach to fighting for the environment best mirrors my particular values. I highly endorse these folks if you’re looking for an environmental group to back.
The older I get sadly the more and more of my family, friends and others I care about I see becoming afflicted (and succumbing) to debilitating illnesses (including my beloved Mother). Be it cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness — what not — there are way too many afflictions out there we need to find cures for and support for the afflicted. Whether than “picking a disease” I choose to invest in an organization that provides support for research and educational programs for (theoretically) all of these diseases. This particular group, which I found through our friends at Charity Navigator, is a non-profit organization which works with the National Institutes of Health (government agencies) and seeks to create partnerships and programs leveraging the reach of the NIH as well as private medical organizations. This particular approach is very effective to finding solutions to our medical problems and these folks are very worthy of your support.
Scholarships for Hawaiian-youth to pursue higher education. It’s even more timely to give in December in honor of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s birthday (December 19th). Nuff said.
In support of my alma mater to “give back” as well as “pay it forward.” I typically give in the winter to support the College of Arts and Sciences in honor of my undergrad degree (Communication) which I earned in Fall 1999 and give additionally in the Spring to the College of Education in honor of my Masters of Education degree which I earned in Spring 2010.
As for donations of goods: I support the donation of clothing to your local homeless or domestic violence shelter. In this particular economy in particular where many people I hurting I personally feel those folks who have need to use those services will be able to best use your goods that you no longer need.
For donation of old books, CDs or DVDs, I support donating to your local library. In this time of severe budget cuts and the importance of a literate society, I support donating those particular goods to your local library where local youth will most benefit.