I like the charities listed below because either I have benefited directly from their work, I have seen them at work, or I feel strongly about the causes they champion, and I believe this is money well used. If you are looking for ways to make a difference, please consider donating time or money to one of the organizations listed below. It will make you feel good and your donation really does make a difference.
American Red Cross
Clara Barton "successfully organized the American Association of the Red Cross in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 1881. Created to serve America in peace and in war, during times of disaster and national calamity, Barton's organization took its service beyond that of the International Red Cross Movement by adding disaster relief to battlefield assistance."
Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Its mission is to assist the poor and disadvantaged, leveraging the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to alleviate human suffering, promote development of all people, and to foster charity and justice throughout the world.
Habitat for Humanity
"What the poor need is not charity but capital, not caseworkers but co-workers. And what the rich need is a wise, honorable, and just way of divesting themselves of their overabundance. The Fund for Humanity will meet both of these needs.....The fund will give away no money. It is not a handout." Please donate locally, plenty of Americans need homes
National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future; the NWF has been working to protect America's wildlife since 1936.
"The mission of the nature conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth. by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive." A simple but elegant strategy: buy the land and leave it alone!
In this new century, the Salvation Army is serving more people in the USA than ever before. It is "already seeing large increases in the number of Americans seeking the basic necessities of life—food, shelter, and warmth." Hundreds of millions of people have received help from the Salvation Army just since the turn of the century.
San Antonio Metropolitan Ministry (SAMM)
"SAMMinistries is an interfaith ministry whose mission is to help the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless attain self-sufficiency by offering, with dignity and compassion, shelter, housing and services." These folks work hard and will travel a long way to pick up items that Goodwill and other too-good-for-that-stuff charities will not come to collect. Look for the "Donate Now" link on their website.