DEAR READERS: This is a time to celebrate and to give, and in the spirit of the season I present my annual roundup of charitable organizations readers should consider supporting.
This is a subjective list, based on my own interests. Your own giving should reflect your interests and values.
Doctors Without Borders: DWB-USA is an international medical humanitarian organization that provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, malnutrition or exclusion from health care.
Refugees International: Refugees International sends teams to locate and survey displaced populations and is an effective advocate for people who have no voice.
Save the Children: When disaster strikes around the world, Save the Children is there with food, medical care and education and remains to help communities rebuild through long-term recovery programs.
Shelterbox USA: Since 2000, the organization has delivered boxes of aid and other supplies such as tents, water filters, stoves, blankets and other tools to help families survive and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of more than 200 disasters in more than 90 countries worldwide.
Feeding America: Feeding America is the national network of local food banks, providing food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.
Homes for Our Troops: This group raises money and then turns the funds into concrete action, building a new home or adapting an existing home for handicapped accessibility. The finished home is then given to a disabled veteran.
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation: A sentimental favorite of mine, this small charity provides musical instruments to schoolchildren. Their mission makes this band geek's heart sing.