By: Kerry Bazany

As mentioned in a previous post, the holiday season can inspire the good in us in marvelous ways. We can feel moved to establish a mindset of charity, and express it through random or purposeful acts of kindness. This can be accomplished individually; however there are thousands of charities and worthwhile movements that can benefit tremendously from one’s magnanimous spirit during the holiday, and indeed, all year round. Since an exhaustive list would be, well, exhausting, I have highlighted here several charities that are deserving of your interest, care, and monetary donations. I’ve also concluded my article with a tender and charming story about what one individual can do, because, being an eternal optimist, I love to end my articles on a happy note….

Landers Car Dealership: Northwest Arkansas

A car dealership recently presented a $2,000 check to a local elementary school in Rogers, Arkansas in order to help pay off overdue lunch balances. Landers car dealership donated funds in response to the principal’s concern that 30 children had an outstanding balance for their school lunches. Parents were experiencing difficulty paying the fees, and Landers stepped in with a check. This donation allows the children to start off with a “clean slate” for the new year, and ensures that they won’t go hungry. Way to go, Landers! Their website is www.landers.com

Feeding America

Feeding America is a Better Business Bureau Accredited organization that sponsors the Hunger in America quadrennial studies. Such studies examine how the Feeding America network of food banks provide services to 46.5 million people in need (alternatively known as food insecurity), including 12 million children and 7 million senior citizens. Through a network of 58,000 pantries, meal service programs and other charitable food programs, the Feeding America network reaches people everywhere across the United States. Millions of Americans are food insecure, meaning they do not know from where their next meal will come. Their website does a great job of explaining the reasons behind the rising number of food insecure individuals and families. The ways to donate are numerous, including monthly donations, workplace donations, memorial gifts, as well as food drives. Their website is www.feedingamerica.org

The Houston Food Bank

Unsafefoods.com is based in Houston, Texas; so naturally, we’re going to give a huge shout out to The Houston Food Bank, a 2013 recipient of Feeding America’s Food Bank of the Year award. To help the food bank ensure that children, seniors, and families in southeast Texas don’t go hungry this holiday, any monetary gift will be matched by Chevron. For every dollar you donate, you provide nine meals. To see where all the food banks are in your state or locality, go to www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/

The Center for Food Safety (CFS)

At Unsafe Foods, we frequently refer to this organization in our articles because of the work they do in protecting human health through information, resources, and overall advocacy of food safety issues. They are a national, non-profit public interest organization working to protect not only human health, but advocating for the environment by promoting sustainable agriculture. Additionally, the CFS contains a wealth of information on scientific and policy reports, and educational materials on the effects of harmful food production technologies. The CFS website contains landmark bodies of case law on food and agricultural issues. If you are as passionate as we are about food safety, the CFS always welcomes donations in order to fund its efforts in combating legislation that essentially allows huge chemical manufacturers such as Dow and Monsanto to further poison American agriculture. Their website is www.centerforfoodsafety.org

Water Aid: An International Relief Organization

If your inclination to donate runs to more international causes, there is perhaps no worthier cause than the effort to provide clean and safe water sponsored by Water Aid. According to UNICEF, in 2017, 844 million people don’t have clean water, 31 percent of schools don’t have clean water, and around the world, 443 million school days are lost every year because of water-related illnesses. And, according to Washwatch.org, every minute across the globe, a newborn dies caused by infection due to unclean water. Those are staggering numbers, considering the fact that for most Americans, safe drinking water is but a twist or pull of a faucet. Donations are always welcome. For more information and to donate, their website is www.wateraid.org

Stop Foodborne Illnesses

Of course we need to mention our comrades-in-arms: the good folks at stopfoodborneillness.org, who, along with us at Unsafe Foods, champion the initiatives taken by food manufacturers, vendors and businesses, as well as the scientific community in order to keep us informed and proactive with our food choices. Every effort is made to impart the most relevant information possible regarding current recalls, outbreaks, best food handling practices and other pertinent information for you, the consumer. Donations are welcome, and their website is www.stopfoodborneillness.org/

And a Child Shall Lead Them: Project 365

This is the story that uplifts me. It entails the simplest and smallest of intentions that were wrapped inside the mind and heart of a young Australian boy named Campbell Remess that wanted to make some sort of a difference. Campbell, one child in a family with eight other siblings, wanted to donate Christmas presents to sick children in a local children’s hospital, but because there were nine children in the family, his parents simply could not afford a donation. So Campbell decided to do it himself, and pledged to gift teddy bears instead: he planned on sewing 365 bears, one for each day. So far, Campbell has made over 800 bears, and some of those bears have been sent to comfort the children of terror attacks in Brussels and Paris. Young Campbell initially used his own pocket change for materials, but donations are always welcomed. He has started a Go Fund Me page on Facebook, and his website is  www.project365.org

For added peace of mind, to check statistics on almost every charity out there, please go to https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10324#.VZRc80Z4UuQ

A very happy, peaceful and joyous holiday season to you and yours….

 

Sources:

http://www.stopfoodborneillness.org/

http://5newsonline.com/2017/12/11/local-business-pays-off-student-lunch-debt/

http://www.feedingamerica.org/research/hunger-in-america

https://www.wateraid.org/us/

https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/about-us#

https://project365.org/stories

http://www.houstonfoodbank.org