Small Ways to Help the World

By Katherine Burns on November 29, 2015

The holiday season is upon us. This is the time of year when we reunite with family, consume huge meals, and celebrate a variety of winter traditions. It is also the time of year when we are most called upon to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. The world is faced with a lot of problems this year. Here are some of the biggest issues and places you can go to help combat them.

Photo credit: clipartpanda.com

The Refugee Crisis

12 million Syrian refugees, many of them children, have fled their country and are risking their lives to get to Europe. As winter approaches it is important these displaced refugees receive aid in the form of food, shelter, clothing, blankets and other basic necessities.

There are many organizations accepting donations on behalf of refugees, including UNHCR as well as Save the Children and World Vision, which both focus primarily on aid to children.

Child Poverty in the U.S.

According to the UN the United States has one of the highest rates of child poverty with 23% of children below the poverty line. The National Center for Children in Poverty, No Kid Hungry and Feeding America   are just a few of the places you can donate to fight against poverty here in the U.S.

Contributing to your local food bank is also always an option.

World Hunger

The World Food Program states that 1 out of every 9 people in the world are undernourished.  You can donate to the WFP, or to countless other organizations such as Bread.org or The Hunger Project.  You can also solve some of your gift giving quandaries by gifting goats this Christmas through Heifer International.

If you are a college student on a tight budget and you can’t give much money, you can go to Freerice.com, a quiz site that donates ten grains of rice via the World Food Program for every question you get right. You can help the world and procrastinate that essay.

Animals

Whether wild or domesticated there are a lot of animals in trouble in the world. Many species are losing their habitats due to people’s encroachment or through problems associated with global warming. The World Wildlife Foundation is an organization dedicated to the protection of endangered species.

There are also many local animals in need of help. Donating to your local ASPCA or to the Humane Society  can help protect them.

Disease

There are hundreds of different diseases we have to contend with today. The Doctors Without Borders program is an important program worth your donations. You can also donate to research societies to combat specific diseases, to hospitals near you.

If you want a reason to get off your computer and go exercise, have a look for local 5ks that donate their entrance fees to disease research. These are numerous and fun.


These are just a few of the issues being faced by the world and only a few of the places that you can go to help solve them. Most of the organizations listed here also have numerous volunteer opportunities for those who want to give time as well as or in place of money. Whatever you can contribute, time, money or simply a voice, is a worthy use of your day. Be generous this holiday season.

A native of small town Connecticut, senior in college, writer, obsessive reader, and cross country runner.

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