The other day, as I hurriedly rushed from one errand to another, a favorite tune popped up on the radio: Give A Little Bit by Supertramp. Supertramp always transports me back to my youth. However, this recent sing-along took on a bit of a different meaning as I thought about the organizations whose work I admire and support. And, wouldn’t you know it, tomorrow–Saturday, September 5–is the International Day of Charity. Yep, I love it when the Universe speaks to me!
It comes as little surprise that Americans are a very charitable bunch. According to The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, over 95% of all U.S. households give to charity each year. In 2014, this equated to $358.38 billion (that’s billion with a “b”!) in support of charitable events and organizations.
Not to overtax you with statistics (cuz you know Kimba really doesn’t do math), but I was surprised to also discover that according to The National Center for Charitable Statistics there are over 1.5 million tax-exempt organizations in the U.S. That’s a lot of good work going on out there. It’s overwhelming to consider how many of these organizations deserve our love, time, and financial support. However, today I’ve narrowed down my favorites to my top five list.
Kimba’s Top Five Non-Profit Organizations & Do-Gooders
Nyumbani. This amazing organization has worked tirelessly since 1992 to build sustainable communities for children infected with and affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. My late father-in-law George Dalferes was one of Nyumbani’s first board members and my sister-in-law carries on the tradition today, currently serving on the U.S. board of directors. Link here to find out more about this wonderful charity and the children they save every day: http://www.nyumbani.org/how-you-can-help
Project On Government Oversight (POGO). Founded in 1981, POGO is a non-partisan organization that focuses its energies to “investigate waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the federal government.” Full disclosure: it’s also led by my bestie, the amazing Danielle Brian. To get a real feel for the fantastic work of this group–which accepts NO government support of any kind for its work–watch this video from the talented comedian Lewis Black.
THON. I’ve written about this organization previously, but I never miss an opportunity to crow about my love for THON. Each February something magical happens at Penn State. Thousands of students stay awake and on their feet for 46 hours straight; all united in working toward the sole purpose of supporting the fight against pediatric cancer. The THON website notes that back in 1973 the first dance marathon raised $2,000. Over 40 years later, THON now encompasses over 15,000 student volunteers, 700 dancers, and has raised more than $114 million, benefiting The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Watching my son Jimmy dance in 2013 is an experience I’ll carry in my heart forever.
The Smith Mountain Arts Council (SMAC). Established in 1989, SMAC is a non-profit which serves a large geographical area around Smith Mountain Lake, VA (my home away from home). The service area includes but is not limited to Franklin, Pittsylvania and Bedford counties. SMAC “fosters participation in and enjoyment of the visual, performing and literary arts.” Partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, SMAC each year offers up to two $2,000 two-year college scholarships for seniors demonstrating talent in the performing, visual or literary arts.
The Food Pantry at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. Each Thursday morning an enthusiastic group of volunteers, including my mom, takes on the herculean task of distributing food to hundreds of families in need of support and assistance. There are many in West Palm Beach who would go without, were it not for the tireless efforts of these wonderful souls. Food pantries are dependent upon food donations from the community as well as financial support to help defray the costs of food purchases. No one in our country should ever go to bed hungry. To learn more about supporting this food pantry link here: http://www.myhnj.org/foodpantry
In summary, I can think of no better way to leave you today than to end with the wisdom of the great Joey Tribbiani and his infamous “giving and receiving” speech for Monica and Chandler’s wedding:
How about you: do you have a favorite charitable organization? Please share information in the comments section.
Candy saysSeptember 18, 2015 at 6:48 am
Hi Kim – so great to stumble across your blog! I loved reading about such great organizations and hearing other people talking about giving. Hope things are good in the hood. Your former neighbor Candy.
Kim Dalferes saysSeptember 18, 2015 at 6:52 am
Hi Candy! We DO miss you in the hood. Things are good here, getting ready for “leaves season.”
Pamela saysSeptember 16, 2015 at 6:48 am
How nice to stumble across your blog/website (thanks to Beyond the Blog). What a wonderful post! I so believe in charitable giving. I donate to several Breast Cancer walks, and always to Sanctuary, a farm animal group that helps save abused animals. I’m also a member of a women’s organization (P.E.O.) that raises money for women’s education. Nice to meet you!
Kimba saysSeptember 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm
Thank you for finding me/connecting with me via Beyond Your Blog. I was thrilled to see that this website was featured on BYB – all the handiwork of my amazeballs designer Elaine Griffin Designs. I DEFINITELY want to find out more about P.E.O!
Greg saysSeptember 11, 2015 at 10:50 am
Love this post ! 🙂
Kimba saysSeptember 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm
Aw, thx Hon!
Suzie Cheel saysSeptember 6, 2015 at 1:43 am
Love this post Kimba. I support Kiva and a local homeless group yours were all new to me. Inspired to find more to support Thanks xxoo
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:24 am
Suzie, I know what a kind and giving person you are – no doubt you support lots of causes … and people. Tell be more about Kiva.
Marquita Herald saysSeptember 5, 2015 at 7:19 am
Wonderful list of organizations Kimba. I’m a long-time supporter of the Maui Food Bank as well as organizations that help match veterans suffering from PTSD with service dogs. I just recently joined the PR committee for Operation Fetch – Planned Acts of Community Kindness to support awareness and education about service dogs to help veterans with visible and invisible wounds.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:28 am
What a great effort Marty – our vets need our love and support, service dogs are a wonderful way to help them and their families.
Mary saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 9:21 pm
What a wonderful list of charitable organizations! My favorite charitable group is the Sisters of the Society Devoted to the Sacred Heart. They a such a wonderful group of young and young at heart Nuns.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:35 am
Thx for sharing Mary. I love the charitable work of many of the sister orders – they are true angels.
Lois Alter Mark saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 6:51 pm
This is a great list. There are so many worthy charities out there, and I can never decide whether it’s better to give the bulk to one organization or spread the donations around. Sadly, there is so much need.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:40 am
I feel the same way. However, Hubs and I have started to narrow our focus and have been a bit more strategic. It does seem that supporting a few charities in a big fashion seems to have more impact that a scattered approach.
Carolann saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm
We have several we give to monthly. It’s a good thing that’s for sure. I can live without the junk mail though from every charity out there. I always have to recycle it lol.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:43 am
I agree! Ask me for support once a year and then be done! Love charitable organizations, but some have fundraising campaigns every month! Also, don’t pay a solicitor to call me, I’m gonna hang up!
CAROL CASSARA saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm
I love St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, which will get the bulk of our estate. Of course, I hope I live long enough to use all of it, but if we don’t, well, that’s who gets it.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:45 am
St. Jude’s is a wonderful organization – THANK YOU for supporting them.
Vicki saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm
Thanks for mentioning the Food Pantry @ Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in WPB, Fl. And thanks for tugging @ the heart strings of philanthropists out there.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:45 am
The food pantry is run by angels… and maybe a few little devils! 🙂
Karen Austin saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 5:18 pm
Thanks for highlighting these charitable donations. The food pantry captured my attention, and not just because it was proximate to the great Joey clip (but that didn’t hurt!). It’s so wonderful when people work together to deliver good, mentoring, teaching, and social services to others. Good stuff.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:53 am
Don’t you just love Joey T – his stuff has staying power, still makes me laugh.
Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest) saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm
Kim, great resources, thank you. I think I’ll give a little bit more this weekend. I appreciate the prompt.
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:52 am
Sue, you always give of your time and your heart. Thx for your support and inspiration.
Renee saysSeptember 4, 2015 at 9:32 am
Thanks for the reminder and the great suggestions Kimba!
Kimba saysSeptember 8, 2015 at 7:52 am
Thank you chica!