Top 6 Charities for Year-End Giving
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) As the year winds down with holiday gifts behind us and the necessary tax provisions made , it's a nice time to give a little something back. By virtue of the American dollar's exchange rate, our donations can have a huge impact worldwide. Through the Internet, it's incredibly easy to reach out from Brooklyn and touch someone's life in Cambodia.
For anyone looking to give back this holiday season, here are some charities where your money will go to good use and let a few dollars change someone's situation.
#1. The DEPDC/GMS
Focus: Child Trafficking
The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Centre in the Greater Mekong Subregion may be a mouthful to say, but its work is extraordinary. Under the leadership of Sompop Jantraka, the DEPDC fights trafficking of girls across Thailand, Myanmar and Laos, facing down violence with little more than absolute faith in the power of education and community.
While human trafficking is a major problem the world over, it's particularly grim in Southeast Asia, where a combination of first-world demand and third-world poverty has led to an exploding market for young girls. The DEDPC attempts to fight this at a grass roots level, sending its people out to local communities and villages to help victims escape cycles of slavery and abuse, and to rescue at-risk children before the brothel owners find them.
The DEDPC also offers a shelter for girls who have escaped the sex trade and a school which helps girls get a basic education and learn the vocational skills necessary to build a real life outside of someone else's control. Donations to this program will help expand the DEDPC's programs, allowing it to reach more children in the coming year.
Kiva allows you to become a microfinance banker, lending out small increments of cash to parts of the world where it will do the most good. It works by direct lending, much like the U.S.-based Donors Choose. Instead of giving money away blind and hoping, with Kiva you select from a series of proposals and choose the best one.
As Nicholas Kristof once wrote, "you, too, can be a banker to the poor."
In parts of the world where $50 can buy a goat, it doesn't take much money to build a business and start a life. Kiva allows you to loan out that money directly, then do so again and again once it gets repaid. With a staggering 99% repayment rate, odds are pretty good your gift won't just become a one time donation. You could find a whole new hobby helping to change people's lives.
Get started here.