Tax season is around the corner, and during this time of year people donate to their favorite charities in hope of tax deductions. Furthermore, we are counseled by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to give to the poor and needy, for “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). A great way to do this is donating to one of the great organizations that do so much good around the world. So, here is a list of fantastic charities operated by Latter-day Saints to which you can easily donate.
Bridges to America
If you like soccer, the world’s most popular sport, this charity is for you. The goal of Bridges to America is to legally reunite African families to the USA and to educate young adults and youth for soccer.
Operation Underground Railroad
The work this charity does is great. Their goal is to eradicate sex trafficking through coordinated rescue and recovery planning. On their website they claim, “In the past four years, O.U.R. has rescued 1,588 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 745 traffickers around the world.”
The Shamba Foundation
The mission of the Shamba Foundation is to strive “to Promote Sponsorships to Feed, Clothe, House, and Educate Children of Kenya; Providing Opportunities for Self-Reliance, Optimism, and a Hopeful Future.” Choosing to become a sponsor helps pay for school fees, 3 meals a day, housing costs, hygienic needs, clothing, medical care, and more necessities for children in Kenya.
The directors of forPEACE are all women who have a “vision of children growing up on a cooperating, sustainable planet.” These women seek global peace through local efforts, believing that peace originates at home. Their mission “is to contribute to peace and economic self-reliance by strengthening families through education and microenterprise partnerships, building common ground for individuals from different faiths and cultures, and empowering communities through collaborative initiatives.” They have projects in Palestine, Cambodia, Africa, and other locations.
If you’re into music, you might like Sophie’s Place. Sophie’s Place, part of the Forever Young Foundation, was established in memory of singer/songwriter Sophie Barton. This charity provides music therapy to children in hospitals. Sophie’s place currently aids children at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, at Sutter Children’s Center in Sacramento, California, at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona, and at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California.
Family Humanitarian Experience
From a charity standpoint, FHe means not Family Home Evening, but Family Humanitarian Experience. Their goal is to empower communities of developing countries (such as Guatemala, Uganda, and Kenya). They do this through village-driven humanitarian service. The FHe team is comprised primarily of families belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly nicknamed the Mormon Church).
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the mission of Empower Playgrounds is to enhance “educational opportunities for children in deprived villages by providing renewable energy through electricity-generating playground equipment, smart LED lanterns, and hands-on science kits.” Empower Playgrounds provides renewable energy through their playground equipment, giving children a place to play while also providing a means for electricity to reach communities. Now that’s innovative!
WHOlives is all about creating clean, sustainable water for communities in need. Water is a basic human need, yet billions do not have access to clean water sources for drinking, cooking, and bathing. WHOlives “is committed to bringing clean water to developing communities in a self-sustainable process.”
The vision of CHOICE Humanitarian “is a world free from the ravages of extreme poverty, where all people are treated with dignity and valued for who they are and the unique contribution they bring.” CHOICE Humanitarian seeks to help those in extreme poverty (those who live on less than $1.90 a day) bring themselves out of poverty through providing better health and education programs and strengthening families and communities.
Serve a Village
Serve a Village was founded in 2006 in memory of Kathryn Hunt, who improved the quality of life of impoverished villagers in South Africa. “The mission of Serve a Village is to support sustainable projects that help to improve the health, education, welfare and environment of needy communities throughout the world.” Serve a Village accomplishes this mission by educating and empowering members of needy communities.
Care for Life
Focused in Mozambique, Africa, the mission of Care for Life is “alleviate suffering, promote self-reliance, and instill hope.” Instead of giving handouts, Care for Life believes in delivering life-saving knowledge that enables families to become self-sustaining for a lifetime. One of the ways Care for Life accomplishes this is their Family Preservation Program. This program teaches the following eight areas: education, health and hygiene, sanitation, income generation, home improvement, food security and nutrition, psycho-social well-being, and community participation.
Koins for Kenya
Koins for Kenya strives to provide educational opportunities to those lacking in the Kinango District, Coastal Region of Kenya. Koins for Kenya believes that “education becomes the greatest weapon against hopelessness, the greatest genesis for change and growth.” From the help of Koins for Kenya, over 7.6 million have gained access to free primary education in Kenya.
Little Heroes Foundation
Little Heroes Foundation is an Australian-based organization that supports seriously ill children and their families by raising funds towards essential equipment and services. Since 1996, Little Heroes Foundation has “contributed close to $20 million for lifesaving facilities at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital.”
Rising Star Outreach
Rising Star Outreach strives “to help the leprosy colonies of India become thriving, self-sufficient communities.” They do this through education, medical care, and colony development. Leprosy is a contagious disease that attacks the skin, mucous membranes, and nerves. The good news is that leprosy has a cure and Rising Star Outreach is working hard to aid those affected by it.
Circle of Sisterhood
Circle of Sisterhood is directed by college-educated sorority women. Their aim is to empower girls and women against poverty, oppression, misogyny, and brutality through education. They believe that “ultimately, more and more educated girls will mean stronger and healthier villages, communities, and entire countries.”
Fight the New Drug
Fight the New Drug is a “non-religious and non-legislative organization that exists to provide individuals the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness on its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.” Fight the New Drug’s mantra is “Porn Kills Love.” The organization works hard to educate the world on the increasingly more-available plague that is pornography.
LDS Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They give aid all over the world. Because of its religious affiliation, LDS charities strive to follow the admonition of Jesus Christ, which is “to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick and afflicted.” LDS Charities has done much good around the world. You can click here to see videos of their worldwide outreach effort.
Amazon Smile: Another Option for Donating
If you feel like you can’t make major contributions to a charity right now, don’t worry: Amazon Smile is another option. Amazon Smile allows you to help out a charitable organization without costing you any extra money. All you have to do is shop through Amazon Smile’s website (shown above) instead of the normal Amazon website, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your spending to the charity of your choice. So, you shop online through Amazon Smile and your favorite charity benefits! Of course, you can’t get tax deductions through Amazon Smile, but it is an easy, inexpensive way to donate to one of these amazing charities.
Here is a complete list of which aforementioned charities accept donations through Amazon Smile: Bridges to America, Operation Underground Railroad, The Shamba Foundation, forPEACE, Forever Young Foundation (Sophie’s Place), Family Humanitarian Experience, Empower Playgrounds, WHOlives, CHOICE Humanitarian, Serve a Village, Koins for Kenya, Rising Star Outreach, Circle of Sisterhood, and Fight the New Drug.
So, which charity interests you the most? Do you have prior experiences or involvements with any of these charities? Are there any charities left off which you think should have made this list?