We got it pretty good. Actually, if you’re reading this, chances are, your life is blessed. Basic necessities are not a question. We have a place to live, access healthcare and food to eat. While at times we may question it, we do live in politically stable countries. Our basic human rights are not a question. Instead, we live large. We work hard, and play hard. And while many of us worked our a—- off to get to this point, there is an element of geographical luck. By that, we mean where we were born, or how we changed our geography to make opportunities for a better life. It isn’t a level playing field, and there are charities that give back to those who did not win the geographical lottery.
Choose Where You Want to Impact the World
You can make a difference locally, and directly impact the happiness of a child. You can give back to a place you visited on travels, that enriched your life. Or you can address issues like Afghanistan, that are a world way, but yet so close to home. The point is, is there are charities that give back everywhere in the world. We don’t mean donating into a black box either, hoping to make a difference. These charities directly impact the happiness of a child. The well-being of a woman refugee. The survival of a family. Through our work and travels, we have four charities that give back to the world, for your charitable giving this season.
The Charity: Projects With Care
The Location: Brooklyn, New York
This is your chance to make a difference with charities that give back, close to home. The Stockings With Care program makes a direct impact on families this holiday. This initiative is run by Projects With Care, a Brooklyn-based charity. Projects With Care annually arranges for 1,500 New York children to receive a few things on their holiday list, up to $100. Since 1992, over 50,000 children have had a merrier Christmas. This is your chance to play Santa to a child. Make your donation here.
The Charity: Plaster House
The Location: Tanzania, Africa
In the town of Arusha in Tanzania, is an extraordinary place where children receive life-changing surgery. The Plaster House is a pre and post-operative center that gives children a chance at a healthier life. Volunteer doctors take care of everything from cleft palates, burn victims to major health issues. The recovery doesn’t end there though. The Plaster House is a haven where children are able to heal before returning back to their families.
The Charity: PSE
The Location: Cambodia
In Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh is an extraordinary charity, that helps the most at risk children. When Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE) started, the Founders witnessed children living and eating out of garbage landfills. They knew no human being should live in those conditions, and did something about it. Over the course of 20 years, PSE has changed generations of families from the cycle of abuse and neglect. Through their educational center in the capital city of Cambodia, they improve the quality of life from poverty to opportunities for vocational jobs. PSE, which means for the smile of a child, is one of the most impactful organization in our world. The organization is a model for those who seek to make measurable change.
PSE is now in the United States, through the Friends of PSE 501(c)(3) organization based in San Francisco. You can be part of their work.
The Charity: The Galavante in the World Foundation
The Location: New York, New York and The World
This one, is close to home and our hearts at Galavante. As many of you know, Galavante and Founder Christine Drinan travel the globe. What drives us though is not to tick off countries. Instead, our goal is to make a positive impact in the world. We volunteer with local organizations, including the incredible non-profits on our Charitable Giving List in this article. In 2019, Founder Christine Drinan guest lectured at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. She became a mentor to the women scholarship fellows, who against all odds achieved the university level of education. This experience changed her life.
The American University of Afghanistan
The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) was established in 2005 and was the brainchild of former First Lady Laura Bush. AUAF educates the future leaders of Afghanistan. Mrs. Bush had the foresight to see that the permanent impact to successfully battle terrorism that affected the United States on 9/11 was through education of the next generation of leaders. When the university opened its doors, there were 50 students, one of whom was a woman. In its short 15 year history, there are over 1700 students, of which almost 50% of who are women and 29 have become Fulbright scholars.
Where We Are Today
The collapse of the Afghan government in August is a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. The Taliban rule has been brutal in this short time. Women have no rights to education or to work. They are forced to marry Taliban soldiers and face a life of brutality. The women of AUAF are in the most danger, and public death by stoning is their best case scenario.
How To Make an Impact
Our Foundation is working on the evacuation and resettlement of AUAF alumnae and students who arrive in the United States. We provide housing, job placement, food, clothing, basic necessities, mental health counseling and mentorship. You can donate your treasure, and you can donate your time. Message Founder Christine directly at [email protected] for ways to get involved.