10 Charities Worth Knowing

With so many charities out there, consider of the some lesser-known, but equally important causes.

| April 28, 2008

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    You can easily make a difference by donating or volunteering to a worthy nonprofit organization. Find one whose work matches your values.

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No matter if you owed taxes this year or received a refund, it's never too early to start thinking about next April. And whether you want to have more deductions next year or just want to feel good about where your money goes, giving to charities is an easy and fulfilling way to make a difference. Charity Navigator provides a list of nonprofit groups from around the world. Many of us are familiar with outstanding groups such as Defenders of Wildlife, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and others. But here are several organizations that do great work yet perhaps fly under the radar. Whether you can afford a donation or not, the following nonprofits offer valuable information and resources.

American Rivers
If you want to help protect rivers and promote clean water, this is a great group to support. American Rivers works closely with local river protection groups to promote rivers as a valuable asset to any community. Its campaigns advocate for right-to-know legislation, explore new ways to provide reliable water sources to communities, assist in restoring natural water resources and establish trails to connect people to their local rivers. See if one of your local rivers in on the endangered list.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
AAFA is the leading patient organization for people with asthma or allergies. Its motto “life without limits” is reflected in the many things they do. AAFA is working toward labeling all certified non-allergy products including bedding, flooring and plush toys. Find the allergy forecast in your area, information on several types of asthma and the “Asthma Capitals” on their Web site.

Beyond Pesticides
With summer just around the corner, many people are looking to improve their lawns or plant gardens. Beyond Pesticides strives to inform us about the harmful effects of toxic chemicals to people and the environment. See its “Gateway” to find an extensive list of harmful chemicals and their environmental and health effects. Beyond Pesticides also provides solutions for less toxic household and garden pest control.

Center for Health, Environment & Justice
Lois Gibbs exposed the dangers of toxic chemicals when she helped 833 families relocate in 1981, after learning their homes sat next to 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals. Shortly after, she started CHEJ. The group has convinced McDonalds to quit using Styrofoam cups and Microsoft to not use PVC plastic. CHEJ supports several different campaigns including BE SAFE and Green Flag Schools. Its Community Assistance program helps groups get organized, set goals and execute its plan to help the environment.

Children’s Environmental Health Network
CEHN promotes a healthy environment for children by protecting them from health hazards, such as chemicals, food issues and disease. They educate health professionals, create public awareness of environmental hazards and conduct prevention-oriented research. Use their Resource Guide to see other organizations that support a healthy environment for children or to read about why children are affected more than adults by environmental hazards. The most up-to-date environmental news stories also are posted on their Web site.


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