Mash-Up Giving Guide: 7 Causes That Deserve Your Support
By Mary Phillips-Sandy
Put your money where your values are.
Are you tired? We’re tired. It’s been a waking nightmare of a year, and all we really want for the holidays is to light up the world with a few glimmers of hope. So instead of a gift guide, we’ve assembled our giving guide, this list of organizations that are making things better in ways that matter to our Mash-Up family. Make a donation in someone’s name, or just give yourself the gift of knowing that you’ve made a positive difference.
Note: These organizations have earned 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, with the exception of United We Dream, which hasn’t been rated yet. However, we checked UWD’s latest IRS filings and found that 89% of their spending goes directly to programs and services. Spending more on programs and less on overhead is a key indicator of mission focus and efficiency, so we feel confident including them.
Put Food On The Table
We love to talk food here at Mash-Up HQ. For us, it’s not just fuel, it’s part of our identity. But did you know that 1 in 8 Americans struggles with hunger? That includes 13 million children and 5 to 7 million seniors. The numbers are even more stark in Black and Latino households, which face disproportionately higher rates of hunger and food insecurity. Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief program, supporting a network of food banks, food pantries, and meal programs that serves more than 46 million people per year. Learn more about hunger in America and donate here.
Rebuild Puerto Rico
You may have heard about this disaster relief/recovery program from an uptown theater nerd, but if not, allow us. With support from New York City civic leaders and community-based partner organizations, the Hispanic Federation launched the Unidos relief fund while Hurricane Maria was still making its way across the Caribbean. In the aftermath, Unidos has delivered more than 3 million pounds of food, water, and provisions; committed $3 million to relief and recovery; and coordinated dozens of relief flights and medical evacuations. Donate here.
Empower Communities Of Color
Established in 1968 as the first project of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, CCC is a living branch of the civil rights movement. Its mission is to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better. This is carried out through a number of campaigns, including the Housing Trust Fund Project, immigration advocacy, and efforts to reinvest in neighborhoods scarred by decades of racial and economic injustice. Donate here.
Support A Classroom In Need
Whitney spoke the truth: Children are our future. Yet thousands of public schools across the country struggle to provide kids with books, art supplies, instruments, STEM materials, and healthy snacks. You know, the stuff kids need to learn and grow and live. DonorsChoose was founded in 2000 by a history teacher in the Bronx; since then, more than 1 million classroom requests have been funded. Find a classroom to support here. You can also give someone a gift card that will enable them to put the funds toward a classroom of their choice.
Keep Elders Safe And Secure
Justice in Aging is a national organization that uses the power of law to fight senior poverty by ensuring access to health care, economic security, and the courts. Its efforts focus on folks who have historically lacked legal protections, including people of color, LGBT individuals, and people with limited English proficiency. Learn more about the organization’s mission and history here, then donate here. Do it for your abuelita (or your oma, or bubbe, or nonna, or mémère…).
Keep The Dream Alive
With over 400,000 members nationwide, United We Dream is the country’s largest immigrant youth-led community. In addition to advocating for a clean Dream Act and other legislation, UWD works to protect immigrants, defend against deportation, and provide access to education. Its members have also created awesome toolkits for undocumented youth and their allies, covering everything from sanctuary city organization to mental health. Keep America great and donate here.
Save The Internet
If net neutrality rules get scrapped in favor of a pay-to-play internet, independent publishers and creators — HELLO, THAT’S US — will lose out to big corporations that can afford the game. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been a leading voice in the fight for net neutrality, but that’s not all it does. EFF advocates for privacy, free expression, and access to technology through grassroots organizing, policy analysis, technology development, and impact litigation. Use the open internet we know and love to learn about the issues and donate here.What causes are you giving to this year? Tell us all about it on Facebook or Twitter.