Every year, we get asked what we want for Christmas.  I don’t mean this in the general sense, I mean my mom calls or e-mails and asks if my husband and I have our lists yet and to please send them as soon as we can.

This is difficult.  We both maintain wish lists on, and keep them fairly up-to-date.  But to come up with things we need is a challenge, and things we want, well, we don’t want much and when we do want something we usually buy it for ourselves.

So this year, we decided to make a list of charities.  A list, so there would be some choice, or maybe our parents could give a little to each one.  Here they are:

  • Heifer Project International – Donations buy farm animals which go to needy people who can then sell the eggs or milk and breed the animal(s) to expand production.
  • Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres – Doctors help people who are victims of natural disasters, wars, or poverty.
  • The Nature Conservancy – Donations are used to conserve nature, either by directly buying up land or by partnering with others to buy or protect land.
  • Camfed USA – This group is educating girls in rural Africa and empowering them to become leaders for change in their communities.

I hope you will agree that at least one of these charities is worth supporting.  I have given to each, and I would love it if you would also.  Please do not give me any gifts this year.

If you are curious about how these organizations (and many others) spend their money, you can check out Charity Navigator.  This website gives a breakdown for charities on how much they spend on accomplishing their mission, fundraising, and administrative expenses.  You can see how much the CEO is paid and how big a chunk of the overall pie that is.  I recommend checking this site before donating to any organization that is asking you for money.

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