What charities do you support, and why?
Well, I’m unemployed, so I’m basically a charity myself at the moment. I’m living off of the kind donations of tax payers. Since I automatically and generously contributed to this charity for nine years at my last job, I don’t feel all that guilty about it, but it means I don’t have any money to give to any sort of charities whatsoever, so this question is moot. However, when I was employed, I did give money to several charities.
I’ve donated money to Planned Parenthood, probably the single most important charity for women out there. Not only does this organization provide low-cost family planning with no judgment or proselyting, but they provide Pap smear tests and various other general health screenings to those who don’t have health care. They are my gynecologist and have been for years. They helped save my life. Still, the best way to fight cancer, AIDS and other serious life-threatening issues is early detection. But the most important service they provide is to help make it so that there are less unwanted children in the world. They get a lot of grief for what they do, so I help them any way I can. I wish they had Planned Parenthood for everything; Planned Dentalhood and Planned Visionhood would be nice.
I’ve given money to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the ASPCA. This charity takes unwanted or abused animals, gives them treatment and helps find them homes. Animals tug at my heartstrings; I think it’s their innocence and willingness to please no matter what the circumstances. If I could, I’d take them all in and give them good homes, but I can’t, so I give money to people who can.
I’ve given money to Children of the Night, a Los Angeles based charity that helps get children off the streets. Children are right up there with animals at receiving my compassion for much the same reasons. These kids come from abusive, neglectful households where they have little choice but to make their way into the world selling the only commodity they have – their own bodies. A twelve year old prostitute absolutely breaks my heart. This cycle needs to stop. We need to protect children’s innocence for as long as we can, and if that’s not possible, we need to try to give a little of it back to them once they’ve lost it.
Hand in hand with children are the various charities that help give victims of domestic violence a new life. I’ve donated to a few of them including the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If we can get women out of abusive situations with their children, then there is less need for charities like Children of the Night. These women think that they have nowhere to go and no options. They need to know that they are wrong. They need to know that there are people who want to help. There are ways out that don’t include death.
I am a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. This organization does important legal work helping to keep the wall between church and state strong and proud. They don’t just whine about religion in government, they do something about it. They’re out there on the front lines making sure that all of us have the right to express ourselves equally. Theirs is the most important fight for free speech that there is. The First Amendment must be upheld.
So, there you have it, my hot-button issues: women, children, animals and freedom of speech. I will do anything I can to defend, protect and help in the struggle to make the world a better place through these charities. When I get a job again, I will send them all big, fat checks. It’s the least I can do. I suppose my charities of choice make me a liberal, but if name calling is what it takes, I’ll gladly be called a bleeding heart.