I have a few links in my sidebar and since those things say something about me anyway, I thought I’d add some notes for those who are interested. I am one of those folks that thinks a donation to a cause that is important to someone makes a great gift so I guess it also serves that function for any friends and relatives that might drop by.
The Alternatives to Marriage Project provides information and support for people in all kinds of unmarried relationships and advocates for an end to marital status discrimination. I have been on the board of this organization since 2005 and on their mailing list much longer. Neither I nor AtMP will think less of you if you are married. We believe that families are diverse and that it should not be made more difficult for people to be family for each other because they are unmarried. Being family is about love, emotional support, financial support, care, etc.
Oxfam is an international organization promoting development in the global south. They support local people building long-term solutions and campaign around issues, like fair trade, that have an impact on the livelihoods of people in the global south. They also have strong programs focused on women, something that is important to me, personally. Because I live in Canada, I support Oxfam Canada. They are an international organization and exist in other countries. (The originated in the UK. The name is a shortened version of Oxford Famine Relief, an earlier incarnation of the organization.)
Locally, I support Habitat for Humanity, a housing charity that builds homes and provides affordable financing for those who are homeless. Like Oxfam, they focus on providing long term solutions and working with those who need help to find solutions. They also provide training for volunteers in house building skills. I have chosen to support my local chapter directly, but it is possible to support Habitat at a national (or even international) level.
Although I’m a big fan of paying taxes for public services, I am a realist and public television sometimes requires other forms of support. TVOntario provides good quality programming with a major focus on educational material at all levels, not to mention a major sideline in British mysteries. I make a small monthly donation to do my bit to support that kind of thing.
We have recently reviewed our household finances and our giving and thought that the major gap was in something relating to environment and sustainability. We are looking for the right organization to support. Our local Food Security Council seemed like one possibility but it doesn’t look like they take personal donations. But I’m sure we’ll find something.