“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank
On Wednesday I shared with you 5 Ways to Give When You Can’t Give Money. Today I promised to post the names and websites of some of the organizations I’ve found that need hands-on help. Of course there are hundreds of worthy ministries, charities, and nonprofits — many of which you may already be familiar with — working in your church or community. These are just a few examples, representing the variety of ways you can get involved… Some are faith-based and some aren’t. All of them have national or international reach, so no matter where you live, you can be a part of the work they do.
1. World Vision Knit for Kids: Download patterns from the website to knit hats, sweaters, and blankets for impoverished children around the world and here in the United States.
2. Wigs for Kids and Pantene Beautiful Lengths: If you have longer hair — or can commit to growing it out — donate it to these organizations that provide wigs free of charge to children (Wigs for Kids) or women who’ve lost their hair due to cancer treatments (Pantene).
3. Joni and Friends: Join the Wheels for the World team providing free wheelchairs, along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to children and adults affected by disability worldwide. Volunteer to organize a used wheelchair drive in your community, help collect and transport wheelchairs to centers where they’re refurbished, or be a part of the team distributing them to people who desperately need them. You can also serve as a volunteer or camp counselor at Family Retreats for the disabled and their caregivers.
4. Medals for Mettle: If you’re a runner, you’ve probably collected a few medals for completing a 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, or marathon in your community. Donate your race medals to this organization that awards them to children and adults bravely fighting debilitating illness. You can also get friends and family to sponsor you as you walk or run for any one of a dozen organizations that fight disease, like Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and Relay For Life , or raise money for alzheimer’s research or rescue children in India from slavery and prostitution (As Our Own — I’m walking a half marathon for them this fall!)
5. Voice of the Martyrs: Pray for the persecuted church — believers around the world who are being harrassed, abused, imprisoned, and tortured or even martyred for their faith in Christ. Subscribe to weekly email updates to receive news of specific prayer needs and ways you can pray.
6. Soles 4 Souls: Donate gently worn clothes and shoes to those in need in Central / South America and Africa, as well as victims of natural disasters here at home.
7. 30 Hour Famine (World Vision): Lead a group of young people through 30 days of prayer, followed by a 30 hour fast to help raise money (through sponsors) to feed the hungry around the world.
8. Feeding America: Help out in your local community by sorting, boxing and repackaging donated food to be distributed to needy families.
9. Reece’s Rainbow: This organization raises money to help facilitate the adoption of children with Down Syndrome in the U.S. and around the world. Even if you can’t adopt a child or give financially toward another family’s adoption costs, there’s still a long list of ways you can help — by praying, by volunteering at various fundraisers, by getting the word out and raising awareness. Check it out!
10. Prison Fellowship: Pray for the ministry or better yet, train to be a volunteer to visit prisons and share the gospel, teach Bible studies and life skills classes, bless inmates’ families with summer camp opportunities and Christmas gifts.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40)
I’m creating a Make a Difference board on Pinterest, with links to these and many other ministry sites. Got close to 30 so far…
What other charities, ministries, or nonprofits would you recommend? I’d love to hear your suggestions!