You've made a list, and checked it twice, but you still haven't figured out what to get the person who has everything. Or, worse yet, you just discovered you forgot someone! Or, maybe you've nailed your holiday list and find yourself with a little extra cash and are deciding how to spend it. Well, we have a go-to gift in these situations, and it's something we promise everyone will enjoy: charitable donations.
Donations are the gift that gives thrice: once to the organization, once to the recipient, and once to the giver (who sparked this avalanche of feel-goodness). And isn't that what gift-giving is all about? Here are some of our 10 favorite charities to consider:
1. Every Mother Counts: Christy Turlington-Burns' (pictured, above) charity aims to reduce the number of women who die due to complications during pregnancy and childhood through education and raising awareness.
2. Project Nathanael: This organization works to make access to quality schooling in Haiti easier for everyone. Through its free school, Institutive Nathanael, they offer leadership coaching, teacher development, and a lunch program, among other things.
3. Worldwide Orphans: Founded in 1997, WWO aims to give orphaned children the best life possible by addressing developmental and medical conditions that affect children in orphanages around the world.
4. Water.org: Co-founded by Matt Damon, this charity's goal is to give safe water and sanitation to everyone around the world. Their work extends to Africa, South Asia, and Central America.
5. Girls Inc.: Through education programs, Girls Inc. encourages young women to master challenges, both mental and physical, as well as take risks. Their goal is to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
6. International Fund for Animal Welfare: From dogs and cats to endangered species, IFAW works in over 40 countries to protect animals around the world from suffering and exploitation.
7. Doctors Without Borders: This group of volunteer medical professionals delivers emergency aid to areas affected by conflicts, epidemics (like the recent Ebola outbreak), disasters, and exclusion from health care.
8. From One Hand to Another: "In regions where things are failing and falling apart, education is always what’s lacking," says Pharrell Williams, who founded this organization that creates learning programs for underserved 7- to 20-year-olds.
9. Save the Children: This not-for-profit advocates for children's rights in more than 120 countries (including the U.S.) through providing medical aid, food, water, and educational tools.
10. World Food Programme: As the food aid branch of the United Nations, the WFP provides food to over 90 million people a year who are not able to get food for themselves or their families due to economic reasons or crises.