Giving Tuesday has grown into one of the biggest giving movements in the world. There are so many worthy causes to express generosity especially now in light of the pandemic. Here are 5 worthy causes that are personal to me:
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) “has taken direct action based on sound science to protect Earth’s most important natural places, including more than 157,000 acres across Alabama and more than 120 million acres around the world.” The Kathy Stiles Freeland Bibb County Glades Preserve is one of 16 sites that the TNC manages and is a featured property in The Wild Wonders of Alabama. Acquired in 1997, the preserve features outcrops of gray ketona dolomite that date 500 million years ago. The preserve is also a botanical discovery for the ages with 61 rare plant species with at least 8 of those that are new to science.
Another featured property in the The Wild Wonders of Alabama is Splinter Hill Bog, a 2,100-acre land tract managed by the Forever Wild Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy and the Alabama State Lands Division. This pine-seepage bog hosts 12 species of carnivorous plants including pitcher plants, sundews, and butterworts. According to the American Forest Foundation, “mature longleaf ecosystems support up to 40 species per square yard, and are home to upwards of 30 threatened and endangered species.”
Before the pandemic, I volunteered semi-regularly at DC Books to Prisons. Founded in 1999, the organization provides free books to incarcerated people, and according to their website have sent more than 6,000 packages to inmates in over 600 state and federal prisons in the United States. These books provide a much needed resource for the nearly one percent of American adults who are incarcerated, the highest rate in the world.
“The books you have sent to so many prisoners have changed countless lives and helped them to escape the world of prison. Additionally, many books have become educational and I have personally seen may prisoners become interested in what they have read and often ask questions concerning the topic. In a way, this restores my faith in humanity, forgiveness and compassion.”
– Stephen, Pampa TX
Another book initiative is The Million Book Project, founded by author, lawyer, and poet Dwayne Betts. The aim is to curate 500-literary time-capsules to 1,000 prisons and juvenile detention centers to each state in the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Is there a book you’ve stayed up all night reading, or a book that fundamentally changed your view of the world? You can help curate the collection with your own book recommendations here.
Listen to an interview with Dwayne Betts on how reading helped him transform himself.
I've had the opportunity to foster through DC PAWS Rescue, an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. They are “committed to rescuing homeless animals from high-kill animal control facilities that are often under-resourced and under-funded.” Starting at 8 am on December 1, Facebook will double their donations until they reach $7 million.