The end of the year is traditionally when most people give to charities, because as a free people we live our lives to the IRS’s schedule. Mrs. Dean and I give to a number of charities every year; we know there is no end of people out there doing good work in all kinds of ways who could use a little help.
We have a pretty strong bias toward local charities. At some point, charities that get too big become all about fundraising, not the mission, and fill up with bureaucrats whose focus is the organization, not the mission. So we try to focus our giving locally. And yes, its money at this point because I don’t have a lot of free time, although when I retire I expect to volunteer my time as well.
Still, the Glibertariat’s thoughts on good organizations and people to support would be welcome, even though “give local” and “ask an internationally dispersed group of cranks and misanthropes who would be good to give to” seems, well, inconsistent.
So, here’s our list:
My employer’s foundation. C’mon, I’m going to make you work a little to dox me. They will likely stay on our list even after I retire, although probably not at their current level.
United Way. Another work thing, really, since we have a big drive and all that every year, and my boss is watching. Whether they stay on our list after I retire, I can’t say. Maybe, but there’s nobody they support locally that I can’t give to directly.
The Institute for Justice. Needs no introduction around here.
Salvation Army. I believe that they are an exception to the rule of big national charities, and actually do spend most of their money on their mission.
Angel Charity for Children. Tucson-based organization that has good programs for kids, including education, etc. on life skills, which is really what I want to support.
Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona. Tucson has a lot of poor people. A whole lot. I’m sure a fair amount of their food goes to people who could afford to buy their own, but I think a lot of it goes to people who really need help to put food on their families.
Therapeutic Riding of Tucson, Inc. Horses and sick kids. Enough said.
Tucson Rod & Gun Club. They are trying to build a shooting range out my way, kinda. Of course, they have all kinds of opposition, from the usual college-town guns-r-bad-mmkay crew, NIMBYs and eco-nutters, and even cheap shots from other gun clubs and ranges. When I retire, I may join them in a more active role, mostly because they have all the right enemies.
AGR Foundation Sol Dog Lodge & Training Center. Trains rescue dogs to be therapy and assistance dogs. We know the owner, also.
Tucson Wildlife Center. Rescues and returns wild animals, many of them injured, to the wild (mostly, some can’t go back).
Ironwood Pig Sanctuary. They rescue potbellied pigs who are abandoned or injured. Because people are idiots, they get potbellied pigs as pets. Then, they wake up one day to a rather substantial pig living in their house. Or, they put it outside, where the local wildlife is delighted to see dinner delivered. Honestly, I found it just too quirky to resist.
Smiling Dog Rescue. Pit bull rescue/foster operation. There’s a ton of these mom-and-pop pit bull operations around; I may do another round of research to see if I find one I like better. Or, just another one to add to the list.
Who do you give time or money to, and why them?