May 22, 2020

"Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being's suffering.  Not a career.  Not wealth.  Not intelligence.  Certainly not status.  We have to feel for one another if we're going to survive with dignity." -- Audrey Hepburn

We're all facing difficulties in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic;  however, some groups of individuals are experiencing these difficulties more profoundly.  In fact, these individuals typically experience hardships more profoundly than the rest of the general population, and the pandemic has only made matters worse for them.

I usually have a goal that I want to accomplish when I publish a post, and my goal for this one is simple:  to inspire you, reader, to have some empathy for the individuals who are struggling now, who are always struggling.

Each of the nonprofit organizations listed below has a mission to help those who need help the most.  Most of them have a 4-star rating (the highest rating) on Charity Navigator, so you can rest assured that these organizations are not relying upon lofty words alone.

Even if you are not able to make a donation now, I encourage you to visit the websites and various social media pages of these organizations;  the little bits of information that I have included about each of them here are no comparison to the pictures and testimonials that those resources can provide.

If even one of these nonprofits sparks your interest or makes you think, please share it with others.  As small as it may seem, this action is an exercise in empathy.

The BlinkNow Foundation (Child Welfare, Education)
The BlinkNow Foundation, created by Maggie Doyne, has established a children's home, a school with an eco-friendly campus, a safe house, a women's center, and a health clinic for the children and women of Surkhet, Nepal.  Learn more here.

Save the Children (Child Welfare, Emergency Response)
Save the Children provides early education, literacy, health, and disaster preparedness programs to children in the United States and 120 other countries globally.  They also provide health care and psychological support services to children impacted by crises.  Learn more here.

Partners in Health (Accessible Health Care)
Partners in Health seeks to provide health care to the poor in the United States and around the world.  Their major goals are to "bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need" and to "serve as an antidote to despair."  Learn more here.

Coalition for the Homeless (Homelessness)
The Coalition for the Homeless works to end mass homelessness in New York City.  They have established front line programs that provide "emergency food and clothing, eviction prevention, crisis services, permanent housing, job training, and special programs for homeless youth."  Learn more here.

GRACE Marketplace (Homelessness)
GRACE Marketplace is dedicated to ending homelessness in Gainesville, Florida, United States (which also happens to be my college town).  They provide a myriad of services at their shelter, including job skills training, re-housing programs, and a culinary training program.  Learn more here.

Humble Design (Homelessness)
Humble Design uses donated goods and design services to transform empty houses into comfortable homes for individuals and families emerging from homelessness.  Learn more here.

Feeding Pets of the Homeless (Animals, Homelessness)
Feeding Pets of the Homeless provides food and veterinary services to the pets of homeless people.  They also educate others about the strength of the human-animal bond.  Learn more here.

K9s for Warriors (Animals, Veteran Welfare)
K9s for Warriors pairs military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental illnesses with trained service dogs in order to prepare them to "return to life with dignity and independence."  The majority of the service dogs are rescued from shelters or surrendered by their owners.  Learn more here.

Pawsitive Change Program (Animals, Prisoner Welfare)
The Pawsitive Change Program pairs incarcerated men across the state of California with rescued dogs for "mutual rehabilitation."  The program prepares the men and dogs for completing the Canine Good Citizen Certification Test.  Learn more here.

The Kevin Richardson Foundation (Animals, Conservation)
The Kevin Richardson Foundation was created by Kevin Richardson, the "Lion Whisperer."  Their goals include "acquiring and protecting key tracts of land to protect and expand natural lion habitats," "educating and empowering communities surrounding conservation areas" using the integrated conservation approach, maintaining the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary, and ending the canned lion hunting industry.  Learn more here.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Animals, Conservation)
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy "works to conserve wildlife, (to) provide a sanctuary for great apes, and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprise for reinvestment in conservation and communities."  It is also the resting place of the last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan.  Learn more here.

The Green Belt Movement (Conservation)
The Green Belt Movement, established by Professor Wangari Maathai in 1977, empowers communities to conserve the environment and foster more sustainable lifestyles.  Their four areas of focus are "tree planting and water harvesting," climate change, "mainstream advocacy" focused on deforestation and land grabbing in Kenya, and "gender livelihood and advocacy."  Learn more here.

Sustainability in Prisons Project (Conservation, Prisoner Welfare)
The Sustainability in Prisons Project has started 12 different science and environmental education programs for the incarcerated individuals in Washington State prisons.  These programs include everything from composting to beekeeping.  Learn more here.

Just Detention International (Prisoner Welfare, Mental Health)
Just Detention International aims to end sexual abuse in detention, as well as the "flippant and ill-informed attitudes towards prisoner rape."  In addition to advocating for policy changes, they train prison counselors and provide survivors with materials designed to help them "cope and rebuild their lives."  Learn more here.

Sexual Assault Center (Mental Health, Education)
The Sexual Assault Center's mission is to "provide healing for children, adults and families affected by sexual assault and to end sexual violence through counseling, education, and advocacy."  Their services include counseling and therapy, K-12 and college education programs, and several community training programs.  Learn more here.

To Write Love on Her Arms (Mental Health, Education)
To Write Love on Her Arms aims to help individuals struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide.  They sell t-shirts and other merchandise, fund treatment and recovery efforts, educate communities, and maintain online resources that connect others to the help that they need.  Learn more here.

The Jed Foundation (Mental Health, Education)
The Jed Foundation focuses on educating children, teens, college students, and communities about mental health awareness and suicide prevention.  They have created a myriad of programs that will allow these individuals to develop healthy attitudes towards mental health and to foster these attitudes in their communities.  Learn more here.

Thank you for reading.


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