I love our topic at SFF7 this week! I firmly believe in giving back and paying good things forward.
I tend to focus on three areas of charitable giving or support: veterans, children and animals, based on my own life and what's most important to me.
The specific charities I support may change from year to year but here are a few to which I've given support currently or in the past:
Hero Dogs, Inc. - Service dogs for veterans. With my friend Pauline B. Jones, I've co-organized the USA Today Best Selling Pets In Space scifi romance limited edition anthology for the past two years, and we make a donation to Hero Dogs from the first month's royalties earned by this USA Today Best Selling anthology.
The Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA - my two rescue cats Jake and Keanu came from here (and my daughters' cats Carrot and Orly before that) and I admire the work they do.
Rainbow Acres Ranch - From their webpage: "For over 40 years, we've been empowering people with developmental disabilities to live to their fullest potential with dignity and purpose." For many years, one of my dearest friends and her husband went annually to volunteer their time and talents there, so I chose to support them as well.
GLAZA - the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. When my girls were young, we went there all the time and I tried to support them as much as I could.
LZ Grace Warriors Retreat - From their webpage: "Landing Zone Grace (LZ-Grace) provides a place of respite for combat weary warriors and their families. The goal of this family farm is to provide a sanctuary of rest, renewal and hope to Special Operations Forces (from all branches of the military) transitioning from combat to life at home."
There are so many worthy organizations out there, so many needs crying out to be addressed. I always wish I could do more but we can each only do what's possible for our own situation and try to help those who are less fortunate than we may be today.
At various times, I’ve also supported the American Cancer Society, the Red Cross, St. Jude’s Hospital, Susan G. Komen For the Cure, UNICEF, the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and various organizations fighting the AIDS epidemic, as well as smaller, localized charities whose names would not be familiar. When I had the day job, I always also donated to United Way from my paycheck.
As you can probably tell, my choice of which charities to support varies with what’s going on in my own life, or with my family and friends. That leaves out so many wonderful causes like bomb removal in war torn areas, world famine, malaria prevention, lack of clean water in impoverished parts of the world, Doctors Without Borders...but for me, the focus is more localized.
Best wishes to you and yours for a very warm, happy and safe holiday season.