In this season of gratitude and grace, I'm happy to share the three categories of charities to whom I donate. The specific charities vary depending on personal factors. If any of these inspire you to contribute--particularly at a local level--remember donations typically fall into three groups: money, goods, or time-in-person. Much of which is tax-deductible (for now).
1. Local Dog Rescues
I donate to breed-specific rescues simply because I've adopted from breed rescues; though, shelters and local SPCAs are just as deserving. Remember: if you are adopting a new critter during the holidays, be extra patient. The noise, the amped emotions, and abnormal routines make it difficult for the critter and the new owner(s) to find their balance. Give your adoptee a safe, quiet place away from the commotion and personal-space-invaders where your new critter can claim sanctuary. If possible, wait until after the chaos of the holidays to bring home a new-to-you pet. Not only are you more likely to be back into your day-to-day routine, but the shelters take in a lot of unwanted "presents" in the weeks following the holidays.
2. Women's Shelters
The quest for safety, independence, and dignity is not easy regardless of the circumstances that bring a woman to a shelter. If she's brave enough to seek help, then help should be there. However, I'm very particular about which shelters receive my assistance because I have very strong beliefs that don't commonly align with organizations that infiltrate shelter management to inflict their version of morality on emotionally vulnerable women.
3. Literacy Groups
It may seem self-serving for an author to donate to a literacy group, but I'm a firm believer that once a person learns to read, they gain the most important tool they'll need to achieve their dreams. These groups serve more than children. If kids aren't your thing, there are a lot of adults who need the help and who have the drive to succeed.