A Nonprofit a Day: Getting in the Giving Spirit

It’s December, and just like retailers, countless nonprofits are counting on the donations from this one month to fund them through most of next year. The economy continues to tank, but hopefully that won’t lead to a major decline in giving. Say what you will about Americans, but we give to charity.

I don’t usually donate much to nonprofits…I’m usually the “root silently for their success” type. But this year, I somehow raised $4,600 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and then the President-elect smooth-talked further online transactions out of me.

So now that the floodgates have been opened, I’m going to give to (and feature) 30 cool nonprofits for the next 30 days. I realize those aren’t very exact standards, but they all fit some of these factors:
-not too well known
-offer common sense solutions
-working on unique problems / little overlap

Nominations are welcome. Preferably some obscure nonprofits that don’t get as much attention.

We’re already two days behind, so let’s get started!

Dark Sky Foundation – I read about this one a while ago, but it was also recently featured in a (way too short) National Geographic essay. We city-dwellers like to believe that we’re more advanced than country folk on many issues, but the occasional trip to a dark place with less cellphone service and more intergalactic reception quickly reveals how much of the big picture we’re missing.

DSF focuses on quick fixes, like streetlights that only project light down, as well as long term education. And as a bonus, less light blocking our stars also means less electricity wasted into space.

Some of the effects of light pollution:
-Energy waste, and the air and water pollution caused by energy waste
-Harm to human health
-Harm to nocturnal wildlife and ecosystems
-Reduced safety and security
-Reduced visibility at night
-Poor nighttime ambience

That last one is the least tangible, but in my opinion, potentially the most important. Let’s turn off the opening-night spotlights and reclaim our awe of the universe.


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