strange_complex: (Penny coin)
I don't make a point of special charity donations at Christmas time. That's something which only really makes sense if you are a Christian, and invested in the idea of charity as a suitable way of commemorating Jesus' birth - which I am very much not. Rather, my main form of charitable giving is via monthly direct debit, because that means my donations can be counted by the cause I am supporting as part of their regular stable income stream, which most charities seem to prefer. That said, I also make ad hoc donations in response to fund-raising campaigns if I am struck by the worthiness of the cause, or do things like donate goods to charity shops or buy items whose profits go to charity as and when it suits me to do so.

The main charity which I support via monthly direct debit is the Red Cross. In all honesty, this is partly because one of their fund-raisers rang on my doorbell one day and asked me to do so. But I said "OK" rather than "Please go away" because I have huge respect for their non-partisan work in helping the victims of wars and humanitarian disasters, and very strongly wish that more human beings would behave like that instead of creating the disasters in the first place. It seems the least I can do to encourage and support the people who are working to repair damage rather than cause it. Also, I know that the Red Cross have amazing people like [livejournal.com profile] sneerpout working for them, which seems like the badge of a sound organisation.

I feel like I should be supporting some kind of charity which works to provide education to people who would otherwise have poor access to it as well - e.g. people in developing countries, and especially underprivileged groups within those countries such as women and girls. I can't think of a more effective way to achieve positive improvements in people's lives - both socially and economically, and both individually and collectively - than by helping them to access a good education. If anyone has any suggestions for suitable charities which work cost-effectively and in ways that are respectful of and responsive to the real needs of the people they are helping (i.e. which don't push particular dogmas at the same time as providing charity), then please do tell me about them in a comment.

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