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Christmas for Charities

Christmas for Charities
While having a nice afternoon in Rotterdam along with my sisters, we were talking about what was keeping us busy. At the moment, the school of my little sister is organising different events to collect money for 3FM Serious Request. She is very involved with the whole process, which is a good thing in my opinion. These kind of causes have always been supported in my family. My parents have always said: “If you have enough money, why not help others that do not?”Donations. However, my parents have become cynical when it comes to charities, and along with them, many others.

This is because in recent years, various newspapers have reported on the high salaries that the management of charity organisations receive or some very controversial investments that were made in the name of the charity. Charities have suffered because of this. The spokesperson of ‘Brandwondenstichting’ has stated in an interview with the NRC in October: “The people who tried to collect money were told that charities could not be trusted anymore after another director walked away with a huge sum of money.” There is no way of denying that the chairman of ALS and Alpe d’Huez received more than 100.000 euros a year. However, people seem to forget that the organisations still help a lot of people in different ways, such as research, health care or just making them feel better about themselves. It is a shame, but these stories have changed the way people, including my parents, look at charities and it has changed the way that people donate money.

However, we are getting to a special time of year: Christmas time! It is the time of hot chocolate with whipped cream, blinding Christmas lights, Christmas carols that you hear too many times but still sing along to and more important, it is the time of giving. In this time of giving, I want to inspire you to donate to charities and help them do some good! Lets create a Christmas miracle and save the world!

Okay, that might be a bit too opportunistic, but still, it is the idea that counts right? To help and inspire you, I will give you a few but well meaning suggestions of some smaller, less known charities that I really like and could really benefit from your help. Everybody is familiar with the big charities such as UNICEF, KWF Kankerbestrijding, GIRO 555, KiKa and such which all do amazing work, do not get me wrong, but there so many others out there that also do good.

The first charity that I want to put into the spotlight is ZOA. This charity helps people all over the world who are the victim of natural disasters or armed conflicts. ZOA tries to create a new perspective in which people work together on their future with trust and dignity. The thing that makes ZOA stand out is that it actually works together with the communities that have been harmed until ZOA thinks that the community can stand on its own feet. Also, you can directly donate to specific projects that you personally think are important. I want to mention that even though ZOA is created based on Christian ideals, it helps everybody, no matter their religion.

A project that I also quite like is the Project for Awesome. It is an initiative of the Vlogbrothers, a famous duo on YouTube consisting of the brothers John and Hank Green. Project for Awesome is a two-day long live-streaming event in which thousand of different people post videos on YouTube advocating for different charities. The YouTube community and its viewers raise money in many different ways, from direct donators to having small parts of proceeds of YouTube merchandise donated to charities. A vlogger who has been part of the project from the start, Kevin Jennison, describes it on his site as: “It gets fun. It gets serious. It gets weird. But most of all, it gets charitable.” At the end of the two day event, the money gathered is distributed among the top ten ranking charities. The thing that I like about this charity is that it all depends on the generation who watches YouTube, traditionally an audience that is difficult to reach. Another advantage is that the only costs that have to be paid are the costs of perk manufacturing, shipping and the merchant fees, everything else is donated.

Kinderfonds MAMAS is an amazing project in South Africa. It supports MAMAS who are strong and impressive women who have taken the initiative to take care of children who live in extreme poverty. The MAMAS provide food, health, protection, warmth and love for the children every day and take what Nelson Mandela has said to heart; “Reducing poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is justice!”. The thing that I like about this charity is that kinderfonds MAMAS sees that only when the community itself takes action it can actually change and the kinderfonds finances those initiatives that have started to take action themselves. The MAMAS decide what should happen and the kinderfonds only supports, though the kinderfonds goes to South Africa at least two times a year to visit the people they support so that they are sure their money is well spend.

Have these examples inspired you to donate but none of the aforementioned charities are it for you? Or did you already want to donate but the huge amount of charities confuse you, please do not give up on the idea of donating but go to goededoelentest.nl. By answering eight simple questions, they give you a top ten of charities that fit best with what you think is the most important. It is simple, it is quick and it links you directly to the site of the organisations, so it is also very easy. What more do you want?

And you are thinking about donating to a charity but you are doubting because you are not completely sure about them? I advice you to go to the site of the CBF, which is stands for “Centraal Bureau voor Fondswerving”. This organisation judges the trustworthiness of a charity on the basis of some tests and if the charities pass the tests, they get the CBF stamp of approval. This way, you know you can trust the organisation.

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year, and I hope you will help with getting others the exact same thing.

One Response to Christmas for Charities

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