You seem like nice people. Tell us what causes and charities are important to you. Pimp your nonprofit. If there's a women's shelter that helped you, we want to hear about it. Spam us. And, if you got your tax refund, and you'd like to do a little something with it after you finish sending...um...basically all of it to American Express and your student loan, this is your opportunity to learn about some very worthy causes.
Let it all out in the comments, guys. And please tell us why you care about what you care about, too. Don't feel silly if your nonprofit of choice seems to have a narrow focus. Remember, you're allowed to care about many things at once, and if your only reason is "I love a person who cares about this issue," that's still a pretty good reason. It can be a subsidized golf course for retired mimes.
I'll go first!
The Fistula Foundation: Fistula is a painful, alienating, completely unnecessary complication which can be prevented with better care, and cured with restorative surgery. It ruins women's lives, and the Fistula Foundation has made a big, big difference for so many of them.
Ravi Drugan: My friend Ravi is a badass monoskier (he lost both of his legs after being hit by a train as a teenager) who could seriously use some funding help to continue training for the X Games and the 2014 Paralympics. He's not only one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet, he bitches less than anyone in the universe. "Oh, it's not so bad," he said to me. "I never have to wait in line for things, and I don't have to worry about frostbite anymore. I run nice and warm because my blood pressure doesn't realize I don't have to pump blood to my legs, and flight attendants let me upgrade for free!" I have a shittier attitude when I have to drag the garbage cans out to the curb on Tuesdays.
Praxis Youth Leadership Orchestra: Not only is Praxis a great organization with an incredibly committed and talented staff, the level of musical achievement they produce in such a short time with their students is...unimaginable. Their founder is one of the most passionate educators I know, and he devotes a ridiculous amount of time to fostering musical talent in the least likely environments. Attend a concert! Donate! Make your niece audition!
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: They do amazing work, they've got great resources for parents and kids who need to learn a lot in a hurry about having Type 1 diabetes, and they're going to be harassing our politicians until there's a cure. One of my dear friends volunteers extensively on their behalf, and it would make me very happy to see her with a working pancreas in my lifetime. And our own Pistol Packin' Mama, of course.
Law Students for Reproductive Justice: LSRJ is fighting the good fight to make sure that the next generation of young women will have lawyers working to keep the government from turning them into an incubator against their will. Sadly, that kind of advocacy is going to be one hell of a growth industry. Help them out, and if you're thinking about law school, ask them about internships!
Okay, now it's your turn. Where do your charitable dollars go? Conversely, what charities have helped YOU? If you had a massive windfall, who would you be excited to support? Let's hear it.