I was doing my taxes and realized that, aside from the zillions of sorry, sad causes that I’m forced to support through my tax dollars (bailouts of the irresponsible from Wall Street to Main Street, domestic spying, “wars” on everything from drugs to fatty foods) I am giving my support to more and more causes that seek to directly counter the above foolishness as well as those that I think need our support because they are a good idea.
If you know me, you may share some of my ideals and perhaps get some ideas for organizations that could use your support.
SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) Foundation – In support of the Astronomy Cast podcast. This is an EXCELLENT resource for people wanting to learn about astronomy.
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) – Not anti-religious as some may claim but rather working to ensure that no single religion will become our “state” religion. There would be only one winner in that case and many, many losers.
Foster Kids – A positive way to expose kids to a less institutionalized, more stable home life.
Wikipedia – I think this is a worthwhile initiative and want to see it grow. I also use Wikipedia, the beneficiary of Wikimedia’s efforts, ALL THE TIME
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) – In addition to challenging private nonsense in our technologically advancing world, the EFF serves to counter and watchdog some of the many abuses that our own government naturally engages in as it grows into new and uncharted territory
PBS (WABE) – Some of their content actually makes it to my podcasts (“Tech Nation” is a great example). Public broadcasting can both provide intelligent programming and demonstrate to our more cynical networks that there *is* demand for something other than friggin’ WWE, “Reality TV” and NASCAR.
Our Troops overseas – When we can we contribute items directly through friends who have relatives and loved ones overseas to ensure that they have some of the nice things you just can’t get in a 3rd world desert.
Conversations Network – They provide a LOT of content of consistent quality and on a reliable schedule that you simply cannot get anywhere else.
American Red Cross – They do a huge amount of good work directly both in our community and abroad. I’ve never needed their services but I want to be sure they’re there for us and for anybody else who needs them
United Way – Somewhat controversial, but there are so many worthwhile causes out there that I use the United Way to paint a very broad stroke to help charities that I may not have even heard of do their work. I support directly those that I have a direct desire to support and I have to have faith that the United Way will honestly and fairly distribute my donation to deserving institutions.
GoodWill – It’s good to know that my no longer needed, but perfectly good, items can continue to be productively used by others and help to support folks in need at the same time.
SETI Institute – I earnestly believe that you can learn just as much by finding out that there is NO ONE OUT THERE as you can by discovering we are not alone. The work being done by the SETI institute lifts the spirit and expands your mind in ways that no religion ever will.
James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) – Striving to be a beacon of rationality in a world filled with folks prone to superstition and other silliness, the JREF is becoming more and more the Skeptical (Sceptical for you canucks out there) center for organizing events to encourage grass roots activism and education across America.
Habitat for Humanity – A very grounded and hands-on way to help someone get back on their feet.
Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association (AOPA) – Advocating for issues of concern to general aviation, they provide a wealth of information and, through the ASF (Air Safety Foundation) work to educate pilots and make flying even safer.
Indian Hills Civic Association – Because you have to take care of your own backyard too.