05 September 2008

Making a Difference

Our adoption process has been an eye-opening experience for us. The fact of the matter is that while the adoption for us is joyful, on the other side of an adoption there are tears and loss.

Adoptions happen for a variety of reasons ranging from a lack of resources to unfortunate circumstances to, frequently, the death of one or both birth parents. In many cases, the circumstances leading to a child becoming available for adoption could have been avoided through increased access to health care, education, employment opportunities or community resources.

Many people believe that these issues only happen in developing nations. While it is true that many of the adoptions originate in impoverished areas of the world, a lack of resources can exist in any country.

But there are ways to help. GLH and I have always contributed a percentage of our income to charitable organizations, but have now decided to focus our giving on those organizations which help families and children in the United States and around the world.

If others would also like to explore ways of making a difference, I have compiled a list of reputable organizations you may wish to consider. And hey, your contribution would also be also tax-deductible! (At least for US citizens. Not sure how it works for citizens of other countries.)

A private, charitable US organization assisting Africa, it is also the oldest and largest African-American led organization in the field. Africare programs are in the following areas: health and HIV/AIDS, food security and agriculture, water resource development, environmental management, literacy and vocational training, microenterprise developement, civil society development, governance and emergency response.

The largest and oldest youth mentoring program in the United States whose mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth.

An international medical humanitarian organization based in France which provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.

An international organization supporting the efforts of women's groups around the world to fight social injustice and advance the international women's movement. By helping women to better their lives, you are helping children, families and entire communities.

US-based, international organization providing women, men and adolescents throughout the world with access to quality family planning and reproductive health information and services. Pathfinder works to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS, to provide care to women suffering through the complications of unsafe abortions, and to advocate for sound reproductive health in the US and abroad.

RIF is the oldest and largest children's and family nonprofit literacy organization in the United States. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth through age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and US territory, RIF provides 4.5 million children with 16 million new, free books and literacy resources every year.

US-based organization which works to create real and lasting change in the lives of children in the United States and around the world.

One of the largest and best known international organizations working around the world to help children survive and develop, improve their educational opportunities, protect them from violence and promote gender equality.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, I don't see any organizations that also promote abstinence in addition to their other services. That would not only prevent unfortunate pregnancies, but also help to increase self esteem in young men and women. Maybe you should research that one too?

See you soon.
Love, Jen

Global Librarian said...

None of the abstinence-focused organizations rated higher than a B- on any of the charity watchdog websites I consulted. Probably because every reputable study done on the topic of abstinence promotion say that it is just plain not effective.

All of the organizations I listed earned an A or A+ on a minimum of three websites which rate the accountability of how the money is spent and the effectiveness of the programs.