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Places to Donate to This Holiday Season That Aren’t the Salvation Army

As the Holiday season quickly approaches, people start to feel especially generous. Whether due to the joy and spirit of the season or through a sense of moral obligation, 30% of annual giving in the US occurs during December with 10% occurring within the last 3 days of the year. 

Many people donate to the Salvation Army because of the convenience, queue the bell ringers. However, there is one major problem with donating to the Salvation Army and that can be attributed to its homophobic nature.

Let’s quickly dig into their past. In the U.S., (although they operate in the UK, Canada, and Australia) the Salvation Army has…

  1. Supported legislation that would allow LGBTQ+ individuals to be denied employment and federally funded services 
  2. Refused to extend domestic benefits to same sex partners 
  3. Said they were going to extend their domestic benefits and then rescinded
  4. Threatened to leave New York City if they weren’t allowed to deny same sex partners domestic benefits 
  5. Told a trans woman that she would have to room with men, which led to the woman freezing to death 
  6. Referred LGBTQ+ people to conversion therapy 

So, instead of donating to a discriminatory charity this holiday season, here are some other options:

Helping Hands of Relief

This is an international organization that responds to situations of emergency and disaster. They also work on long term relief and development that especially focuses on countries where the majority of the population is impoverished. Additionally, 95% of their financials go directly to serving.

Rainforest Trust

They specifically work in and around the tropics, buying and protecting the most threatened habitats in order to prevent extinction, promote biodiversity, and save indigenous communities. Additionally, 94% of their financials go directly to protection.

Meds and Food for Kids

They develop, produce, and distribute healthy, nutritious food for malnourished children in Haiti. Food is made in Haiti by Haitians using Haitian products. Additionally, 93% of their financials go to this mission.

Equal Justice Initiative

This organization fights against the pandemic incarceration and undue punishment of POC, economic and racial inequity, and to defending human rights. Additionally, 91% of their financials go to their fight.

Special Olympics

They encourage understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of people with and without intellectual disabilities through sport. Additionally, 89% of their financials work for inclusion.

During this holiday season, don’t fall for the smiling bell ringers outside of your local grocery store. Donate somewhere that will help anyone and everyone, no matter their sexual and gender orientation. 

Cassidy Schuchmann is a junior psychology major with a medicine, health, and culture minor at Furman University. In addition to being a writer for HerCampus, she's the Vice President of Leadership for the Alpha Eta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, the Vice president of the Furman BodyProject, a student member of the Student Conduct Board, and the student representative for the Cultural Life Program committee and the Diversity Subcommittee on LGBT+ action. Her goals for the future are to obtain a master's degree in bioimaging and become an interventional radiologist. Her passions include: serving others, social justice, promoting body acceptance, feminism, cooking, and dogs.
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