It is that time of the year when generous people make donations to civic organizations that are the bedrock of our democratic society. Some are worthy charities. Others are advocates for change through advancing justice.
Below are many nonprofit groups working for causes furthering environmental and consumer health and safety, economic well-being, and peace.
Here are my recommendations for giving to these competent, honest, and results-oriented organizations. Visit their informative websites.
Alternative Radio: https://www.alternativeradio.org/
Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest: https://www.appalachia-spi.org/
Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest: https://aclpi.org/
Beyond Nuclear: https://beyondnuclear.org/
Beyond Pesticides: https://www.beyondpesticides.org/
Center for Health, Environment & Justice: https://chej.org/
Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment: https://crpe-ej.org/
Children’s Advocacy Institute: https://www.sandiego.edu/cai/
Clean Air Campaign, Inc. [Send donations to: 307 7th Avenue, Room 1705 New York, NY 10001.]
Doctors Without Borders USA: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/
Earth Island Institute: https://www.earthisland.org/
Family Farm Defenders: https://familyfarmers.org/
Honor the Earth: https://honorearth.org/
Indian Law Resource Center: https://indianlaw.org/
Solitary Watch: https://solitarywatch.org/
Nuclear Information and Resource Service: https://www.nirs.org/
Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance: https://www.orepa.org/
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: https://peer.org/
Veterans for Peace: https://www.veteransforpeace.org/
Western Organization of Resource Councils Education Project: https://www.worc.org/ep/
Whirlwind Wheelchair: https://whirlwindwheelchair.org/
Contributions to these 501(c)(3) organizations are tax deductible.
I have followed and donated to all these groups for several years. Reading their reports and letters is an educational tour de force. They demonstrate how a few dedicated people with small budgets and large goals can overcome immense odds and obstacles to get our society to do the right things for the people. They invite your participation along with your donations to further their quest for justice in their fields of activity.
Their combined budgets are less than what our military spends in about 3 hours of a 24-hour day. Their budgets are also about how much Peter Kern, CEO of Expedia, receives in a year from a rubber-stamp board of directors.
These comparisons invite extrapolations about how our tax money and consumer dollars are spent now and could be spent better in cooperative or collaborative endeavors.
One brief example: For a modest portion of what people are overpaying for their health insurance to a few giant, gouging, wasteful, claims-denying insurance companies, communities can build their own cooperatively owned primary care hospitals or clinics focused on preventative practices and attentive care. There are fewer available hospital beds in the US than we had in the nineteen seventies. The prospect of more pandemics breaking family and public budgets, invites us to band together to build community health care institutions, which makes great sense.
The same is true for building other community institutions to address local economic necessities in energy, food, communications, housing, education and recreational facilities.
The energy of democratic cooperation is exemplified by the above recommended organizations of citizen doers and innovators. Pitch in, deepen and benefit from these reservoirs of skilled good will. They bring you restorative tidings.
(To progressive readers doing some last-minute holiday shopping, be sure to check out the CounterPunch online bookstore. There are plenty of engrossing titles for you to peruse. And it is a way to avoid Amazon.)
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams and was authored by Ralph Nader.