Think you can’t make a difference? According to Giving USA’s annual philanthropy report, almost three-quarters of charitable donations come from individuals--not foundations, corporations or Mark Zuckerberg. But with so many worthy causes out there, how the heck do you decide where to give? We cherry-picked seven charities worthy of a donation this Holiday season. Here, the best of the best.

Childreading

IF NOTHING WARMS YOUR HEART LIKE SEEING A CHILD SUCCEED...

Make a donation to Breds , a volunteer-based organization in Jamaica that focuses on exposing kids to sports, education and agriculture to help boost academic performance. For their most recent project, they transformed 17 acres of rural land into a sports complex to help kids learn critical-thinking and problem-solving skills through phys ed. The best part? A whopping 100 percent of donations go directly to programs (and not, you know, administrative mumbo jumbo).

Cancer

IF YOU WANT TO HELP CANCER PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES...

As if dealing with cancer weren’t enough, the financial burden that comes with it can be extremely overwhelming. You can help mitigate expenses by giving to Family Reach, an organization that donates directly to families’ living expenses beyond hospital bills (think groceries, utilities and mortgage payments). Just download the app to scroll through individual family profiles and decide exactly where your dollars will go.

 

animalrights

IF YOU CARE ABOUT ANIMAL RIGHTS...

Animal Equality is an international advocacy group that defends animal rights worldwide. Your donation will help the organization carry out farm and slaughterhouse investigations, scrutinize the suffering of animals in circuses and shut down gruesome and inhumane commercial fishing practices.

Refugee

IF YOU’RE PASSIONATE ABOUT THE REFUGEE CRISIS...

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced during the Syrian crisis, and many more are trapped inside the country and in desperate need of emergency food and health-care assistance. Donate to the American Refugee Committee International, which helps provide shelter, clean water and sanitation, along with health care and education to help families get a fresh start.

globalwarming

IF YOU’RE WORRIED WE’RE DESTROYING THE PLANET...

Meet Acadia Center, a nonprofit committed to building clean, competitive and environmentally sustainable economies across North America. Donations gotoward general research, as well as targeted initiatives like modernizing energy grids (bonus: this could help lower your utility bill) and finding ways to use electricity and alternative fuels to reduce pollution long-term.

Solider

IF YOU WANT A NEW WAY TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS...

If you think caring for a newborn sounds hard, think about how extra difficult it would be if your spouse were deployed or wounded. Mission: Sleep helps provide free overnight newborn care (from a registered nurse or postpartum medical technician) to deserving military families--so that Mom or Dad can get the sleep they need to provide quality care during the day.

Onehpe

IF YOU WANT TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT MORE WORTHY ORGANIZATIONS...

Give to One Sky Project. This group--made up of four hang-glider and para-glider pilots--aims to travel to South Africa and shoot high-quality videos about awesome nonprofits (including an orphanage and job-creation initiative) that could benefit from more global media exposure. Currently running a Kickstarter campaign, the team needs to raise $22K to fund the trip and video production costs by December 18. The time to pull out your credit card is now.

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