By Rachel Wallace
It’s always a good thing to give back and help others. Although charities exist for almost every issue imaginable, many don’t provide much opportunity for people to get involved beyond donating money. Nonprofit organizations that really offer ways for people to learn more about a cause, interact with others, or even purchase something stylish make the experience of giving back more fun and satisfying. These five unique nonprofits truly make it cool to be charitable:
This website is geared toward teens and young adults, and speaks to the Millennial mentality of genuinely wanting to give back, but not being sure what to do beyond ‘liking’ things on Facebook. When members sign up, they can pick which cause interests them, how much time they can dedicate to doing something about it, and the type of project in which they would like to participate. DoSomething then suggests original and fun projects that will help contribute to that charity or cause. The suggestions are simple, realistic, and fun, and include ideas that would easily fit in to the life of any young person, such as hosting a trash-free tailgate or making a safety kit for a friend who is leaving to study abroad. When you sign-up to participate in acts of charity through DoSomething, you are often entered to win prizes and can be recognized on the website. DoSomething really creates a sense of community and promotes thinking outside the box when it comes to giving back.
The Marshall Project
These days, we all get our news from the Internet, especially social media. In order to learn what is going on in our world, we have to keep in mind which news sources are biased, beware of click-bait and false stories, and sift through a lot of opinion to get to the facts. The Marshall Project is a nonprofit news organization, which means they are not serving a large, profit seeking corporation that influences how they present news. They primarily cover stories that have to do with the criminal justice system, and are a great source to turn to for facts, especially in the wake of Ferguson. They are on Twitter at: @MarshallProj.
Global Poverty Project
This nonprofit organization is responsible for putting on the annual Global Citizen Festival as part of their Global Citizen Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to end extreme poverty across the world by 2030. The Global Citizen Festival is very special because it does not let the big name performers and celebrities in attendance overshadow the cause. Every person who attends the festival has to enter to win free tickets by educating themselves on global poverty through online videos and quizzes. No alcohol is served at the event, and during this year’s concert, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.N.’s Ban Ki-moon, and other activists spoke to the crowd about what people can do to help reach the goal of the Global Citizen Campaign. The event was a positive way to raise awareness about the challenges that face people around the world living in extreme poverty, and performances by No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, Jay-Z and a surprise from Beyonce didn’t hurt.
Give Back Yoga Foundation
This nonprofit focuses on providing yoga classes to the people who need them most. Their projects include bringing yoga to prisons across the country, developing programs for veterans to use yoga to cope with PTSD, and starting “Thrive Tribes,” groups that use yoga to help their members overcome body image issues. Give Back Yoga is only one nonprofit organization with the goal of bringing yoga to people who may not otherwise have discovered its benefits. There are many nonprofit yoga studios operating at a local level across the country that can offer a great way to de-stress and exercise during times when you can’t quite afford to attend an expensive yoga studio.
You may have heard of Warby Parker, a stylish company offering affordable and trendy prescription eyeglasses. VisionSpring is the nonprofit organization that partners with Warby Parker to bring eyeglasses to developing nations. Each month, Warby Parker donates a portion of their profits to VisionSpring. The money is not only used to bring eyeglasses to people who need them, but VisionSpring actually trains individuals to give eye exams and sell glasses in their community. This unique model creates jobs while bringing those in need the life changing opportunity to see clearly.
Photo nonprofit graphic via Shutterstock