Victor Jung is a committed philanthropist from New York City

Category: Charity Page 2 of 3

Hurricane Florence: How You Can Help Those Affected

Recently, residents of the Carolinas were faced with the challenging Hurricane Florence. Currently, the affected natives of these states are grappling with devastating floods. They are now struggling with cleaning up, rebuilding business, enterprises, and homes, and repairing the broken materials of their residential communities.

Many Americans and people around the world have empathized with the affected citizens and wish to lend a helping hand to allow them to settle back down. Sending donations in the form of money is the most effective and efficient way to help those affected by a disaster like Hurricane Florence. However, some of the potential well-wishers may be having challenges when it comes to finding a convenient way of sending their donations. The following are some of the most appropriate charitable organizations that you can use to send your donations. Importantly, donors should ensure that they do enough research on the organization that they intend to send their donations to.

  1. The Diaper Bank of North Carolina

Located in Durham, this organization has engaged itself in collecting donations that are meant to take care of feminine hygiene related materials and the diapers for children and the residents that were displaced by the Hurricane. Donors are asked to voluntarily send their donations of sanitary pads, diapers, and wipes. One can even buy items on the Amazon Wish List set up by the group.

  1. The Red Cross

The Red Cross is an internationally recognized charitable organization. The body has prepared to assist an average of 100,000 people who were affected by the storm across the Carolinas. The Red Cross has thus far sent out supplies, equipment, meals, vehicles, and cleanup kits to the affected area. The organization is able to receive donations online or by sending a text message with the words “REDCROSS” to 90999, which allows a $10 donation. Also, volunteers can donate to the organization by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

  1. United Way

The president of the United Way, Mary Sellers, said that the group was fully prepared to support its local associates with disaster response. She also noted that people had an obligation to think of the long-lasting impacts of the Hurricane Florence. She argued that people should have learned lessons from past storm incidences such as Hurricane Harvey, Maria, and Irma. The United Way is asking for donations that cater to long-term recovery efforts from the most recent Hurricane’s effects.

The Best Programs for Children with Incarcerated Parents

When a prison or jail sentence breaks up a family, it’s hard on everyone, but it can be especially traumatic for younger children. They suddenly have to face the loss of a parent and, although the parent is still living, the family remains separated. For that reason, several organizations exist to help these children cope with the situation.

Angel Tree Program

This program is specifically geared towards making a holiday connection between children and their incarcerated parents. Angel Tree is a national organization that works with church volunteers in certain communities to purchase gifts and deliver them to children in the name of their incarcerated parents.

The Sesame Workshop

Sponsored by the children’s television show Sesame Street, this organization provides to the children and families of incarcerated individuals. The kits contain educational multimedia material, available in both English and Spanish. The materials are intended to help children and their caregivers deal with the incarceration of a parent.

SKIP, Inc

SKIP is an acronym for Saving Kids of Incarcerated Parents and has locations nationwide. The concept is to provide a circle of positive influences in the lives of children who have been affected by an incarcerated parent. All children in the program receive behavioral and educational encouragement. Teens can also participate in online support groups, where they can discuss the issues that affect them.

Assisting Families of Inmates

Founded in Virginia, this organization also seeks to help the children and families of incarcerated persons. How this program differs is that they assist children with prison visits, so they can keep in contact with their incarcerated parent. The organization also provides families with referrals and resources to help them adjust to the practical changes that the incarceration has created.

Children of Inmates

Similarly, Children of Inmates also strives to keep children connected to their incarcerated parents, though this organization is based in Florida. The program seeks to build stronger familial bonds for inmates and their children, helping them build positive memories throughout the term of their incarceration. Children of Inmates sponsors a number of programs designed to minimize the traumatic effect that the incarceration of a parent has on the children.

Hour Children

Located in Long Island City, this organization focuses on helping female inmates and formerly incarcerated women through practical services. The organization helps women adjust to life back in society and works towards keeping them together with their children. They help arrange housing, offer mentoring programs, and help the women find decent paying jobs within the community.

ForeverFamily

Based in Atlanta, this program reinforces the idea that family can be a source of strength and positive growth. Children are emotionally nurtured and assisted with their social and educational development. An after-school support group meets to allow older children an opportunity to discuss the issues they face in having a parent in prison. They find that it’s helpful to communicate with others who share the same problems and feelings.

Voluntourism: How to Give Back When Traveling

Many people are looking for new ways to contribute to their favorite social and environmental causes. That trend has led to voluntourism, the fairly new practice of combining vacations with activism. While this may be a new take on vacationing, it’s growing with social-conscious travelers spending an estimated $2 billion per year.

Vacationers Should Investigate Their Causes

While using your vacation to help another society or culture is a great thing to do, it can lead to unfortunate experiences. Janine Queenin, who runs a travel agency in Westfield Massachusetts, advises travelers to do their own diligent research to avoid getting involved with disreputable organizations. She adds that the suppliers offering to connect families with charities can sometimes pose the greatest risk, especially if those companies aren’t supported by the communities in which they operate.

Ms. Queenin says these organizations may be exploiting children or could be utilizing volunteers in ways that take needed work away from locals residing in those communities. Instead, families looking to explore voluntourism should work with reputable travel agencies. By going through a professional travel agent, families can ensure the opportunities are reputable and supported by the local communities. Legitimate volunteer opportunities are arranged with area governments to ensure the help being received isn’t actually harming the community’s economy.

The Rewards of Voluntourism

Typical opportunities for voluntourism give travelers an opportunity to work in schools and with children in a variety of environments, as well as work in women’s shelters, but there’s also work that more directly involves environmentalism or wildlife welfare. Whatever the traveler’s area of interest, there are legitimate opportunities for volunteering and travel.

Virginia Beach travel agent Jacquie Whitt, who works at Adios Adventure Travel, says families can even customize their experience. While some may like the idea of “roughing it” like a camping trip, others may prefer more traditional accommodations. Whitt says many of her clients have such a positive experience that they often return for more voluntourism vacations.

In many cases, families communicate with community leaders to determine the needs of the village. This helps them arrive better prepared and affords travelers an opportunity to pack supplies that the village may need. The rewards for spending vacations helping new cultures provides rewards that go beyond the cost of the trip. Families work together toward a common good and are able to give back in a very real way.

Bills Fans Show Their Appreciation to Andy Dalton

The 17-year playoff drought has ended for the Buffalo Bills, and Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton is partially responsible for that.

After the Bills defeated the Miami Dolphins in the last game of the season, their shot at getting into the playoffs came down to the Bengals beating the Baltimore Ravens. With Baltimore leading by three points at the end of the fourth quarter, that didn’t seem possible. That was until Dalton threw an incredible 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with less than a minute left in the game.

That touchdown secured the Bills’ wild card spot in the playoffs. For the first time since 1999, the team would be playing their first postseason game. Bills fans’ were thrilled. To show their appreciation to Dalton, fans started donating to his charity: the Andy & Jordan Dalton Foundation.

Many fans donated in $17 increments to represent the 17 years of the playoff drought. According to NFL.com, nearly 15,000 people donated over $345,000 to the foundation.

The charity provides support and resources to sick children and their families in the Cincinnati and Fort Worth, Texas area. Dalton is originally from Katy, Texas, and he wanted to give back to his community as soon as he had the platform to do so. Once he was drafted by the Bengals in 2011, that dream became a reality.

With the outpouring of donations from Bills fans’, the foundation will be able to create even more of an impact for families in need. The money received will go towards funding the King for a Day and Holiday Hearts events, among others.

Dalton and his wife were astonished at the generosity of the fans. He said he would be rooting for the Bills in their AFC wild-card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though they would go on to fall 10-3.

Despite their loss, the fans haven’t stopped donating to show their thanks to Dalton. In fact, they took it up a notch and also started donating to an organization close to Tyler Boyd’s heart, the Western Pennsylvania Youth Athletic Association. A YouCaring page has been set up to benefit the WPYAA, and has raised nearly $65,000 so far.

Dalton and Boyd helped give Bills fans’ hope again after a 17-year drought, and their is no doubting how truly thankful they are as seen by their incredible generosity.

NYC Food Charities to Donate to This Holiday Season

If you’re looking for a way to give back during the holiday season, then consider making a donation to one of the many food charities in New York City. Most of the charities in the city offer assistance to families that may be struggling to make ends meet, while also supporting their children. They often provide food and clothing in order to alleviate the stress of perhaps a lower income.

The Museum of Food and Drink (or MOFAD) offers a new perspective on what families eat. The organization has created this walk-through for families to help them learn more about food groups and where food comes from, allowing them to make healthier choices. Wellness In The Schools is an organization that works with the school systems in New York to offer education about food choices as well as ways to stay healthy through exercising. You can sponsor a school or make donations to the salad bar or water program offered by the organization.

City Harvest is an organization that works with restaurants to collect the food that would normally be thrown out at the end of the day. Food that is collected here is then distributed to food banks across the city. Restaurants can get involved by donating foods that they no longer need, or by donating money. Individuals can also donate money to the program.

One of the largest charities in New York is No Kid Hungry. Special events are held throughout the year to raise money to help families and give to food banks. The goal of the organization is to make sure no child in the city goes to bed without a meal. The organization offers meals to children in the summer when school is not in session so that they have something to eat throughout the entire year as well.

GrowNYC is similar to a farmer’s market. Those who are in need can look through the various types of produce that are available, and you can help by donating fresh goods to the program. The organization seeks to work with farmers who can make large donations.

Food Bank For New York City simply provides meals to the people who need food. It could be in the form of a meal that is already made, or the ingredients needed to make a meal at home, thus promoting nutritional education. Citymeals On Wheels is another group that delivers meals to people who may have trouble leaving their homes without assistance, such as those who are disabled or the elderly.

So, if you are looking to give your charitable efforts to an organization that does good in the New York metropolitan area, choose any of the aforementioned food charities. While there are certainly many more to choose from, starting with a list of some of the most well known is the first step in making sure your donation is impactful.

How You Can Help California Wildfire Victims

The wildfires that tore through Southern California earlier this month have left heartache and devastation in their wake. The wild Santa Ana winds have brought a new and terrifying level of destruction to an already vulnerable landscape. The largest of the fires, the Thomas Fire, continues to burn in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. It is currently the third largest fire in California history. The Creek, Rye, and Skirball fires are almost fully contained, as is the Lilac Fire in San Diego County.

With both human and animal lives lost in the catastrophes, many people would, and should like to help the survivors to endure their current circumstances and rebuild their lives.

When deciding how to help, it can be tempting to run around your house and gather material donations for people. However, it is important to remember that aid agencies often need cash donations when dealing with crisis situations. With cash, necessary items can be bought quickly and easily. It is important to be well-informed when deciding whether to donate cash, goods, or time when offering support to victims of natural disasters.

For those wishing to help the animal victims of the wildfires, there are several animal aid and rescue organizations working in areas that need assistance. The Humane Society of Ventura County is requesting monetary donations to help with the displaced animals currently in their care. Volunteers are accepted; however, they must phone ahead instead and not just show up unannounced. The Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation has a disaster relief fund that also can be contributed to.

Local charities accepting monetary donations include the United Way of Ventura County, the American Red Cross of Ventura County (which has opened three shelters), the Ventura County Community Foundation, the San Diego Foundation, and the Salvation Army (food and water donations are being accepted at the Ventura County Fairgrounds for evacuees). Additionally, donations can be made to specific individuals or families affected by the wildfires through crowdfunding sites such as YouCaring.com and GoFundMe.com.

Local residents that wish to volunteer to assist those affected can visit the Red Cross website, enter their zip code, and search through the current volunteer opportunities to find a suitable match.

Giving support in an emergency enriches the lives of all involved: donor and receiver. Please help if you are able to do so, and promote charitable action by spreading the word.

What to Donate During the Holidays

This time of year often prompts individuals to give more than they would in other calendar months. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other December holidays get us in the giving spirit regardless of what may or may not have. With that said, you do not have to have a six-figure salary in order to make a difference for charities and philanthropic organizations. Get creative. While cash is certainly an acceptable contribution, the following can greatly benefit a wide range of people in need.

Clothes

Homeless shelters, orphanages, and retirement homes are of the most important places to donate clothes this time of year given the steep drop in temperature. Donating articles of clothing you haven’t worn in quite some time is a great way to help out during the holidays. However, make sure they are clean and wearable. Donating a shirt because it is torn is the opposite of doing good.

Food

1 in 6 Americans face hunger on a regular basis. While this statistic should be noted throughout the year, it is highlighted more during the holidays. Some people may not get to experience a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner while a majority of the country spends their time indoors enjoying a hot meal. Donate canned goods to food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens. But, don’t stick to just traditional holiday meals because it happens to be that time of year. Not everyone enjoys canned cranberry sauce. Give a variety of foods like rice, peanut butter, vegetables, fruit, and even a case of bottled water.

Handmade Crafts

This is a great way to save on money yourself, but still give to a good cause. If you are a skilled knitter, sewer, or even welder, donating handmade goods that serve a purpose to those in need can speak volumes to the people receiving them. It shows the time and effort put into doing good. Knitting sweaters or blankets for the homeless or stuffed animals for children is a fun, unique way of giving.

Pet Supplies

Humans aren’t the only creatures in need. Animal shelters across the country often team together during the holidays to promote donations for their causes. Consider sending them pet food, litter, toys, or even cash donations. It can be expensive taking care of a pet, so the more supplies a local pet pantry has for example, the more pets will receive.

Toiletries

Items that seem to be placed on the back burner of donating are those of personal hygiene. No matter what type of organization you may be donating these to, most can benefit greatly from products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, toilet paper, and tissues.

Donating After a Disaster: Where to Spend Your Money

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said that the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma combined could be up to $200 billion. Nearly a month after Harvey devastated South Texas, many hundreds continue to live in tent cities. Then, Hurricane Maria left up to $95 billion in damage in Puerto Rico where only 5% of people have power after 15 days. The worst mass shooting in the United States, wildfires burning over 2 million acres in the Western United States, and the severe flooding in Southeast Asia that killed over 1,000 people have left the world wondering where and what donations should be sent.

Identify Your Values

The first step in deciding where to send your donations is to know your own values. Experts suggest that you pick your cause with your heart, but pick the organization with your head. While some will designate where they want their money spent, others will leave those decisions to the organization receiving their donation.

Do Your Research Before You Give

You should investigate the organization before you trust them with your money. Thankfully, several websites make that easy to do including:

Wise Giving Alliance

Charity Watch

Charity Navigator

GuideStar

The best time to investigate an organization is before a disaster strikes, as it gives you time to focus on the organizations that interest you. Besides looking at charity rating services, take a look at organizations’ websites to find out how they have spent their money in the past. If an organization is talking solely about how they want your donation without showing you how they are addressing the problem, then you may want to look elsewhere.

Money Is Best

While it may be tempting to donate material goods, most relief workers say money is best. Elise Mitchell, who was tasked with sorting clothes during a hurricane that hit St. Kitts (where temperatures seldom drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit), tells of unwrapping a fur-lined coat with a temperature rating of -32 degrees Fahrenheit. Many organizations simply do not have time to sort clothes, leaving them to rot outside during disasters.

Stay Updated

 

While disasters may drop quickly from the news, keep following up on those that touch your heart the most. Repeatedly giving on a regular basis is usually the best way to help your favorite organization. Many employees can do this through their workplaces, with some employers even matching employee gifts. Just because media outlets have ceased coverage does not mean that the lasting effects as a result of a natural disaster have ended.

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and Its $2 Million Donation

The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation has made a $2 million donation to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. The announcement was made by the Carolinas HealthCare System, which indicated the funds would be used for research and academic goals in cancer and other blood disorders while creating an endowed chair for the Gordon charity.

Carolinas HealthCare System CEO and President Gene Woods expressed gratitude for the gift and said the quality research and care at the hospital would bring the dream of a carefree life closer to reality for its young patients. He added that endowed chairs are vital for attracting and keeping brilliant staff, and that it was impossible to accomplish such a large task alone. The generosity of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and other donors makes it possible to keep science moving forward for the discovery of new treatment options.

Gordon, who is as well known for his racing career as his philanthropy, said that cancer is a leading cause of death in children, and the only way to combat that is through relentless research. He also said that nothing he dealt with on the racetrack is as challenging as cancer.

The Gordon charity named Javier Oesterheld, M.D., as the first endowed chair. Oesterheld is a director at the Torrence E. Hemby, Jr. Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant Center at Levine Hospital. During his tenure, the center took on 140 new patients and accepted nearly 15,000 visits for outpatient therapy and treatment. This made the center one of the busiest in the southeastern part of the United States.

The center focuses on using unique drug combinations along with experimental therapies for children and teens who have no other medical options to treat their cancer.

Oesterheld expressed his gratitude to the Gordon charity by saying the gift would enhance the commitment to research and bring the center closer to completing its new research laboratory, which is slated to open in 2018. This would be followed by clinical trials related to cancer and other blood diseases.

 
Cancer care for children will continue to be a growing need in the years to come, and the support from the Gordon charity and other organizations will provide the foundation for high-level research and treatment, which will be available to patients regardless of location. Visit www.jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org to learn more about the charity and how to help children fighting cancer.

Victor Jung

How to Help Children Around the World

For charitable people who wish to make a difference, especially in the lives of children, doing so entails countless strategies from donating money, to volunteering time and effort. However, these strategies can differ greatly when visiting foreign countries. Making a difference and choosing to make beneficial decisions no matter where you are in the world is one of many traits attributed to a philanthropist. When visiting countries that may be impoverished or have areas in which children are living in less than desirable conditions, consider any of the following ways you can help.

Do Your Research

Unfortunately, there are a number of scamming organizations that claim to be charities in third-world countries and areas in similar conditions. Knowing how to differentiate these from the programs instilled to truly help their respective communities is the first step in making the right decisions. For a few resources, see this list on charities in foreign countries that have been approved by ChildSafe, and are making an impact in their countries.

Teach English

You’d be amazed at just how beneficial helping children practice a language other than their native tongue can be. Sitting down with students or children learning the language in their spare time can help them sharpen these skills, which can be applied to many aspects of their lives, setting them up for the most success possible in the working world. Most countries have several programs established in which visitors can donate their time to simply conversing with the young students, which can even help you as a tourist learn more about the country’s culture.

Support Local Businesses

A great way to boost the local economy in the country you’re visiting is to visit the community’s local restaurants and businesses. By doing so, you are supporting the goods and services provided by small business owners in the area, who provide job opportunities for young adults looking to earn their own wages. Your contributions to these countries can help fund youth programs and organizations founded in their areas to offer better opportunities for children in countless ways.

Continue Donating Once Home

 
Just because your trip has ended and you are no longer within the borders of the country you wish to help does not mean that you can no longer do your part. Research charities that dedicate their efforts to improving the lives of children around the world. For example, PeaceJam is an organization that promotes the education and growth of young adults to one day become leaders in their respective fields. Become a child sponsor through any number of organizations. Through this, you can donate money, clothing, food, and much more while also developing a meaningful relationship with your sponsored child, equipping them with the tools and social skills needed to succeed in life.

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