Creative Charities for Animals

Giving to charity has always been seen as an act of generosity and compassion. It is looked at as being responsible and extremely caring. Many people donate money to charities that have a mission that they hold close to them. Others will contribute their time to charity by completing volunteer work. However, in today’s world, with so many different kinds and types of charities at our fingertips, choosing the one or ones that we want to support can become a bit overwhelming.

This list represents charities who are not only focused on helping animals, but who are also trying to step outside of the box and take a more creative approach to the world of charities.

Jack D. Ryger: Pilots n PawsPilots N Paws – The Pilots N Paws site is intended to be a meeting place for those who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals. Through the discussion board, foster parents and animal rescuers can connect publicly with pilots so they can set up the transport of each animal, as well as share all the necessary information to successfully accomplish each transport. This open communication platform allows other volunteers to offer their help if they see it may be needed to save an animal.

Creative Artists and Rescue AnimalsCreative Rescue was created from the passion that two women share for rescue animals. Their mission is to utilize non-profit arts organizations to create products, with the proceeds of their sales benefiting animal rescue groups.

Free Kibble– Free Kibble is a website that was created by an 11 year old girl named Mimi, who wanted to feed the homeless pets at her local shelter. When you visit the site, you are asked a multiple choice question, and regardless of if you are right or wrong, you win! All you have to do to help provide food to animals who need it is click on an answer. Every day you click, Free Kibble will provide food to animal shelters to help feed their hungry dogs and cats.

The Providence Animal Rescue League– The Providence Animal Rescue League is a non profit animal rescue center who knows that there are lots of kids out there that care about the animals in our community. That is why they decided to create PARL Kids, a way to involve children who want to help support the animal rescue community. PARL Kids is a resource where children can come look for ideas to help animals in their community or even their personal pets. From creative art projects to fundraising ideas, thanks to PARL, kids are now able to involve themselves in the world of charity all on their own.

Adaptive Philanthropy

Philanthropy is more than the donation of funds, it’s a giving of self. Large or small, the act of caring for a group, cause, or community requires a great deal of the philanthropist. Determination and focus are the greatest tools when choosing where and how to direct your efforts. Though the task is difficult, the benefits are insurmountable. How can you put a value on changing a life? Where can you buy the satisfaction of helping those in need?

Jack Ryger philanthropy nyc

Looking into your charity of choice is an absolute must, especially when you’re able to give more. Wealth can create a strange rift between donor and recipient, oftentimes leading to expectations where none are welcome. If an organization is attempting to illicit more money than a donor is willing to give, a major red flag is raised. Without proper research, your hard-earned and freely given charity could be utilized for less than reputable means. However, not all causes are fronts for darker dealings. With proper research, a donor can find the heart of an organization, and be sure their goals align.

Real change is made through tireless effort and ceaseless focus. If a donor wants to achieve this, treating philanthropic efforts as a business and less like a hobby is the only way to make it happen. Businesses have drive, goals and direction, something charitable efforts cannot function without. While causal giving is never wrong, a discerning philanthropist needs an ironclad grasp of their funds, and how they’re being allocated to various charitable organizations. Slipshod management of philanthropic efforts will cost time and money that could have been put to positive use.

If philanthropy is to be treated as a business, than its beneficiaries are the customers. Though motivations for selflessly giving vary from person to person, businesses often choose to engage in philanthropic pursuits for some level of positive return. Whether to enhance a public image or bring attention to their brand, by opening a forum for honest feedback and communication, a bridge between parties is established, providing a mutually beneficial middle-ground for discussion.

Adopt the process of adaptive philanthropy. Nothing is immune from the chaos of day-to-day life, and maintaining an outlook that recognizes this inevitability will keep your efforts from falling short of your goals. A clever philanthropist keeps his expectations realistic without overextending his capabilities. Nothing is served by crippling yourself in service of others. And if at all possible, ask for analytics on how your donations are being used. Ensuring the proper houses are receiving the necessary care is why philanthropists undergo such a emotionally powerful and costly venture. After so much legwork has already gone into choosing which charity deserves your efforts, it’d be silly to not continue following your investment.

Giving is so much more than allocating money for a cause. By committing such a selfless act, you silently agree to a promise of a better world. Change is never easy, oftentimes taking several like-minded individuals years of focused effort to affect. But by electing to become one of the few, a philanthropist, one more agent of change joins the fight for a better tomorrow.

Reasons You Should Volunteer

Though many people have busy schedules, especially if you live in New York City, you should always make time to volunteer. Finding something you are passionate toward and helping the people in that specific community will forever change the way you live your life and give you hope for a stronger, kinder future. You’ve probably thought about volunteering in the past, but haven’t quite made the strides to dedicate your time. The time is now – get out there, make a difference! Here are just few of the many reasons why you should volunteer as soon as possible:

jack ryger volunteer

First off, it’s good for your health. This may seem a little selfish when speaking about volunteering, but it’s important for you to recognize the many health benefits that stem from helping others (it’s a two-way street). Not only does volunteering help reduce stress by having you focus on others instead of yourself, it also increases positive emotions in your brain – like optimism and joy, and can help strengthen your immune system.

Volunteering also helps bring people together so you can all experience a sense of community. Regardless of your background or social status, individuals who are passionate for the same subject and are working together toward a common goal are united through philanthropic work. Not only can you meet life-long friends through volunteering, but you also learn the importance of teamwork, a skill that will be used in various fields, consistently throughout your life.

jack ryger community-service_beach-cleanup

Furthermore, when a community comes together, it gets stronger. By supporting families through daycare and eldercare, feeding the hungry, improving education, supporting youth programs, and beautifying the community, members are proud to be a part of it, and will become more and more willing to help out other members of their community.

Lastly, when you volunteer, you recognize you can make a difference – even if it’s small. Helping others gives you the opportunity to realize that small things have a great impact on the world around you. You learn to appreciate the power of single individuals working together as a whole, helping the world for the benefit of humanity.

About the UJA-Federation

Jack Ryger UJA Full Building CROP500The UJA-Federation (United Jewish Appeal) is a leading force in the fields of community and philanthropy for the Jewish community in New York.  The UJA-Federation was established more than 90 years ago, and has now pulled together over 55,000 donors to help those in need, along with inspire a passion and commitment to Jewish life in order to strengthen the Jewish community across the globe.

The UJA-Federation works with 100 network beneficiary agencies, synagogues, and various other Jewish establishments to help an astounding 4.5 million people from all around the world. Through hard work and organization, the UJA-Federation is able to carry-out services and provide resources in order to change individual’s lives for the better.

Through this nonprofit organization, volunteers learn the importance of helping those in need from their own city to halfway across the world. The UJA-Federation has helped Holocaust survivors in Kiev by providing meals at community centers, Ethiopian Jews by teaching skills they can use to support their families, and children with disabilities so they feel welcome into their Jewish communities.

Jack Ryger Holocaust survivors video project

According to the UJA-Federation’s official website, http://www.ujafedny.org/, “Our caring hand extends to those living in poverty, the aging, Holocaust survivors, children and adults with disabilities and special needs, and the unemployed across the economic spectrum. We provide access to crucial human services to all New Yorkers, whoever they are, and Jews everywhere.”

Jack Ryger UJA Fed

The three main goals of the UJA-Federation are: to establish a sense of community, especially for those who undergo crises and struggle at various tasks associated with daily living, inspire Jews by teaching them Jewish values and giving them access to high-quality education, and to connect Jews across the world, reminding each other that we are all part of one people.

Ways to Help Local Domestic Violence Shelters

One great branch of community service to get involved with is helping out at a local domestic violence shelter. According to the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Victims of Crime, 25% of women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime – that’s one out of every four women you pass on the street each day. Women are abused in different ways, ranging from financial situations to being abused mentally and physically.

jack ryger stop domestic violence

Unfortunately, it’s very hard for these women to flee their homes and get away from their abuser. But, domestic violence shelters have been set up across the nation for these women to feel safe, and with your help they can get even more of the resources and care that these shelters provide. Here are some ways you can help:

First, donate gift cards. According to an article published by the Pixel Project, “Women many times leave their homes very quickly without packing. All they take with them are their children and the clothes on their back. A great way to assist would be clothing or superstore gift cards…” (16 Ways to Help Your Local Domestic Violence Shelter). With these gift cards, women can buy the right size clothing for themselves and their children, along with getting professional attire to wear to job interviews so they can secure their finances independently.

jack ryger women's shelter

Next, volunteer to work at a hotline. Local shelters or even rape crisis centers have hotlines that are in need of volunteers since they are generally open 24/7. Volunteers usually have to go through certain training courses and commit to work a few days per week answering phones, so being willing to do these things even though they can be time consuming is key. Just remember, working for hotlines is extremely rewarding – you can save lives.

Lastly, think about writing a newsletter. Especially if you are a strong writer, using words to assist a local shelter’s quarterly or monthly newsletter can help the shelter out immensely. Writing articles about women’s rights and healthy relationships are two great topics to speak about and may even help women reach out about their own struggles. Keeping people aware and educated of the problem at hand (in this case, abuse) is the most important step towards eliminating it.

If you want to know more ways in which you can help your local domestic violence shelter, please read Pixel Project’s article here, where you can further learn about their previous campaign concerning women’s rights and domestic violence.

God’s Love We Deliver

God's Love We Deliver

God’s Love We Deliver is a charity that is dedicated to improving the health of people affected by serious illnesses. They do this by delivering nutritious meals to people living with these illnesses who are unable to prepare the meals themselves. They also provide nutrition education and counseling to clients, families, care providers and other charities.

God’s Love We Deliver provides meals to almost 5,000 clients. They serve people of all ages. The diagnosis of their clients include: HIV/AIDS, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Alzheimer’s/Neurological Disorders, Kidney Disease, MS/Musculoskeletal Disorders, among others.

Clients are so grateful for what God’s Love We Deliver has been able to do for them. Brian, after being diagnosed as HIV positive, turned to God’s Love We Deliver. He says, “It was a blessing from the very beginning.” Before starting the program, Brian’s budget often only allowed him eat one meal a day. Even then, that one meal lacked nutritional value. God’s Love We Deliver put Brian on their Grocery Bag Program. On this program, Brian receives one bag of nutritional foods per week, including fruits and vegetables. Brian says, “I am healthier than I have been in a long time and it is due to the help I receive from God’s Love.”

God’s Love We Deliver has a variety of programs that address specific needs of their clients. In addition to the Grocery Bag Program, they have: Home Delivered Meals, Children’s Meals, Senior Caregiver-Program, and the Cancer Program. They even have a Community Partners Program, where God’s Love We Delivers partners with long term care programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and etcetera. All services are provided free of charge.

God's Love We Deliver Volunteers

God’s Love We Deliver started by delivering 671,789 meals in 2007. They have projected to deliver 1,460,629 meals in 2015. This growth demonstrates the need for expansion, which is why they launched a $35,000,000 expansion campaign on October 19th,  2001. Currently they have raised $29,000,000 of their $35,000,000 goal. They have received generous donations from: Michael Kors, Steve and Alex Cohen, Jeff Gates, and Mike Moran. They’ve also received an $8,000,000 capital allocation from the City of New York.

The charity is largely supported by the kindness and commitment of volunteers. They have 8,000 volunteers annually, which totals to 132,000 hours of service annually. Only 5% of God’s Love We Deliver is run by a paid staff.

God’s Love We Deliver has a wide variety of opportunities for people to volunteer. They have opportunities for volunteers to: work in the kitchen, deliver the meals, assist van deliveries, assemble meal kits, and assist in the office.  With prior experience, volunteers can also work as videographers, video editors, and graphic designers!

To learn more about God’s Love We Deliver, visit their website. To sign up to be a volunteer, fill out a volunteer application.