Choosing Your Charities

by Dinah Aguilar ‘19

In wake of the recent natural disasters in the United States and around the world, people are looking for a way to help. Many believe that donating to charities and organizations is the best way to go about this, but very few look to see how the money is actually used.

In the past year the Red Cross, was found in an investigation to use 25 percent of donations for its administration and staff, shocking the millions of people who donated and expected money to be used for relief and repair. In comparison, organizations such as Direct Relief and Americares spend 90 percent or more on their programs and 10 percent or less is given to administrative costs.

Before jumping to help, people should do their research. Start with what your preferences or priorities are, whether it be the environment, childhood hunger or animal welfare. Then choose where you want your charity to do its work: community-based, national, or international. Then verify the organization’s legitimacy: check where the money is going, if it has a clear mission, and if stated goal are attainable.

Sherwood has many clubs dedicated to raising money and support for relief organizations helping the United States and other parts of the world in need. These clubs may seem to have some overlap but each one serves a different purpose; from community based to internationally based; or writing letters to donating money.

One way to contribute to multiple causes is through joining Key Club or Leo Club. They both serve their schools, communities, and larger issues. Leo Club spreads its service through big organizations such as UNICEF and community efforts such as raising money for leader dogs. They also do international aid like collecting shoes for a Ugandan school and nation-wide support like writing letters for veterans.

To support more specific causes, students can join clubs like She’s the First help women around the world in low-income countries that cannot pay for college or are the first in their family to go to college. Happy Paws is another cause that raises money for dogs.

If a student wants to help a specific organization alone, the newly created UNICEF club is a good choice. This club mainly focuses on education, raising awareness, and advocating for the underrepresented children of the world, rather than solely fundraising.

A way to help that does not require joining a club is through SGA-sponsored activities like canned-food drives, and the Doctors of Tomorrow holds an annual blood drive.