Patricia E. Kefalas Dudek
Advocate for Elders, People
with Disabilities
and Their Families
Charities, Non-Profits and Philanthropy

Blessings in a Backpack

This program was initiated when teachers noticed children from low-income families, who were on free or reduced rate lunch program, would return to school on Mondays tired, hungry and sluggish. They realized there was no food for them to eat at home on the weekends. The purpose of this program is to provide these students iwth backpacks filled with enough food to provide 3 meals per day during the weekend. The Blessings in a Backpack Program is simple. A passionate parent, teacher, nurse, counselor, community advocate or corporate supporter elects to start the Blessings in a Backpack program in a local school. Blessings in a Backpack works with you to gain support with your school and district leadership.
Patti's Comment: My church is doing a fundraiser for this great organization!

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The work at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is about more than looking back—it is about using the lessons of the Holocaust to confront the rising tide of hate today. As the world's authority on Holocaust history, this Museum is uniquely positioned to lead the effort to combat denial and antisemitism.

Patti's Comment: These sound inspiring…

10 Innovative Charities (Listverse)

10. Oaktree Foundation (Poverty Awareness)
Charity’s version of Menudo, the Oaktree Foundation is an aid and development organization run exclusively by young people under the age of 26.

9. Community Voice Mail (Homelessness)
Community Voice Mail provides free voice messaging services for the poor or homeless throughout the United States.

8. First Book (Literacy)
Provides new books to children by mitigating the most important factor affecting literacy—access to books.

7. Modest Needs (Financial Crisis)
Their grant programs are designed to assist people who generally pay their bills with no help from anyone, but can’t qualify for conventional assistance.

6. Ushahidi (Information Technology)
Founded by Kenyan journalists to map post-election violence, Ushahidi is a free and open source web platform for data collection, visualization and interactive mapping of fast-moving crises or political events.

5. Donors Choose (Education)
Public school teachers spend $40 a month on classroom materials, often using their own money. DonorsChoose is changing that, with a website that allows donors to browse school projects and donate directly to classrooms in need, instead of to a general fund (which is often mismanaged).

4. Kiva (Microfinance)
KIVA is the world’s first online micro-lending program, specializing in loans and grants to the developing world.

3. Verizon Hopeline Phone Program (Domestic Violence)
Since 2001, Verizon has distributed 90,000+ wireless phones (with service) to battered women’s shelters.

2. Mary's Meals (Famine Relief and Education)
Mary’s Meals runs school feeding projects, providing 390,000 of the world’s poorest children with a meal a day AT their place of education.

1. Habitat for Humanity (Housing)
Habitat for Humanity is probably the most famous community service project in America. Habitat builds affordable, simple housing for the needy using local volunteers as much as possible.

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