There are tons of charity organizations out there. Some are fantastic groups working hard to change the world, and others are, quite simply, “meh.” It’s no different anywhere you go: the U.S., the U.K., Europe… it’s always the same story of some excelling and others falling behind.
So how can you tell which charities are worth your time? Many people just rely on word-of-mouth. They’ve heard good things about The Red Cross, so they figure that’s a safe place to donate—and usually, they’re correct in that assumption. But there are also a number of smaller organizations making a huge difference, organizations that may not be as well known but are still very deserving of much-needed funding.
Recently, The Guardian released a shortlist of the top small and medium-sized charities in the U.K. Here are a few highlights of the list,
CoolTan Arts, a disability-run cultural arts organization, inspires creativity and wellbeing through art. This group works with individuals suffering from various types of mental distress, reducing isolation and developing much-needed life skills.
Dandelion Time works with children who have experienced physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or other traumatic circumstances that resulted in serious behavioral, emotional, and social difficulties. The group uses farm-based therapy, teaching children to care for animals, garden, and cook to help develop confidence and self-esteem. The children also receive counseling to help them get through past trauma and find a positive life path.
FoodCycle works to bring food to poverty-stricken and food-insecure households. By bringing together communities and volunteers, FoodCycle is able to gather surplus food and, in spare kitchen space, prepare and provide nutritious meals. Not only does the group succeed in feeding hungry families, but they also build community strength, empower individuals, reduce food waste, and fuel positive social change.
CoolTan Arts, Dandelion Time, and FoodCycle are just three of thirty charities who made The Guardian’s Charity Awards 2013 shortlist. All thirty have a chance to win a share of £25,000 in prize money donated by Zurich Insurance Group. In December, the five winners will be announced at a ceremony in London. Check out The Guardian’s full list here to see who you think should win!