A few months ago, a bunch of us bloggers got on a role about the causes and organizations we support. I thought I would share a few of my favorite organizations here, just in case any of you would like to support them as well.

Heifer Project. Heifer works to bring sustainable agriculture, farm animals, water, and anything else a community needs to that community. In the past, I have given a duckling, a part of a well, a backpack filled with educational supplies to people in developing communities that need a little help to get themselves started. When Heifer gives an animal to a family, that family is expected to use that animal to first and foremost breed other animals and then give those offspring away. They can also use the animals milk and labor if need be. But in the end, Heifer’s goal is self-sustainability. Their current initiatives also focus on HIV-AIDS education, gender equity, and ecologically sound agriculture.

Amnesty International. From their website, they are “a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world – so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity.” Currently, they are focusing on China, a country who has broken most of the promises it made about human rights when it was bidding for the Olympics. Additionally, Amnesty is asking for people to protect the censorship that is surrounding the games. You can do so by adding a badge like this one –

Hope International. Hope is a Christian organization (that works with people no matter their religious background) that uses microfinance to help alleviate poverty. In addition to provide micro-loans to people in developing countries, they also provide others with more resources with great ways to help, including donating building supplies to construct homes (somewhat like Habitat for Humanity here in the states) and taking trips to see the situations around the world.

CODE PINK: Women for Peace. Their mission statement is — “CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities.” They organize grass-roots initiatives all around the country and send out regular updates about ways that individuals can get involved to stop the escalation of war. I believe very strongly in this movement because I see us moving down the road to more violence as a way to, supposedly, end violence while also getting what we want – oil, power, money – in return. We cannot get peace through war – I just deeply believe that.

These are four of the organizations that I’m most excited about, but of course there are countless others doing amazing things. My belief – and it really is a belief – is that people should take what they have – money, time, skills, voice – and use it to help other people. What do you guys think about this? Do you have organizations that you like to support? Why do you support those? What makes you passionate? What makes you want to stand up and speak out?