9 Secular Organizations to Give To This Holiday Season
This time of year, it’s hard to miss all the organizations asking for a donation. The Salvation Army alone is in damn near every store. It’s difficult, as an atheist, to give to charities that have a tight bond with religion, so much so that their “charity” comes with a price. You must listen to preaching and pushy religious zealots before you get your scarf, or your soup or your shelter.
In my most recent video, I talked about how atheists need to engage in more charity and pour more resources into doing good, and less into fighting small battles with little result. After I made that video, I checked out what secular organizations there are around the world and was pleased to find, there are quite a few. If only they could make the headlines instead of these petty fights against public nativity scenes.
If you make a point of giving to a great charity, or volunteering your time for an organization around the holiday season, here is a list of some wonderful secular groups who are doing selfless work you might want to consider:
1. Goodwill – The Atheist’s answer to the Salvation Army. Like the Salvation Army, they have thrift stores across the USA and Canada. Unlike the Salvation Army, they support LGBT rights and do not enquire about your religious beliefs during the hiring process. Proceeds go to education, skills training and the creation of jobs for those who have had little to no access to these things.
2. Rotary – One of North America’s oldest charitable organizations, Rotary is 100% secular. It was founded in 1905 as a club for professionals to meet and develop relationships. It grew into a worldwide organization that has played a role in creating history and has welcomed many famous and highly respected people as members, including US Presidents, composers and successful businessmen.
Rotary promotes clean water, safety for moms and their kids, education, peace and the eradication of disease with science. They play an integral role in the fight to eradicate polio.
3. Foundation Beyond Belief – This organization works tirelessly toward bringing education and peace to the world’s poorer regions. They also provide aid and access to healthcare in the wake of natural disasters. They have brought countless educational materials to schools in Uganda, saved a Nepalese children’s home from closing down, actively support and work towards LGBT rights, helped open a school for girls in Pakistan and created a scholarship for students in Guatemala. This is just a minuscule amount of the work they have done and continue to do the world over.
4. Engineers Without Borders – This secular organization uses new tech, innovation and science to bring electricity, water, and infrastructure to lesser developed nations. EWB also works domestically to tackle problems in American communities by developing engineering projects that will solve the problem. They also provide educational resources such as seminars, courses and conferences.
5. Doctors Without Borders – This well-known organization that provides access to healthcare in parts of the world without it, is totally secular. They respond to natural disasters and other medical crises all over the world as well as fund and conduct medical research while amongst the less developed populations of the world.
6. Unicef – Unicef has worked since 1946 to protect and enforce the rights of every child on Earth. As a part of the UN, Unicef has the unique position of being a charity with a certain level of authority. They fight to eradicate poverty, violence and disease, while providing health care, education and nurturing. This organization is secular and global.
7. The Wheelchair Foundation – This secular foundation is pretty simple. It provides wheelchairs to men, women and children who need them but cannot afford them. They have one goal, and they work hard toward it.
8. PlanUSA – Working hard towards bettering the lives of people in developing countries, PlanUSA is completely secular. With a focus on children, they promote education, economic security, water, hygiene, sanitation, health, sexual health and disaster relief.
9. Tanzanian Children’s Fund – This secular organization is raising awareness in Tanzania about HIV/AIDS, while providing education, a nurturing home for children, support for those who work with orphans, economic stability and healthcare.