Good Causes: Successful Non-Profits + Charities

June 24, 2016

The following list contains some of my favorite organizations. We are on this earth to help each other out, so I would really encourage everyone reading this to find a way to get involved with one of these organizations if you don't have any in mind already!

Who: Empower Playgrounds, Inc.
What: "Empower Playgrounds, Inc. enhances educational opportunities for children in deprived villages by providing renewable energy through electricity-generating playground equipment, smart LED lanterns, and hands-on science kits."
Why: I LOVE Empower Playgrounds because it is such an innovative way to help educate children. That word seems to get tossed around a lot in the non-profit sector, but no organization comes to mind more easily than EPI when it comes to innovation. I would highly suggest watching this video of theirs to get a better idea of what they do:

Who: The WomanStats Project
What: "The WomanStats Project is a team of approximately twelve undergraduate research assistants, seven graduate research assistants, thirteen principal investigators, and over 120 former student assistants. We are dedicated to the continual expansion of the WomanStats Database, as well as the pursuit of our research agenda assessing the relationship between the situation and security of women, and the dynamics between security, stability, and the behavior of the state."
Why: I'm a little biased because I was an intern for WomanStats, but through my work with them, I've learned the importance of research and facts in changing the world. As the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world, WomanStats has the potential to change the world with their freely accessible data. Check out their maps and infographics here:

Who: Circles USA
What: "We discovered many years ago that in order to solve the issue of poverty, we had to approach things in a very different way. The solution doesn’t have to be complicated but it has to be personal. We know that in order to make a real change it has to be addressed using a multi-dimensional method. Our method has impacted thousands of individuals throughout North America...Our model focuses on three stages: Crisis management and stabilization, education and job placement and job retention, advancement and economic stability."
Why: So if you aren't starting to notice this pattern yet, a lot of organizations on this list I have worked with personally. My internship this summer is with the Utah Valley Chapter of Circles USA and I am so grateful for the opportunity I've been given to work with them. When I first heard about Circles, it just made sense! Obviously people are more likely to get out of poverty if they keep working at it and are given support. Circles focuses on relationships between those in poverty and those in the community, which in turn makes the community more invested in the systemic barriers that contribute to poverty. They are always looking for volunteers so if you are interested, just holla at your girl because I can definitely hook you up!

Who: Project Read
What: "Project Read provides one-on-one tutoring services to functionally illiterate adults in Utah County and changes lives through literacy by empowering individuals, strengthening families, and building community."
Why: I think especially in Utah, people just assume that everyone is educated and happy. Well this isn't always the case, as Project Read proves. There are still many adults who are illiterate and I cannot even imagine how much harder life is because of that. They also are always needing volunteers! Check out their website below.
Where: http:/

Who: My Story Matters
What: "My Story Matters is a 501c3 charity organization that provides the gift of story to those in need. We partner with other charitable organizations to find families struggling under unique circumstances and provide customized storybooks for them in order to promote hope, healing, perspective, and increased self esteem and inspiration!"
Why: I'm really excited to be interning with My Story Matters this fall semester. I first heard about the organization from some people in my major. They write and donate books to families of those who are either battling cancer or who died at a young age. As someone who lost her sister not even a year ago, I can't imagine how hard it must be to lose a young child. I love all that this organization does and I can't wait for my internship to begin!

Who: Lost Paws
What: "Lost Paws is a no-profit organization that rescues and shelters cats and dogs, and adopts them to families in Utah county."
Why: I may or may not have adopted my cat from Lost Paws. But here's the thing: they're a no-kill organization. And honestly, I want to start my own no-kill animal rescue group someday. I am such a strong advocate for adopting animals instead of shopping (yes, this even includes breeders that treat their animals well) because there are so many animals in shelters that have to be euthanized because of overpopulation. I can't imagine doing anything but adopting an animal, and I've loved all of my pets that I've gotten through adoption.

Who: Amnesty International
What: "We work to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. Currently the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, we investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world."
Why: I've been involved with Amnesty for about 3 years now since I first joined the BYU chapter my freshman year. Amnesty proves to me how the little things can make a difference - one way I really like to get involved is through signing petitions and writing letters. This shows to me that a simple act by me can add up to make a difference, and what a difference they do make. Amnesty fights social injustices and human rights violations worldwide and it's so simple to stand with them.

Who: Fight the New Drug
What: "We’re a group of passionate and innovative problem-solvers who want to make a difference in the world. Our mission is to raise awareness on the harmful effects of pornography through creative mediums."
Why: FNTD spreads awareness of how "Porn Kills Love." I think this topic is so so important because pornography is a worldwide problem. It contributes to the mistreatment of women and is even linked to sex trafficking. These points aside, using pornography can damage relationships more often than it can help them. I would encourage everyone to check out their website to learn more about their research and their awareness campaigns.

Who: Honey
What: "Honey is an organization dedicated to stopping the silence on the subject of sexual assault. We seek to change the public attitude through victim advocacy, education, media campaigns, community activism and truth telling."
Why: Honey has created such a simple way to make a difference by sharing the stories of sexual assault survivors. What I especially love about Honey is they don't only post stories from women, because sexual assault is a reality for men as well. It's comforting in a way to hear how people have come back from assault, but it's very eye opening to see how many people (and maybe even some you know, too) are impacted by it.

Who: Malala Fund
What: "Inspired by co-founders Malala and Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala Fund's goal is to enable girls to complete 12 years of safe, quality education so that they can achieve their potential and be positive change-makers in their families and communities. We work with partners all over the world helping to empower girls and amplify their voices; we invest in local education leaders and programmes; and we advocate for more resources for education and safe schools for every child."
Why: I am low-key obsessed with Malala so obviously I love Malala Fund. Education is such an important freedom that everyone should have, and I love how Malala uses her own story and experience to advocate for that freedom.

I am so grateful for the opportunities that I've been given since beginning college that have introduced me to so many of these organizations (and many others) that I feel so passionate about. Everyone can make a difference, they just have to try.
Yours truly,

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