Charitable Donations for Dad for Christmas
December 19, 2014 11:44 AM   Subscribe

My dad put together a not-really-serious Christmas list which includes items such as "world peace" as well as a few other clever things. This year I'd like to give multiple charitable donations in his name targeted to the causes/issues he touches on in his list. Help me select a few organizations.

He does this every time anyone asks him for Christmas gift ideas, so I figure this is a better option than buying him yet another pair of pajamas or clever hat! He supports many charities, but nothing that applies for this idea.

His list in full:

My hair (or somebody else's hair)
My youth
Peace in our time
A democratic congress
Colbert to keep doing his show
another Hawks Stanley Cup

I'm mainly interested in charitable donations I could give to organizations working to achieve "peace in our time," "a Democratic congress," as well as the hair item. What non-profit/political org/campaign should I donate to whose mission most closely matches these things / will help achieve these things?

(I've included the full list in case there's clever donation suggestions for the other items, but know I am 100% not interested in branded merchandise suggestions re: the hockey or Colbert items. I don't want to give clutter-y things just to make a joke.)

For the peace item and democratic congress item, what organizations working towards these things should I support?

For "my hair (or someone else's hair)" I could give to a Locks of Love-type charity, but I'm aware they are not the most accountable organization, so I'd prefer to donate cash elsewhere. What other organization does this type of work or otherwise matches this item?

Guidelines: must be a non-profit or political organization. I'm not opposed to faith-related organizations, but I won't give to orgs that have a bad LGBT track record. If location is relevant, the recipient is based in Illinois.

Thank you for your ideas and suggestions!
posted by soleiluna to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think highly of Heiffer International.

I suppose they are working toward peace, by working toward economic equality.
posted by entropone at 11:55 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Chicago Blackhawks Charities accept donations.

There is also the excellent You Can Play, an organization "dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation" but it's not Hawks-specific.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:55 AM on December 19, 2014

A bit outside your ask and too late for this year...but for "My youth" there are a number of options.

-Find old photos and/or home movies from his childhood and make digital versions, perhaps burning everything to a DVD as a movie that plays with a soundtrack comprised of his favorites songs from those years
-Find old yearbooks of his and figure out who his friends in school were. Track them down and get them to share a few memories about him. Could be on video, audio, or even written. Put together a contact list of all these people in a nice address book so he can reach out and get in touch again.
-Figure out what his favorite vacation was as a child and recreate it as much as possible for him next summer.
posted by trivia genius at 11:56 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

for his youth, you can donate to child's play, which donates video game systems, games, books and toys to children's hospitals across the US.
posted by koroshiya at 11:57 AM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: Regarding Heifer International, there is a rabbit donation option. Someone else's hare!
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:59 AM on December 19, 2014 [16 favorites]

Best answer: Pantene Beautiful Lengths is the alternative hair-donation place most salons support now that Locks of Love is out of favor. They do wigs for women with cancer (not children), and being a corporate foundation are a bit more accountable. Scroll down for the monetary donation links. There's also Children with Hair Loss and Wigs for Kids but I don't really know anything about them, just that they exist.

If there's a Cinderella's Closet type program near you that provides prom dresses to low-income girls, you could maybe donate a bunch of sparkly hair accessories.

For "my youth," if there was an activity he was particularly involved in during childhood, maybe you could search "Donor's Choose" for a school or classroom that needs money for that activity -- like if he was big into Little League, there are teachers doing baseball-related things. My husband's grandfather was really into harmonica so I made a donation in honor of his death that bought a classroom set of harmonicas. Not only was the family really touched because it was very personal, but the children send thank-you letters which were a mixture of charming and hilarious. "omg harmonicas!" "um, thanks for the harmonicas, now the teacher keeps making me play it." "harmonica is hard to spell."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:04 PM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: You can't get Colbert back, but you could support DonorsChoose or the Yellow Ribbon Fund, the two charities Colbert himself supported when he raffled off parts of his set.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:04 PM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: For "another Hawks Stanley Cup," what about donating to ICE or a similar cause? "ICE was established in 2003 to help low income children who play hockey obtain educational and athletic opportunities not otherwise available to them."

Full disclosure, I don't know anything about ICE or about hockey, so I could be seriously off base here.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 12:06 PM on December 19, 2014

aclu and doctors without borders
posted by monologish at 12:21 PM on December 19, 2014

St. Baldrick's Foundation
posted by rainbaby at 12:38 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Acahualinca Beauty School in Managua, Nicaragua, is a free program that trains women to become hairdressers. Many of them are former prostitutes. Becoming hairdressers give them a better way of making a living by setting up a hairdressing stand in the street, at the local outdoor market, or in their homes.
posted by mareli at 3:19 PM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: Nonviolent Peaceforce is my go-to organization for people who ask for world peace for the holidays (or their birthday or whatever). Nonviolent Peaceforce works in several combat zones around the world, doing unarmed civilian peacekeeping to prevent or stop violence. The peacekeepers use (and teach others to use) dialog, pressure, and influence to convince or assist armed actors to behave differently. I personally really like that their peacekeeping teams are made up of people from around the world, not just Americans or Europeans. Every time I've given a donation as a gift the recipient is always, "omg, I can't believe you actually found me world peace!"
posted by Mema at 5:16 PM on December 19, 2014

How about donating to a non profit that can inform you, your father and other people about the things on his list?
Peace in our time
Democratic Congress
Colbert show
Hawks Stanley Cup

Charity Navigator on donation to Wikipedia via Wikimedia.
posted by X4ster at 5:39 PM on December 19, 2014

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