Donations Instead Of Gifts: 12 Charities To Help This Holiday

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LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 17: Demonstrators march to the ‘Forward on Climate’ rally to call on President Obama to take strong action on the climate crisis on February 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Organizers say the rally, which is led by Tar Sands Action Southern California and Sierra Club, is composed of a coalition of over 90 groups and coincides with similar rallies in Washington D.C. and other U.S. cities. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

12. The Sierra Club

Cause: Environmental activism.

Why Choose This Charity: The Sierra Club was founded in 1892, by Scottish-American environmentalist (and immigrant) John Muir. Muir was especially devoted to the vast wildernesses in the American West. His activism included writing numerous books, articles, and speeches, and helped to jumpstart the National Parks system. Thanks to his work, we now have protected spaces such as Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park. Some of the first goals of the newly formed Sierra Club also included preservation of more wilderness areas. These include what is now Glacier National Park in Montana and Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State.

Today, the Sierra Club remains active as an advocacy organization. It focuses largely on environmental causes, such as the promotion of green energy, alleviating the effects of global warming, and opposition to coal and dam-building. At the national level, Club members often lobby politicians to support environmental causes. Muir himself spoke directly with President Theodore Roosevelt, personally escorting the president through the Yosemite valley in 1903.

Local chapters also often organize outdoors activities, including hikes, rock climbing trips, and mountaineering expeditions.

Links to Send Gift Givers: The main donation page here. This also includes ways to join the Sierra Club or set up recurring monthly donations.