Donations Instead Of Gifts: 12 Charities To Help This Holiday

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WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 27: Edith Windsor (C), 83, gets a hug from Anthony D. Romero (R), of the American Civil Liberties Union, at the U.S. Supreme Court, on March 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case ‘Edith Schlain Windsor, in Her Capacity as Executor of the Estate of Thea Clara Spyer, Petitioner v. United States,’ which challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the second case about same-sex marriage this week. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

11. The ACLU

Cause: Civil liberties

Why Choose This Charity: The stated mission of the American Civil Liberties Union is to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” To this end, the ACLU pursues lobbying, community education and, perhaps most famously, litigation to support its goals. It bills itself as a non-partisan organization focused on defending the legal and civil rights of Americans.

When it was originally formed in 1920, the ACLU largely focused on issues surrounding free speech. However, as it grew, the organization began to work on other issues. In the 1930s, it teamed up with the NAACP to combat racial discrimination. It also began work supporting Native American causes during this decade.

During World War II, many ACLU members fought to oppose the internment of Japanese-American citizens, though they were unsuccessful. Today, the ACLU works to support a number of different causes related to civil liberties. These include: LGBT rights, reproductive rights, opposition to the death penalty, and the separation of church and state, among many other causes.

Links to Send Gift Givers: The main donation page is here. This includes ways to join the ACLU and set up recurring monthly donation.

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