Over the past few years, I’ve noticed an influx of groups of people joining to form causes and stand up for what they believe in. It’s great and I love it! I really do. But there comes a point when everybody else in the world starts to feel…overwhelmed by all the options to choose from. Am I saying that people should stop standing up for the causes? Absolutely not! What I’m saying is that we should choose one (or two) and really give our time and energy to it (or them).
Name an issue and I can’t almost guarantee you that there are people out there who are thinking about the same issue and want to do something about it. Whether it be poverty, malaria, hunger, sex trafficking, pro-life, pro-choice, animal rights, self harm, etc., we all have those things that just bother us about the world.
Below are just a few of the causes out there – some you’ve probably heard of and some you may be learning about for the first time. Please do not let this list overwhelm you. Just take the time to at least skim through the list. If you see something that jumps out at you, take the time to look into it. It could be the start of something great.
***If there’s a cause that you don’t see represented on this list – I assure you, there are many – do some research. See if it’s out there. If it’s something you’re passionate about and it doesn’t already exist, maybe you could start it up.***
– TWLOHA: “To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.”
To read the story behind the reason why TWLOHA was created, click here.
– Invisible Children: “Invisible Children uses film, creativity, ans social action to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore LRA-affected communities in central Africa to peace and prosperity.”
– World Vision ACT:S: “We are a network of young people continuing the living Book of Acts. We are joined together by our commitment to exploring what our faith says about justice and using creative activism to bring issues to life for our generation.”
To see how they do that, visit this site.
– Not For Sale: “Not For Sale equips and mobilizes Smart Activists to deploy innovative solutions to re-abolish slavery in their own backyards and across the globe. Together, we can end slavery in our lifetime.”
– International Justice Mission: “International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems – police, courts and laws – effectively protect the poor.”
– Love146: “The complex influences of culture, religion economics and politics require a thoughtful, committed response. Love 146 has initiated two core program areas to combat the issue of child sex slavery and exploitation, Prevention and Aftercare. In addition, Love146 works to grow a body of Research on the issue to enhance the knowledge base for the communities we serve, our partners and our work. ”
– Habitat for Humanity: “Habitat’s vision: a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”
– Amnesty International: “Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in more than 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights.”
– Human Rights Watch: “Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law. We enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.”
– ASPCA: “Founded in 1866, the ASPCA was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. Our mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is ‘to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.’ The ASPCA works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide.”
– Red Cross: “Since its founding in 1881 by visionary leader Clara Barton, the American Red Cross has been the nation’s premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters. Over the years, the organization has expanded its services, always with the aim of preventing and relieving suffering.”
[I couldn’t find a single video that really sums up what the Red Cross does, but if you want to check out a variety of things they do, then definitely stop by their youtube channel.]
– Compassion: “Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.”
– Word Made Flesh: “Word Made Flesh is called and committed to serve Jesus among the most vulnerable of the world’s poor. This calling is realized as a prophetic ministry for, and an incarnational, holistic mission among the poor. We focus our energy to make Jesus known among the poor while reconciling the church with the poor.”
[Again, I couldn’t find a single video that really sums up what Word Made Flesh does, but if you want to check out a variety of things they do, then definitely stop by their youtube channel.]
– InterVarsity Christian Fellowship: “The Purpose of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA
is to establish and advance
at colleges and universities
witnessing communities of students and faculty
who follow Jesus as Savior and Lord:
growing in love for God,
God’s people of every ethnicity and culture
and God’s purposes in the world.”
InterVarsity is a part of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students.
– International Fellowship of Evangelical Students: “The International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) is a global community of indigenous student movements, called to engage the university with the good news of Jesus Christ. Currently there are more than 500,000 students involved in over 150 national movements worldwide.”
– TOMS: “In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.”
– Ronald McDonald House: “The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Guiding us in our mission are our core values:
- Focusing on the critical needs of children.
- Celebrating the diversity of the programs we offer and the staff, volunteers and donors who make them possible.
- Staying true to our heritage of more than 36 years of responsible stewardship.
- Operating with accountability and transparency.”
– Mercy Ministries: “Mercy Ministries exists to provide opportunities for young women to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power.”
– Blood:Water Mission: “Blood:Water Mission is a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.”
– Falling Whistles: “Falling Whistles gives a small window into our world’s largest war. Originally just a journal written about boys sent to the frontlines of war armed with only a whistle, readers forwarded it with the same kind of urgency in which it was written and demanded to know – what can we do?”
– Free For Life
: “At Free for Life International we partner with shelters and individuals globally to meet the needs of trafficking survivors through financial, emotional and spiritual support.”
– Transitions Global
: “Transitions Global empowers survivors of sex trafficking with the opportunity to heal and recapture the most basic of human rights: freedom and hope. We use holistic and innovative solutions to provide a safe environment where girls can heal through intensive trauma therapy, life skills training and learn viable, sustainable job skills.”
– Mennonite Central Committee: “Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice. MCC envisions communities worldwide in right relationship with God, one another and creation. Read more about MCC’s purpose and vision, priorities, approaches, values and convictions.”
– Armonia Ministries: “Seeking Christian holistic transformation and justice among the dispossessed, threatened and scattered indigenous populations.”
I couldn’t find one specific video for Armonia, but I’ve worked with them myself and the people behind it are heartfelt and intentional about helping the poor in Mexico feel the love of Christ.
Local to Nashville
– People Loving Nashville: “We started with a hand full of people wanting to bring hot meals to some of the homeless community in Nashville in November of 2008. Since then, we have made it a weekly meeting to all pitch in, and love on the homeless of Nashville.
We meet on Monday nights between 330pm and 630pm at the Belmont Church Fellowship Hall. We prepare approximately 150 meals to hand out downtown.
We have clothes donated to us from time to time and we will give clothes out as well. We also try to meet other needs as they arise, but really just keep it pretty basic to feeding and clothing.
Some of us are churched, some are not. We are just people driven by love. All are welcome. If you are not able to join us and wish to help, partner with us by donating money or clothing. If we have other needs, we will list it on the email.”
Local to South Florida
– Women in Distress: “Women In Distress of Broward County, Inc. is the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center serving Broward County.
Our mission is to stop domestic violence abuse for everyone through intervention, education, and advocacy. We strive to accomplish this mission by offering services that include 24-hour crisis intervention through our hotline and emergency shelter, counseling and support for victims and their children at various locations throughout Broward County, as well as, education and professional trainings on domestic violence and related topics.”
[I couldn’t find ANY videos for this organization, but you follow them on twitter at: @WomeninDistress ]
– No More Tears: “No More Tears is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization devoted to providing individualized assistance to victims of domestic violence in the U.S. We assist all victims who are scared to speak out and face tremendous barriers in leaving abusers and staying safe. No More Tears works with victims of domestic violence by providing them with legal counsel, financial assistance and psychotherapy. We help the abused in not only wiping away their tears, but also making sure that there are No More Tears!”
(If you click on the No More Tears link, there is a video on their site that helps to explain what they do.)
Local to Central Florida
– IDignity: “IDignity was created to help the disadvantaged in Central Florida overcome the difficulties of obtaining the personal identification that is crucial to enabling them to become self-sufficient. The need for such a program was recognized by members of five downtown churches who were unable to find a resource that provided such a service. This group developed a viable solution after meeting for a five month period of exhaustive amount of research and interviews. A significant part of this solution was to expand the process that was conducted at Project Homeless Connect (PHC), which utilizes various agencies working together symbiotically. The agencies that IDignity events host are: the Florida Division of Drivers License, Orange County Health Department (birth certificates), Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, legal counsel and others. IDignity provides these services more often and also incorporates the particularly difficult task of obtaining out-of-state birth certificates.”
Are there any organizations you’d like to add to this list? Feel free to share information about them in the comments below. I would really love to guarantee that I’ll keep adding to this list and keeping it up to date, but I don’t like to make promises that I’m not sure I’ll keep.