Giving back through financial donations and volunteering is becoming more widespread across America among people of all ages. From schoolchildren helping to plant urban gardens for the poor to seniors buying ambulatory equipment for the disabled, people are joining together to make a difference in their local communities and beyond.
Reaching out with time, money and personal caring rejuvenates both the giver and receiver, unlike high-tech gadgets, a bigger house or extensive vacation travel. In addition to gaining a sense of purpose, countless seniors who engage with charities find they boost their health and contentment.
The American Grandparents Association is good place to start for a list of reputable charities ideal for elders. Some of their recommendations, as well as other suggestions, are below.
Americorps members serve in more than 25,000 locations across the country, and their largest programs include Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America and United Way.
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury through funding innovative research and providing grants, information and advocacy.
Kiva International makes loans as small as $25 to help microbusinesses in some of the world’s most remote areas. You pick the charities you want to donate to and can keep reinvesting.
Meals on Wheels provides nutritious, home-delivered meals to help those in need.
The Humane Society of the United States is the country’s largest animal protection organization.
National Council on Aging partners with nonprofit organizations, governments and business to assist people aged 60-plus with community programs and services, online help, and advocacy.
Portfolios with Purpose allows people to invest money in a stock and give dividends to a favorite charity.
To learn more about the reputation and financial accountability of the nation’s more than 8,000 philanthropic organizations, visit Charity Navigator, America’s leading independent charity evaluator.
Which charities do you recommend and why?
An award-winning journalist who has documented stories in nearly 20 countries, Beth Lueders is an author, writer and speaker who frequently reports on diverse topics, including aging and health issues for both U.S. and international corporations.