A number of years ago, when my kids were really small and we didn’t have a lot of money, we used to buy toys at Christmas and place them, anonymously, on the doorstep of a local battered women’s shelter. I haven’t done that in a while, but I still give as generously as I can, to charities both locally and nationally, supporting a number of different causes.
I believe strongly in the power of charitable organizations to make a difference in the world. Charities do more good than any government program. The people who give to those causes feel more connected through their giving; the people running the programs are more determined to get results; and the people served by the programs tend to have better outcomes.
On May 1, thousands of people across the state will participate in Idaho Gives Day. It’s a day for Idahoans to give to the charities of their choice. And there are many from which to choose, and too many to list.
So I’ll name just a handful:
- Love INC, which does amazing work transforming the lives of people who are struggling. If you really want to win the war on poverty, get rid of the failing government programs and their miles of bureaucracy, and let Love INC expand its reach.
- The Canyon County Community Clinic, which provides health care services to people who don’t have insurance and are not on government assistance. For those who think expanding Medicaid is the only way to help people in need of health care, take a tour of the clinic and see how they’ve spent the last four years saving lives and saving people’s finances in the process.
- The Wyakin Warrior Foundation, which helps provide opportunities for wounded veterans. Wyakin’s success is written on the face of every veteran who now depend on the generosity of the nation they helped defend.
And if I may plug my own charity, Idaho Freedom Foundation, which does terrific work educating on and advancing economic opportunity in the state. The work we do would not be possible without the support of people who believe free markets are the surest path to prosperity.
Many charities are stellar when it comes to managing the gifts they receive from donors. They work hard to ensure the money they receive is spent wisely and that they’re able to show results with the money they’re given.
Idaho Gives Day captures the compassion and generosity that is at the heart of what it is to be an Idahoan. Where there is a need, you will find that there is a charity filling a void, helping address a specific issue or plight or problem. If you’re into helping wildlife, there’s an organization for you. If you’re into helping stray dogs and cats find good homes, there’s an organization for you. If you’re looking to end hunger, teach financial literacy to young children, prevent suicide, help the homeless, there’s a group for you.
You will not agree with or support every organization that is part of Idaho Gives Day, but the diversity of opinion and ideas and approaches contributes to a more robust, interesting, healthy Idaho.
Last year, Idahoans contributed more than $544,000 to the charities that participated in Idaho Gives Day. Remember to support your favorite charities on May 1.