In fact, we're so committed to keeping our favorite charities going during these tough times that we created a guide with 30-plus organizations to spread awareness and encourage you to
Get Involved:. You might assume you don't have the time or resources to help, but it takes way less of a commitment than you think and the personal payoff is priceless.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Mission: The ASPCA was formed to end the injustices and cruelty that animals face. Whether it's saving a pet who's been accidentally poisoned, fighting to pass humane laws, rescuing animals from abuse or sharing resources with shelters across the country, they work toward the day in which no animal will live in pain or fear.
Cool Info: Want a furry friend? You can adopt an ASPCA pet by applying for one through Facebook!
Get Involved: ASPCA.org
Mission: They work to eliminate the disease through research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
Cool Info: Host an Alzheimer's awareness party with your friends or coworkers. Go to the site, decide what type of event you'll host (from a golf outing to a party), register your event online and receive a free party kit if you plan to raise at least $150!
Get Involved: Alz.org
American Cancer Society
Mission: Dedicated to wiping out cancer through research, education, advocacy and service, ACS is a network of volunteers nationwide. Volunteer at community outreach events, including Relay for Life; make donations; fundraise; or become an advocate for the cause and engage lawmakers in all levels of government.
Cool Info: ACS was founded in 1913 by just 15 people…now it has 2 million-plus volunteers!
Get Involved: Cancer.org
American Red Cross
Mission: In addition to domestic disaster relief, ARC offers community services for the needy; support for military members and their families; the collection and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.
Cool Info: Four million people (whoa!) currently give blood through the Red Cross.
Get Involved: RedCross.org
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Mission: Best Friends is the leading expert in animal protection and companion animal care. They also run the largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals in the US. Best Friends rescued more than 6,000 animals after Hurricane Katrina.
Cool Info: Members of our Pets message board on TheNest.com sent money and toys to Best Friends for their last Secret Santa exchange!
Get Involved: BestFriends.org
Alliance for Climate Protection
Mission: They help save the environment by persuading the world to adopt solutions for the climate crisis—from blasting global warming to using renewable energy.
Cool Info: Former Vice President and Nobel laureate Al Gore is Chairman of the Board of ClimateProtect.org!
Get Involved: ClimateProtect.org has three sister sites you can check out: WeCanSolveIt.org; RepowerAmerica.org; ThisIsReality.org.
Dress for Success
Mission: Dress for Success Worldwide is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged women by offering them free professional clothing, career development tools and support.
Cool Info: Besides suiting up women, DFS created a Professional Women's Group—when a woman joins, she's a member for life.
Get Involved: DressforSuccess.org
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
Mission: The goals of this global foundation are to prevent pediatric HIV by educating HIV-positive moms and to wipe out pediatric AIDS via research, advocacy and treatment. It was started by Elizabeth Glaser, a mom who devoted her life to the cause after she contracted AIDS during a blood transfusion and unknowingly passed it to her two children.
Cool Info: Look for “Stories of Hope” on their website, where teens and adults around the world share stories.
Get Involved: PedAIDS.org
Mission: As the leading domestic hunger-relief charity in the US, their network supplies food to 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors.
Cool Info: The Knot Inc. raised over $12,000 for Feeding America in our office food drive and had a blast! Test how much you know about hunger in the US by taking their quiz online.
Get Involved: FeedingAmerica.org
Mission: First Book provides new books to kids in need through existing programs that serve boys and girls from low-income families that range from after-school initiatives to schools, health centers, soup kitchens and hospitals. COOL FACT For nearly 20 years, First Book has distributed 60 million-plus new books to kids in need across the US and Canada.
Get Involved: FirstBook.org
Gilda's Club Worldwide
Mission: Gilda's Club works in communities around the world to start and sustain local clubhouses (right now there are 30), and to strengthen the global understanding that support is as key as medical care is to cancer patients and families.
Cool Info: Gilda's Club is named after Saturday Night Live legend Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.
Get Involved: GildasClub.org
Habitat for Humanity
Mission: Remember how cool it was to move into your first home together? Think how awesome it would be to give a whole family this experience. Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses around the world, giving more than 1.5 million people in 3,000-plus communities the gift of safe, decent, affordable shelter.
Cool Info: Habitat's Global Village Program is a great chance to voluntour—you're seeing a new part of the world and changing people's lives at the same time.
Get Involved: Habitat.org
Mission: Heifer International's goal is to end poverty and hunger while caring for the earth. The organization provides livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Every gift of an animal provides direct benefits, like milk, eggs, wool and fertilizer, and boosts family income so they can afford better health care, housing, nutrition and school fees for children.
Cool Info: When you give an animal to a family in need it actually keeps on giving, since your recipients pass on the offspring of their cows, goats and other livestock to others!
Get Involved: Heifer.org
Mission: Alleviating poverty via a person-to-person microlending website, Kiva empowers people to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world—from African dressmakers to Asian grocers. By donating money through PayPal, your cash goes straight to the person who needs it.
Cool Info: You can personally stay in touch with the people that you loan money to through email journal updates, and because Kiva has an amazing 99-percent payback rate, you can relend to someone else after you're paid back.
Get Involved: Kiva.org
Light of Life Foundation
Mission: Started in 1997, the Light of Life Foundation for thyroid cancer is committed to providing support, education and cancer awareness for patients, their families and the general public. LOL sponsors support groups, seminars and events nationwide.
Cool Info: Women are three times more likely to get thyroid cancer. The cure rate is 90 percent if caught early—which could happen more often if women between 21 and 35 become better informed about the disease.
Get Involved: CheckYourNeck.com
Mission: Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of kids with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich them with hope, strength and joy. Nearly 25,000 volunteers grant wishes and raise funds for the cause.
Cool Info: Every 41 seconds, Make-A-Wish grants a wish! Click “Wish Stories” on their site and you'll see the Celebrity Hall of Fame, plus kids' wishes.
Get Involved: Wish.org
March of Dimes
Mission: March of Dimes aims to promote healthy babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality and premature birth, and educating on pregnancy.
Cool Info: March of Dimes and eBay started a Rethink Initiative, which lets you send in your old cell phone to be recycled, raising money to help fight premature birth.
Get Involved: MarchofDimes.com
Michael J. Fox Foundation for parkinson's research
Mission: Through an aggressively funded research agenda, they hope to find a cure for Parkinson's disease within the decade.
Cool Info: If you want to
Get Involved:, join TeamFox. As part of the team, you can turn your next activity or event into a chance to support the foundation.
Get Involved: MichaelJFox.org
The National MS Society
Mission: The Society helps people who are affected by multiple sclerosis by funding cutting-edge research and providing services that help people with MS and their loved ones move their lives forward. This national network helps patients address the challenges of living with the disease.
Cool Info: Check out their online community, plus see celebs who support the cause.
Get Involved: NationalMS Society.org
The One Campaign
Mission: This grassroots campaign and advocacy organization is backed by more than 2 million people from around the world and every walk of life who are committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. Their goal is to encourage accountability and transparency of developing democracies, particularly in Africa, to help the citizens get the resources they need.
Cool Info: This org was cofounded by U2's famous frontman, Bono, and has been nominated for the Best Charity Blog in the Blogger's Choice Awards!
Get Involved: One.org