Today marked the end of the Combined Federal Campaign. Its the Federal Government's version of the United Way. For those that wanted to donate, it was time to designate what charities and how much to donate for 2008. Like many contributors, I give through payroll deduction. That amount I designated comes out of each paycheck. Its fairly painless way to make my contributions. This years' list of eligible charities filled over 100 pages. All are worthy of receiving contributions, although clearly one can't contribute to each and every one regardless of how worthy their mission might be. This year I spread my dollars over five different charities this year. Here is my list:
1 Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) - As owners of two dogs, we are obviously pet lovers. We think they bring something special into our lives. Daughter#2 worked briefly at an animal shelter in Blacksburg and her dog, Gracie, came from there. We have adopted two dogs from a Schnauzer rescue organization ourselves. One, Napoleon, sadly has already crossed the Rainbow Bridge. HART is a local (Fairfax) animal rescue organization. All animals are hosted by various families until they are adopted. We like what they do so we donate to them.
2. Rails to Trails - This organization helps converts abandoned railway corridors into public trials for walking, biking, etc. Given my love for the W&OD Trail this is a natural for us to donate to.
3. Chesapeake Bay Foundation - Since I was 15, I've lived in the watershed that drains into the Chesapeake Bay. Back in the day, my father had a boat and we would often go out and enjoy the Bay. The Bay is an incredible natural resource, which we are unfortunately slowly killing. Oysters are all but gone and the Blue Crab catch is way down from when I was a kid. The CBF is working to help save the Bay. I want to help them.
4. Defenders of Wildlife - An organization dedicated to saving wild animals and their habitat. I'm a sucker for all things wild - deer, beavers, wolves, etc. Anything we can to not to run more into extinction is worthy.
5. National Kidney Foundation - I think this post explains why this charity is close to our hearts. Daughter#1 would not have the quality of life she enjoys without their research efforts. There is a serious shortage of organs for donations. Have you designated your organs for donation? You should. You'll save more people than you can realize.
Christmas is the season for giving. This is my part for the coming year.