It's end of the year, and lots of us wait until the last week of the year to give to churches, ministries and non profit organizations.
Knowing that, I wanted to recommend a few organizations that I think are worth a year end gift. All of these organizations are ones that I'm invested in- both in terms of giving gifts and supporting them, as well as knowing the staff and the people behind these organizations. So as you think about year-end giving, I would recommend any of these organizations as a great place to invest.
Here are some organizations I can give my five star rubber stamp approval on:
1. Convoy of Hope - they brought their trucks to Catalyst for several years, sponsored the Present: Hope Bike Tour a couple of years ago, and are now feeding hundreds of thousands of kids around the world. I've seen their work up close the last several years on several trips to Haiti and Nicaragua. Their feeding programs and disaster response and relief is amazing.
2. Red Eye Inc. - my friend Justin Mayo heads up this "under the radar" community of young influencers and creatives in some of the leading global cities (LA, NYC, Sydney, London) that are using their talents to make a difference in a positive way.
3. Compassion- go sponsor a child. I sponsor several. I've seen their work up close in Rwanda, Guatemala and Ecuador. Your money is being stewarded well.
4. Young Life- been involved with Young Life since college. No one creates better experiences for teenagers and introduces the Gospel in such a compelling and loving way.
5. Plywood People - leading a community of startups "doing good." Run by longtime friend Jeff Shinabarger. I have served on the board for several years, so I'm a bit biased. Initiatives such as Plywood Presents, Gift Card Giver, and coaching of young social innovators is part of the Plywood People mission.
6. San Francisco City Impact - a rescue mission run by Christian Huang, doing incredible work in the tenderloin district in downtown San Francisco, meeting spiritual and physical needs of the inner city. Including community outreach, homeless shelters, feeding program, and church.
7. International Justice Mission- Gary Haugen and the team at IJM have been fighting sex trafficking and human slavery for the last 20 years. Rescuing victims as well as bringing justice to areas where no justice exists.
8. HOPE International- run by good friend Peter Greer, HOPE provides micro-finance loans all over the world, helping give dignity and lift people out of poverty. A $100 gift goes a long way.
9. charity: water- perhaps my favorite non-profit organization in the world. Scott Harrison and team have revolutionized the concept of providing clean water globally, and are only getting started.
10. One Days Wages- Eugene Cho makes it easy to see the impact of giving up one day of your salary. And he leads by example.
11. First Response Team of America- good friend Tad Agoglia and his team provide help and hope at times when communities need just that- following disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.
12. Atlanta Mission- an amazing organization focused on ending homelessness in the city of Atlanta. One of the best run homeless missions in the country.
13. A21 Campaign- headed up by Nick and Christine Caine, rescuing those trapped in human trafficking and modern day slavery all around the world. Their goal is to end injustice in the 21st century.
14. Word Made Flesh- I love what they do in serving the poorest of the poor around the world.
15. Bearings Bike Shop - run by friends Tim and Becky O'Mara, providing hope through bicycles for kids in the city of Atlanta, building community one bike at a time.
and most importantly- invest in Your Local Church! Make sure you are giving regularly to your local church body. That is the place to start! Mine is Passion City Church, and feel free to give there if you don't have a local church!