SEATTLE — Some donate peanut butter; others fight crime. Here is everything you need to know about 10 innovative organizations that go above and beyond:
- 42/22: Humanity Through Baseball began when Jim Cederberg and Drew Sauer taught baseball to a group of Kenyan orphans. The game was instantly popular. Cederberg and Sauer decided to create an organization that could “continue to provide human interaction between Americans and the people of Kenya and, potentially, other undeveloped countries.” How? By teaching baseball.
- Amnesty International, founded in 1961, researches violations of human rights and lobbies governments to make changes. During a time when many injustices remained ignored and unexposed, Amnesty International began fighting for human rights. Today, 7 million people uncover abusive agencies, write letters of protest and call people in power to action.
- DoSomething.org involves young people in creating a better world. It exists in 130 countries and consists of 240 campaigns that youths can sign up for and complete. Campaigns such as recycling, reaching out to the homeless and combating world hunger make participants aware of their global influence and abilities. As an added bonus, the organization offers the chance to win scholarships.
- The International Justice Mission is a team of lawyers, social workers and investigators that work to end violence in developing countries. They band with local law enforcement to catch human traffickers and property grabbers and end violence before it starts. Currently, they protect 21 million people around the globe.
- Operation Blessing International (OBI) consists of a variety of “Strike Teams” that offer assistance to natural disaster victims. These teams range from dental to food to construction and are comprised entirely of volunteers. In addition, OBI creates community gardens inside and outside of the U.S. to provide food for those who don’t have access to proper meals.
- Peanut Proud is involved in both domestic and international hunger relief. It came into existence in 2009 because of a salmonella outbreak. Its purpose is to “raise funds to support the production of ready-to-use-therapeutic food.” Currently, Peanut Proud is donating 62,000 jars of peanut butter to victims of the South Carolina flooding.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities have been assisting the families of sick children since 1974. Medical expenses are pricey in every country, and Ronald McDonald funds over 60 countries–paying for housing and medical care to those individuals and families in need. It also donates to other organizations that help children.
- Room to Read began in Nepal in 2000 as a donation of books by John Wood. That sparked the idea of promoting literacy in poor countries by publishing local-language children’s books, building schools and libraries and helping girls complete secondary school. Each program is run by locals familiar with the issues and needs in the area, and all materials are purchased locally to support economies. “Room to Read is one of America’s fastest-growing charities,” said The New York Times.
- The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is one of the few nonprofit organizations that doesn’t accept monetary donations. It is privately funded and, instead, invites its supporters to “promote kindness within their countries’ borders and [create]a global network of kindness and compassion.” This organization hopes to better the world by bettering people.
- The World Bank understands how expensive raising a country from poverty can be. It combats poverty cost-effectively by offering “low-interest loans, zero to low-interest credits, and grants to developing countries” to invest in agriculture, education, health and more. The World Bank also assists in political and financial advice, keeping countries on track with their loans. It has been in operation since 1944.
– Sarah Prellwitz