As we move through a world overflowing with struggle, it is easy to overlook those who give their time, resources and lives to fight sickness, beat hunger, and destroy strife in all its nefarious shapes and sizes. It does not take much searching to see pain, but that which demands our attention as urgently as pain itself are the organizations, the groups of individuals who devote their existence to snuffing out suffering.
Here’s a highlight of five fantastic non-profit groups whose unflinching effort constantly improves lives.
- United Way Worldwide
- One of philanthropy’s most recognizable names, United Way has been a bandage to those in need nationally and globally for well over a century, now boasting over 1,200 local offices across the nation. This coalition of charities works alongside communities to identify and alleviate local needs, like boosting youth engagement with education, helping families become financially stable and streamlining access to health care.
- Feeding America
- Today, over 46 million stomachs are filled thanks to the efforts Feeding America, one of the nation’s most massive food banks. Since the late 1960s, Feeding America has grown from one retired entrepreneur’s passion project into country-wide web of over 200 food banks, shelters and soup kitchens which provide meals to the hungry free of charge.
- The Task Force for Global Health
- Throughout too much of the world, disease remains a murderer of millions. Those in undeveloped areas unfortunate to find themselves or their loved ones struck by disease rely on organizations like the Task Force for Global Health, whose mission is to treat and eradicate preventable sickness in the world’s most afflicted corners. Illnesses such as tuberculosis, influenza and cholera reap a high death toll across developing countries and are the Task Force’s prime targets for treatment.
- St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital
- The notion that no child should be stripped of a life barely begun is what inspired St. Jude’s founder to action, and this idea still permeates St. Jude’s drive to innovate and apply increasingly successful treatment for disastrous childhood illnesses such as leukemia. Since St. Jude began researching and treating disease in 1962, survival rates for leukemia in children have skyrocketed from 4% to 94%. In fact, the overall survival rate for childhood illness increased 60% from 1962 to the present, thanks largely to research and treatment done at St. Jude’s.
- Goodwill Industries International
- If any organization could be called utterly deserving of their moniker, it is Goodwill. Goodwill funds itself through used donations, taking in used but serviceable items which would otherwise go to waste and allowing them to be appreciated anew through resale in its extensive network of thrift stores. Goodwill uses the money raised through its thrift network to offer job training, career placement, and local assistance to uneducated veterans and others who experience employment barriers.