Do Gooders

by | Dec 16, 2009 | POLITICS

Check out these charitable organizations who need your help this winter and year round.

Check out these charitable organizations who need your help this winter and year round.


CARITAS is Richmond-based migrating shelter that is housed for a week at a time at various churches and organizations where homeless and disadvantaged men and women stay over night, are fed, and helped to find work. The goal of CARITAS is to move these men and women from shelter to stability.

They need donations of both time and money to make this project work. You can help by making a commitment to volunteer in their warehouse, organizing your congregation or organization to provide shelter and/or host a furniture drive. You could also jump in to an existing CARITAS event and spend some time with their guests or even share music or craft projects to lift spirits. You can also click “Donate” on their website to make a monetary donation or find codes for United Way, CVC and other giving campaigns.

Fan Free Clinic

The Fan Free Clinic will celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2010. Since it’s inception this small community clinic has been vital to the city of Richmond. The Fan Free Clinic provides much needed access to medical, dental, mental health, nutritional, social, legal, educational, employment and other community services. In 2009, FFC welcomed 2,279 individual patients to its medical center alone.

They have given away tons of food and vaccines, as well as provided OB/GYN and sexual health services including STD testing, to countless men and women in the Richmond area. In 2009 FFC performed 1,785 HIV tests and provides education specifically targeted toward people living with HIV/AIDS, including medications adherence counseling. It is almost certain that you or someone you know has been the recipient of their services.

Cold weather will mean more colds, more flu, more asthma, and more health issues for many uninsured people in VA. The Fan Free Clinic’s non-denominational, multi-lingual care is so important to keeping our community healthy. They always need love and money. Contact this Fan Free Clinic to find out how you can volunteer your time at their clinic or for a special event or project or make a secure donation via their website.

Central VA Food Bank

The Central Virginia Food Bank always need food and volunteers to help with food drives. A great way you can help is to spend few minutes clipping coupons for non-perishable items from the Sunday paper. Pass them out to your friends and co-workers and encourage them to use the coupons to purchase items to donate to the CVAFB. Collect the items at your desk or next holiday party or event and drop them off at the food bank. This is a great way to give for even less money with the help of those coupons.

Planned Parenthood

Start your resolution to become a better activist early and show the ladies (and men) in your life that you love them by supporting the VLPP. Let’s make sure women in our community have the chance to get comprehensive OB/GYN care, inexpensive birth control, family planning info and honest and reasonable sex education.

Join the Planned Parenthood Action Network to stay abreast of relevant legislative issues, letter writing campaigns, petitions, volunteer opportunities, and have your opinions about women’s healthcare heard by government officials. Donate online or find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities.


Unitus is international nonprofit organization that fights poverty on a global level providing microfinance – small loans with little to no interest – and other financial tools to make self-sufficiency a reality where it has previously been a pipedream.

Remarkably, more than 2.5 billion people survive on less than $2 a day in the world and even more shocking is that many people in developing nations live on even less than that. Unitus’ microfinance expertise facilitates the start of successful small businesses and beyond that, increased economic stability, better healthcare and housing, and education.

Check their website for volunteer opportunities or to make a secure donation directly to them. You can also think of them while doing your holiday shopping. Richmond based on-line apparel shop, Shabby Apple donates 5% of its net dress sales to support work in India, where many of the Shabby Apple apparel is made. They also provide the opportunity for shoppers to donate additional dollars to Unitus at check out. Go to to shop or click “Charity” to learn more.

Find your own cause

There are so many opportunities to give during the holiday season. We encourage you to find a cause that is close to your heart and donate your time or dollars when you have them to spare. Stick with that charity throughout the year. Research your charity before giving to make sure it is legit and don’t be shy about asking questions, especially if you are counting on a tax deduction for your gift. Lastly, don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty many charities need volunteers as much as then need money, so grab a friend and make a plan.

By Lauren Vincelli

Title Image from Wikipedia

Matt Ringer

Matt Ringer

A meat popsicle.

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