Friday, May 17, 2013

Philanthropic Friday: WFP {The Syria Crisis}

The goal is to bring you a different charity every week that I think you may be (or that I think you should be (; ) interested in donating to or volunteering for. I tend towards skepticism when it comes to spending my money, so I usually hold off on donating to charities until I've done a lot of research and I'm certain that they're honest and that the majority of their money really does go to where they say it does.

I'll do my best to bring you only the best charities, but please understand that as much research as I do, I still might miss things. So if there's something you think I or other readers should know about an organization, please keep in mind that viewpoints may differ on many issues, but please do share the information with us so everyone can make a decision accordingly on whether or not they feel comfortable donating.

We'll start with an organization very close to my heart: The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).

According to their website, "The World Food Programme (WFP) fights hunger worldwide, saving lives during emergencies while building a better future for the next generation. WFP is funded solely by voluntary donations."

They are a very large humanitarian agency (they claim to be the largest fighting hunger) and traditionally they have received most of their funding from governments around the world. Of late, however, individual private donors and businesses have given increasingly significant amounts of aid. Care to add your name?

First of all, take a look at this Hunger Map and learn about where the world's greatest needs are, and where WFP works. Click on any country to see its hunger status and what programs WFP has in the area.

The focal point: The Syria Crisis is the current focus (and has been for awhile). WFP is aiming to feed 2.5 million displaced people in Syria and 800,000 refugees in neighboring countries every month. Plus, they're providing snacks at school to kids in refugee camps. That's a lot of mouths to feed, and they need $19 million USD every week to do it. Your help is urgently needed! Donations can be given through Paypal to make it safe and convenient.
  • Click here to donate to the Syria Crisis and help WFP feed 3.3 million who have been affected by the tragedy. (You can read more about the crisis itself on this page so you can understand and pray about the conflict.)
  • Click here to donate to help the children in Zaatari Refugee Camp continue to receive snacks in the classroom--they are currently only funded until the end of May, and they urgently need your help to keep the program going.
  • Aside from the Syria Crisis, you can also donate to the WFP "Fill the Cup" program. $1 feeds 4 kids a nutritious meal. The money you donate to this program goes to whatever area has the greatest need, or you can select a specific program to donate to.
Besides the Syria project and the many other programs WFP runs to which you can donate, they also have some awesome sponsors that enable you to help even if you're unable to give money.
  • I challenge you to the Hunger Quiz! All you gotta do is answer 5 questions and a child will get a hot meal. Look how precious this is and tell me you don't have 1 minute and 15 seconds to take a quiz. (Not to brag or anything, but I got a 5 out of 5 my first time taking it... this is my appeal to you competitive people... can you ace this?? You might be surprised!)

  • Freerice is an online vocab game. For every right answer you give, Freerice donates 10 grains of rice through WFP. I'm a huge nerd so I love that I can play this game in French or Spanish or Italian. (Or even Korean. But that would be... well... not very productive for me.) You can also start groups to play the game and donate together so you can watch even more rice accumulate! Bored in a meeting? About to fall asleep in lecture? Well, you could be doing something productive and feeding the hungry. So do it. :)
  • Also, be sure to sign up for email updates (just enter your name and email address at the top of the WFP home page)! You'll get cute pictures and updates about projects every now and then, usually not more than once a week.

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