Sure, Black Friday is that perfect holiday hangover cure that gets you to stop stuffing your face and start filling up on discounted electronics, clothing and furniture. But while you’re digging through the department store sales, you can also take a moment to use your credit card for good on the biggest shopping day of the year.
Peruse our list of 10 charities below that cater to some of the most vulnerable populations, including veterans and kids with cancer, and consider using some of your Black Friday funds to help those who need it most.
Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund: Donations to this fund are used to assist residents of Staten Island and New Jersey hardest hit by the superstorm. Learn more at tunneltotowers.org. You can also help the Red Cross provide shelter, food and other assistance to those in affected areas by donating at redcross.org.
Little Free Library: Thanks to this Wisconsin nonprofit, miniature book depots resembling large birdhouses are popping up in front yards, parks and shopping areas from Pittsburgh to Pakistan, inviting folks to take or donate a book. Find one near you or start your own by visiting littlefreelibrary.org
Child's Play: This charity provides kids in hospitals with video games, toys and books. You can give a cash donation or give products to specific hospitals by choosing from their Amazon wishlists. Learn more here.
Alex's Lemonade Stand: In 2000, a 4-year-old cancer patient started a lemonade stand to raise money for a cure for childhood cancers, sparking a national fundraising movement. Though she lost her battle in 2004, the foundation has gone on to raise more than $55 million for cancer research. Learn more here.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America: Help the men and women who return home from battle lead successful lives. IAVA provides health, employment, education and community resources to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Learn more here.
Heifer International: Want to help end world hunger? Give an animal. This organization provides animals ranging from cows to bees to struggling families around the world to help them feed themselves. Learn more at here.
Foreclosed Upon Pets: The economic downturn has been rough on pets, too. Foreclosed Upon Pets rescues animals who have been abandoned by their owners due to foreclosure or other financial trouble and finds loving new homes for them. Learn more here.