As the president of the Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation, I have overseen grants to more than 200 nonprofits. If you are in a giving mode but unsure how to follow through, I would like to recommend some especially worthy recipients for your funds. Most benefit our city (New York), which is our emphasis. All are well run and make a difference. These are my choices. I cannot speak for 13 family directors. Whatever interests you, google. They all have informative websites. Here goes in no particular order:
- Coalition for the Homelesshttp://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org. The outstanding organization to help the homeless in NYC. Strong advocacy, also strong programs -- finding shelter, feeding on the streets, school and summer camp for children. The number of homeless -- around 50,000 -- is at an all-time high.
- Childrens Health Fund. Founded by singer Paul Simon and Dr. Irwin Redlener. Mobile vans equipped to render health services to poor children. In several cities but especially strong presence in New York.
- Doctors Without Borders. Doctors and nurses volunteer to provide urgent medical care to victims of war and disaster throughout the world.
- Common Cents. Empowers children to collect pennies through the penny harvest and to make a carefully researched donation to the charity of their choice. In over 800 schools in NYC.
- Settlement Houses. There are 38 settlements in our city, most of them founded well over 100 years ago. Rooted in their communities, they wisely dispense mostly government funds to programs from daycare to hot meals for seniors. Disclosure: I am on the board of the Henry Street Settlement. The umbrella organization for settlements is United Neighborhood Houses (UNH), which is also worthy of support.
- City Year. 350 red-jacketed corps of 17- to 24-year-olds go into poorly performing schools and, through tutoring and mentoring, significantly raise levels, while also earning a stipend that will help them go to college
- Bronx Childrens Museum. Ah, I wish it existed because the Bronx is still the only borough without one. Yet it is on the way. The building has been secured.12 million out of15 million has been raised. the rest is needed for interior work, exhibits and an operating fund. Disclosure: I am on the Board.
We New Yorkers are a generous bunch. Mostly we know where we want to help. Some of us, however, are unsure of where to aim their dollars. The above organizations are worthy of your investigation.