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10 female-focused charities to support in 2018

Where to donate your time and money in 2018. (Photo Getty Images)

Is 2018 the year of the girl? Nope. Every year is the year of the girl, the woman, the boss lady, the inspiring entrepreneur, the talented chef, the science-lover, the powerhouse females who move the world. If your New Year’s resolution is to make an impact on the lives of women domestically and internationally, through education, health, and awareness, consider investing your time, money, heart, and energy to one of these 10 female-first charities. Regardless of what speaks to your spirit, any contribution will go a long way, not only for these women and girls but also for the generations to come.

1. Days for Girls International

While you may have been given a pack of tampons or pads when you took sexual education classes in middle school or high school, the majority of young girls around the world aren’t given the same access to feminine hygiene products. That’s where Days for Girls International comes to their aid, by providing a free, dignified solution for lasting access to these necessary items, as well as important female-specific health information. In addition to making their lives more sanitary, this also helps them to not miss school because they have their periods.

How to help: For just $10, you can provide a girl with a “Days for Girls” kit that lasts for three years. This same kit will keep her from missing up to three months of school, providing her with a stronger education and brighter future. You can also donate essentials — like soaps, fabrics, undergarments, plastic bags — or join a sewing team that pieces together must-haves for the girls.

2. NightLight

Operating as both a business and a nonprofit, in an effort to help provide employment to women escaping sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, NightLight works from Thailand and Los Angeles to Boston and Missouri. Not only does it help give these women vocational opportunities, life-skills training, physical, emotional, and spiritual development, but it saves them from a scary cycles of abuse too. Considering the scale of global human trafficking, NightLight’s efforts are making huge differences in the lives of women and young children who are sold into this industry.

How to help: Go shopping! By buying the goods made by women rescued from the human trafficking industry, you directly affect and contribute to the enrichment of their new lives.

3. Girls Inc.

Adolescence is complicated. And for young women who are navigating this tricky journey without a solid support system, it can be that much more exhausting and scary. Girls Inc. partners with school and centers through 82 local organizations to mentor girls at this pivotal age, helping to stimulate the pro-girl mentality with research-based programming that breaks the cycle of poverty.

How to help: Depending on how much you are able to contribute, you can make a significant difference in the life of an at-risk girl. While $250 will help a girl attend 30 hours of a pre-college program in science and technology, $500 will pay for a six-month tuition to Girls Inc. For an even more hands-on approach, you can also apply to be an ambassador.

4. Classy

Deciding which female-first charity to donate your time or money to is a lot like narrowing down what matters most in your heart. With Classy, you don’t have to choose, and instead, you can contribute to several with one click. Here, thanks to trusted and safe fundraising technology for nonprofits, it’s easy to dedicate your birthday, an anniversary, or a “just-because” moment to help women in need.

How to help: Set up a free profile and start designing your goal and cause

5. GirlForward

There’s nothing scarier for a young girl than been displaced from her family because of illness, tragedy, or war. For the unimaginable number of adolescent girls who have been separated from those they love and are now considered refugees, GirlForward aims to help them break through language barriers and escape poverty and limited education, all while building relationships with positive role models.

How to help: Any donation will go a long way to provide the community support and cost to lift up a refugee girl. You can also apply to become a mentor, where your patience, expertise, and kindness will change (and possibly save) a life.

6. I Support the Girls (ISTG)

Not only do homeless women have to battle the innate struggle of surviving on the streets without a warm place to lie, but they are also consistently victims of rape and other crimes. Without access to feminine hygiene products or bras, they are often left without a way to support some of their most specific needs. That’s where the appropriately named I Support the Girls nonprofit comes to their aid, helping homeless women restore their dignity and self-respect with access to menstrual products and undergarments, like bras. It believes a woman should never have to choose between feeding herself and personal health.

How to help: For just $25, you can provide bras and products for one homeless woman, while $65 takes care of three. You can also host a drive in your community where other women can help contribute.

7. Women’s Bean Project

The business model of this nearly 30-year-old company that sells gourmet dry food helps empower women through employment. It believes all women should have the power to transform their lives, so the company specifically seeks those who have been chronically unemployed and teach them valuable life and professional skills to help them, much like healthy crops, stand tall and and proud.

How to help: When you shop at its many retail or online stores, or Amazon, you directly affect the women employed through the company’s six- to nine-month transitional program. Eligible women are 100 percent impoverished and, historically, haven’t had a job longer than a year in their life. You can also donate directly, with various contributions resulting in tangible results: $1,000 gives 15 women one month of financial literacy classes, while $500 gives 15 women one month of weekly one-on-one individualized career development. A mere $20 gives one women a weekly life-coaching class for a month. For no cost, you can also volunteer as a mentor to get women back on their feet and thriving.

8. Breast Cancer Research Foundation

The risk of breast cancer is uncomfortably high for most women, making it an important disease to continuously fight against. BCRF is the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the U.S., whose mission is to not only prevent this condition but cure it.

How to help: Your $25 funds 30 minutes of research, and $800 funds a full day. You can also contribute by attending a BCRF event or creating a fundraiser on your own. When you’re shopping, keep an eye out for Shop Pink products too.  

9. One Love Foundation

Eight years ago, college senior Yeardley Love was killed by her ex-boyfriend weeks before her graduation. As a tribute to her life, her family and friends sought to help the one in three women and the one in four men who will be in a violent relationship in their lifetime. In fact, women between the ages of 16 and 24 are three times more likely to experience this type of crime. By educating, empowering, and motivating young people throughout the country, the foundation is aiming to make a social change.

How to help: In addition to shopping at the online store, you can also host an “Escalation” workshop at a school or community center, where women can better spot the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

10. Watts of Love

When you first enter your home, what’s the first action you take? Switch on your lights, right? Not even a choice you give a second thought to, but imagine if not having this source of energy posed a threat to your life. Watts of Love provides solar light to those living in poverty, eliminating the use of kerosene that’s responsible for burns and health problems, as well as encouraging the cycle of poverty, due to its high cost. Though this company helps more than women, it’s traditionally mothers and children who suffer the most.

How to help: Just $50 provides light for a family of seven, while every dollar itself gives around $4.78 in annual savings to each family member. You can also join the organization on its light missions, with trips happening throughout Central America, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

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