Mulled wine, fruitcake, carols and latkes are all very well. (Wait, latkes? I’ll take some of those!) But the best holiday tradition is helping others through our annual end-of-year donations list. Whip out your checkbook and read on:
1. Women Living Under Muslim Laws. This international solidarity network serves women affected by sexist and theocratic interpretations of Islam. Whether it’s unequal family laws, the criminalization of women’s sexuality, the marginalization of women’s voices or the infamous Saudi driving ban, WLUML is on the case. Women were heroes in the Arab Spring—don’t let fundamentalists take away their human rights now. Mail checks to Women Living Under Muslim Laws, PO Box 28455, London N19 5JT, United Kingdom (wluml.org).
2. Afghan Women’s Fund. For many years the savvy and selfless Afghan expatriate Fahima Vorgetts has been helping women in her home country overcome the triple whammy of poverty, sexism and war. Her latest projects include wells, schools, literacy classes and women’s shuras—councils where women come together for mutual support and income-generating projects (canning, jam, jewelry, crafts, carpets). AWF is an all-volunteer organization. Mail checks to AWF c/o Jean Athey, PO Box 1563, Olney, MD 20830 (afghanwomensfund.org).
3. Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation. This online group helps out social service agencies, schools and clinics in one of the poorest places in the United States. Participate at your own rate—recent drives include backpacks, warm jackets and classroom supplies for a K-12 school; books for the Oglala Lakota College Library; clothes and more for homeless veterans; and money for propane to help foster-care families fend off the subzero South Dakota winter. Small donations really add up here, so don’t be shy if money’s tight (friendsofpineridgereservation.org).
4. National Network of Abortion Funds. Furious about upcoming insurance restrictions on abortion coverage and HHS head Kathleen Sebelius overruling the FDA on Plan B? NNAF is the umbrella for more than 100 local funds that raise money tirelessly and ingeniously to help low-income girls and women arrange and pay for their abortion care. A few hundred dollars can make all the difference—for some women even bus fare makes the difference. Check out fundabortionnow.org to find a fund near you, or give to NNAF at National Network of Abortion Funds, PO Box 170280, Boston, MA 02117.