Can it really be December? That means it’s time once again for the annual holiday-donations column, in which I warmly invite Nation readers to send a few dollars—or, heck, many, many dollars—to some particularly worthy groups doing important progressive and humanitarian work. Please do so forthwith, while enjoying a glass of mulled wine and a slice of mince pie.
§ International Rescue Committee. The refugee crisis in Europe dominated the headlines for weeks this fall, as Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans, and others fled war, violence, and poverty. The headlines may be over, but the crisis is not. People are still dying on the Mediterranean, crowding along the borders, and struggling to make new lives in places where they are often not welcome. With projects in over 40 countries and more than 70 years of experience, the IRC can put your dollars to immediate use. Mark this need Urgent (rescue.org).
§ Clinic Vest Project. Nationwide, volunteer escorts help abortion-clinic patients make their way safely through throngs of protesters, who besides being hateful and threatening sometimes try to direct women to fake “clinics” nearby. For only $10, you can provide a brightly colored vest (bubblegum pink and apple green are fashion favorites) that identifies defenders to patients and to each other. Since its founding in 2013, the project has outfitted over 55 groups at 85 clinics in 26 states and Canada. That’s over 1,800 vests. In 2016, the need is for 1,000 more—at least (clinicvestproject.org).
§ National Diaper Bank Network. Imagine not being able to afford enough diapers to keep your baby clean and dry. Not only is this unsanitary and unhealthy for the child, it produces anxiety and depression in mothers and grandmothers who have to reuse dirty diapers. Daycare centers require parents to send a supply of diapers—and without them, women can’t get childcare in order to work. Someday, diapers will be provided along with food stamps and other benefits for low-income people. Until then, help a mother out (nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org).
§ Afghan Women’s Fund. The progress made by Afghan women has been patchy, to say the least, and recent gains by the Taliban and other reactionary forces make it all the more important to act now. The AWF builds and runs schools, clinics, literacy programs, and employment projects in provinces outside of Kabul, where aid workers are scarce and little has changed. (Full disclosure: I’m proud to serve on the AWF’s board.) Women are Afghanistan’s greatest resource for peace and prosperity. Don’t let this chance to help go to waste (afghanwomensfund.org).