Giving to charity benefits your health and wellbeing
Did you know that there are health and well-being benefits to giving to charity? A National Institutes of Health study found that when people give to charities, regions of their brain associated with pleasure, trust, and social connection activate.
- Giving activates the reward center of your brain. A study by a University of Oregon professor found that when someone gives to a charity, the response in the brain is similar to the brain's response to narcotics.
- Those who gave more to charity had lower blood pressure than those who did not, a study by researchers at John Hopkins and the University of Tennessee found.
Why you should give to environmental charities on Giving Tuesday 2023
There are a number of reasons to give to environmental charities.
- You're helping find solutions to some of the biggest problems, such as climate change and pollution, that our society and the world face.
- Environmental non-profits help pioneer solutions while responding to challenges that a changing environment brings.
- Environmental non-profits always need donations to keep going. In 2020, the environment and animals combined received only 11.6 of all donations. When you give to an environmental organization, you help keep it afloat.
Here are eight environmental organizations with a focus on children. Some focus on environmental health, environmental justice, or connecting children to nature, while others focus on reducing pollution or educating children about environmental issues.
Charity Navigator evaluates non-profits and gives them a score. The Charity Navigator score is included for each cause.
1. Go Green Initiative
Vision: Environmental justice for every child in every school.
Mission: The Go Green Initiative improves the lives of children by advancing health, safety, and sustainability at school. It works for children in communities most impacted by environmental harm. The organization partners with district administrators, school stakeholders, and student leaders to improve air quality, water quality, and food at school.
Core programs: Indoor environmental conditions, conserving natural resources, and reducing environmental impacts.
Charity Navigator score: 100 percent.
2. National Environmental Education Foundation’s Children and Nature Initiative
Vision: Preventing serious health conditions such as obesity and diabetes by reconnecting children to nature.
Mission: The aim of the National Environmental Education Foundation’s Children and Nature Initiative is to prevent health problems related to an indoor sedentary lifestyle such as obesity and diabetes. Connecting children and their families to nature while promoting good health, enjoyment, and environmental stewardship is how the non-profit accomplishes its goal.
Core programs: Educating pediatric health care providers about prescribing outdoor activities to children, connecting health care providers with local nature sites so they can refer families to safe and easily accessible outdoor areas, sponsoring a National Public Lands Day program, and hosting a training webinar on connecting children to nature sites for outdoor activity.
Charity Navigator score: 90.27 percent.
3. Children’s Environmental Health Network
Vision: A society that puts children at the center.
Mission: The Children's Environmental Health Network is an organization that aims to protect children from environmental health hazards by promoting a healthier environment. It is the voice of children’s environmental health in Washington, D.C. The organization has a basis in pediatric and environmental health science, with several goals that include promoting the development of sound public health and child-focused national policy, stimulating prevention-oriented research, and educating health professionals, policymakers, and community members in preventive strategies.
Core programs: Eco-healthy child care, environmental justice, climate change, childhood cancer, state children’s environmental health programs, research, and policy.
Charity Navigator score: 94 percent.
4. Our Children’s Trust
Vision: A healthy atmosphere for present and future generations.
Mission: Our Children’s Trust is a non-profit public interest law firm. It provides campaign-based legal services to youth from various backgrounds to secure their legal rights to a safe climate.
Core programs: In addition to providing legal services, the organization uses targeted media, education, and public education work to support legal action on behalf of young people.
Charity Navigator score: 80 percent.
5. Our Children’s Earth Foundation
Vision: Getting people to think clearly about the future.
Mission: Founded in the late 1990s, Our Children’s Earth Foundation advocates on the behalf of children so they can breathe clean air and use clean water. The organization educates the public about the health problems pollution causes in their neighborhoods and empowers communities to take action to reduce pollution.
Core programs: Water, air quality, wildlife, climate change, government accountability, film fund, and education.
Charity Navigator score: 100 percent.
6. Clean the World Foundation
Vision: A healthy atmosphere for all present and future generations.
Mission: The goal of Clean the World is to save millions of lives around the world. It accomplishes its goal by recycling soap and hygiene products from over 8,000 hotel and resort partners. The non-profit then distributes the recycled hygiene products to children and families in countries with a high death rate due to acute respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases, which are two of the top killers of children under five.
Core programs: Hotel recycling, soap, and hygiene products distribution.
Charity Navigator score: 100 percent.
7. Kids Saving the Rainforest
Vision: To save the wildlife in the rainforest.
Mission: Founded by two nine-year-old girls in 1999, Kids Saving the Rainforest aims to protect the wildlife along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. The non-profit accomplishes its goal through wildlife rehabilitation, conducting scientific research, training volunteers, and promoting conservation, and reforestation. The organization invites schools and children’s organizations throughout the U.S. to learn about the rainforest and to do projects to raise money for the organization.
Core programs: Wildlife rescue center, reforestation, wildlife sanctuary, and wildlife bridge program.
Charity Navigator score: 85 percent.
8. National Wildlife Federation’s Connecting Kids and Nature
Vision: Uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Mission: The goal of the National Wildlife Federation’s Connecting Kids and Nature program is to get 21 million American children, teens, and young adults outdoors. The organization provides nature and outdoor programs for children to schools, childcare centers, park agencies, and other institutions.
Core programs: In addition to the Connecting Kids and Nature program, the National Wildlife Federation has a Green Hour initiative to encourage parents, schools, childcare centers, park agencies, camps, grandparents, and others to adopt a goal of one hour each day for children to play and learn outdoors in nature.
Charity Navigator score: Charity Navigator score: 85.58.
Giving to a worthy cause helps the planet and yourself
When you give to a worthy cause that helps the environment, you help out the planet while giving yourself health and well-being benefits. You also set a wonderful example for your children by teaching them the adage, “It’s more blessed to give than receive.”