Giving till it hurts doesn’t need to hurt
The end of the year is upon us and that means everything from Hanukkah to Solstice to Festivus. It also means, less cheerfully, that once you have recovered from your Christmas shopping, you’re going to have to wake up one morning next year and think about paying taxes.
Sorry to be such a downer.
But there’s a perky happy bright side to this otherwise bad news: You can combine your last minute Christmas shopping with tax breaks, and you can do it online while still keeping your money local. It’s time to donate to your favorite nonprofit; do it for a friend, do it for yourself. If you are short on cash then volunteer. It’s all good and all for good causes. — Camilla Mortensen
Homelessness and Civil Liberties
Occupy Eugene (occupyeugenemedia.org) isn’t a nonprofit, but that shouldn’t stop you from helping these tireless activists. Stop by the camp at Washington-Jefferson Park and drop off food or supplies. And there are lots of nonprofits working with Occupy or on related issues that you can give your cash in support of their efforts. Civil Liberties Defense Center (www.cldc.org or 687-9180) works on local issues like Occupy, but its reach is nation wide, giving support not only to protesters but also to the everyday person whose rights have been trampled and can’t otherwise afford an attorney.
White Bird Clinic provides support and services to low-income individuals and families including medical care, CAHOOTS, and other aid for drug treatment. To donate, volunteer or for more information, visit www.whitebirdclinic.org or call 342-8255.
The Egan Warming Center (eganwarmingcenter.com or 689-6747), administered by St. Vincent de Paul, has been working to keep the homeless from freezing to death on the streets of Eugene as namesake veteran Thomas Egan did in 2008. Give a warm sleeping bag, a couple nights helping out or cash to keep folks from freezing on these cold nights.
Also helping the homeless, specifically homeless youth, is Looking Glass (www.lookingglass.us or 689-3111), which helps kids suffering from abuse, neglect, educational deficits, mental health issues, drug addiction and homelessness.
For you Corvallis readers, check out The Vina Moses Center (www.vinamoses.org) serving families and children in need in Benton County.
Pets and Animals
|Adopt a pup like James Earl Bones|
One of the best ways to save a puppy or kitten is by preventing future unwanted beasties. Willamette Animal Guild (www.wagwag.org or 345-3566) provides low-cost spay/neuter services, as does the City of Eugene Spay and Neuter Clinic (http://wkly.ws/2f or 682-3643), which also offers shots, deworming and discount microchipping.
Even the more well-known rescues in town like Greenhill Humane Society (www.green-hill.org or 689-1503) need donations, volunteers and money to continue doing good deeds for animalkind. Lane County Animal Services (wkly.ws/1zor or 682-3645) gets our love for its efforts to go no-kill and its out-of-the box thinking for sending pups like Sasha the deaf pit bull out to work with high-risk youth and finding her a home instead of euthanizing her.
Pro-Bone-O helps provide medical care and food for pets of homeless people (www.proboneo.org or 607-8089). Save the Pets (www.savethepets.net or 683-7387) works on spay/neuter issues and has a network of foster homes for the pups and kitties (Full disclosure: EW’s awesome office dog James Earl Bones was a Save the Pets foster). West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue (westcoastdogandcat.org or 225-4955) focuses on getting homes for abused, handicapped, neglected, abandoned or aged pets, no matter how long it takes.
Luv-A-Bull helps Lane County’s pit bulls find homes and shed their bad dog reputations with its lovely sanctuary filled with happy pitties in pink tutus as well as its adorable plethora of “littles” and “scruffs” — tiny doggies from Los Angeles saved from doggie-death row and in need of happy Oregon homes. See www.luvabullpitbullrescue.com
The Great Outdoors
Cascadia Wildlands calls itself “a lean, mean environmental group that protects and restores wild ecosystems,” and you can’t help but to love a group that started off tilting at windmills as it formed to fight vast federal clearcuts in the 1990s and, in fact, has done much to stop them as well as save Oregon’s wolves. Call 434-1463 or visit www.cascwild.org to donate, volunteer or for more information.
Predators from wolves to cougars are a key part of the ecosystem, and these much-maligned beasts need people to help them survive. Predator Defense (www.predatordefense.org or 937-4261) speaks up locally and nationwide for the beasts that howl and yowl.
Beyond Toxics (www.beyondtoxics.org or 465-8860), the group formerly known as Oregon Toxics Alliance, might have changed its name, but it hasn’t changed its fight for social justice, clean air and getting poisonous chemicals out of our lives and our children’s bodies.
McKenzie River Trust (mckenzieriver.org or 345-2799) and its work on preserving and restoring rivers and lands somehow manages to show that good beer, good fishing and what some might think of as treehugging go together just fine. After all, good water means good fishing and good beer. Donate money or use your cash to buy some of Oakshire’s Skookumchuk Wild Ale. You can drink beer and save the world.
If you’re not into beer, Camas Education Network (camasnet.org or 349-9474) combines working with kids and schools with environmental concerns in its restoration work making local campuses good habit for kids and native species.
We don’t even have to ask if we missed any good ones. So go ahead, drop us a note on the blog or Facebook page to let others know who’s good to give to.