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My top 10 charities to give to this year!

If you don’t know to which charities you should give money to at the end of 2013, here is my top 10 list of 2013/2014. Charities that, some big and some small, give focused help. Therefore you get more “use” out of the money you spend on these charities. While there are many organizations that do good, I have listed charities I have experience with/donated to in the past/or have been to their charity events.  Either I have seen it with my own eyes or I just really trust these organizations, these are my favorite 10 charities of 2013/2014:

1. Brooke Hospital (Netherlands & U.K.)

Brooke HospitalCategory workhorses/donkeys worldwide – When I went to visit Jordan a few years ago for a modeling gig, I was suprised to see that the work donkeys in Petra, seemed healthy. I learned later that it is because Brooke Hospital is active in Jordan, to help workhorses & donkeys, and teach their owners how to take the best care of the animals so they can work for them and generate income. A true win-win situation: better health for the animals and more income for the families who need the workhorses to work! It is all about education and prevention. That’s why I am a Brooke Hospital Ambassador  You can learn more about the dutch Brooke Hospital HERE>, the U.K. Brooke Hospital HERE>  and you can donate there as well! They keep good track of what money is used to buy what. Like when the uproar in Egypt happened,and tourists did not visit Egypt anymore,  a lot of owners of horses around the touristy areas did not have enough food for the horses and many died. (I can still remember the images of areas covered in dead horses) Brooke Hospital shared how many bags of food where brought to what areas, and how many horses were helped.  That way you can get a feeling ofwhat happens with your donation.

Brooke hospitalPicture courtesy of Brooke Hospital. 

2. ASPCA (USA)

Category: dogs, cats, horses USA – The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I have been supporting, donating and going to their charity events for years now. Why? I think the way you treat your animals says a lot about you. In most cases when people find animal abuse, there are other problems in place. Finding animal abuse ism besides helping animals, sometimes also the first step to help the people who own them. I have seen with my own eyes how they take in dogs & cats that are abused, neglected or malnourished, or are on the list to be euthanized in other shelters. They will bring them back to health, and find new forever homes for them. People who can’t afford it, can get free veterinary care for their pets. Also, the ASPCA has been doing the same for horses all across the United States. In 1866, this charity was founded by Henry Bergh to primarily help sick, injured or abused horses. in 1902 they were the first to have an ambulance in NYC to take carriage horses of the streets that were injured. (Read more ASPCA history HERE) They also have a lot of great dogs and cats in the shelter you can adopt! Or you can donate HERE.

ASPCA logo

lonneke aspcaAttending an ASPCA charity event in NYC

3. NYCLASS (USA)

nyclass logoCategory: workhorses NYC – New Yorkers for Clean, Livable And Safe Streets. Although some people think the horse drawn carriages in NYC are so very romantic, the fact is that this is true case of horse abuse. There are many reasons why the 220 carriage horses of NYC should be taken of the streets. First of all: horses don’t belong in heavy and loud traffic of one of the busiest metropoles of the World. Horses get into accidents, and every year it seems to be more and more. The horses work too long hours, in extreme cold and extreme heat, 7 days a week. Sometimes doing double shifts if the owner wants to make an extra buck (that’s over 16 hour days then) They are never turned out or walked without a carriage so they can just stretch and be a horse. Their living conditions? Appalling. Some horses are stabled even on the second floor of buildings that were obviously not meant to have horses reside there. Ever seen a horse walk up the stairs? Well, some do it every day. Not to mention the small spaces they stay in. Some horses can’t even turn around. During Sandy in November 2012, These horses were not allowed to be on the streets. Where were they? Suddenly, after working every day, they stayed INSIDE their stables for the full week! If that is not bad for a horse, I don’t know what is! To make a long story short: NYCLASS already has a loving and forever place for each of the 220 NY Carriage horses once the bill is in place to take the horses of the streets of NYC.  There is even a great alternative I wrote about earlier:  the horseless electric carriage. How Smart! Please sign the petition HERE , Donate HERE, or watch Lea Michele talk about the horse carriage industry in NYC in video below.

nyclass galaAttending a NYCLASS charity event in NYC

4. Pencils of Promise. (USA)

Pencils of Promise logoCategory: children/education/worldwide – Founded by the manager of Justin Bieber, Adam Braun, this charity builds schools worldwide in places where kids otherwise would not go to school. It is that simple. Every penny goes to the schools. They have projects in countries like Laos, Guatamala & Ghana They have a goal of 100 schools by the end of 2012. They already finished about 75 of them. This year I attended the PoP gala where Usher was being honored, and also bid 12000 dollars on a cute labradoodle puppy he called “Poppy”. This way more and more is raised for education for kids! So join the movement HERE, or Donate HERE!

lonneke Pencils of PromiseAttending at a  Pencils of Promise event in NYC in 2012

5. De Dierenbescherming Zuid-Oost (Netherlands)

DierenbeschermingCategory pets, Eindhoven, the Netherlands – We adopted our dog, bullterrier Vito here a year ago at shelter “De Doornakkers”. So I could see first-hand that every penny donated goes to the dogs. I also once paid myself a part of the bill of surgery of one dog, who needed repair of his tendons. Since this is a subsidized facility, all animals can only get the same amount of care. If animals need specialty care or surgery, they need to raise money for each animal seperately, which can be hard sometime. So every time you donate, you can be assured that that money is going to an animal who needs special care. You can learn more about  De Dierenbescherming Zuid-Oost HERE> and maybe find a dog or a cat to adopt?

Lonneke-VitoLonneke & Vito 

6. Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Fund.

PinkPony-Campaign-LOGO-copyCategory breast cancer/cancer /research/women’s health – A charitable organization originated by Ralph Lauren, which supports breast cancer research and prevention all around the World. You can donate directly HERE> or buy one of their Pink Pony products to show your support and that way donate to this good cause. I also posed for Ralph Lauren Pink Pony once.

Lonneke Pink Pony

7. Wakker Dier/WSPA International. Category factory animal welfare/food safety

wakker dier logo(The dutch version is WSPA NL) Helping factory farm animals around the World who are raised for consumption. Wakker Dier focuses solely on the factory farm industry and its animals in the Netherlands. The WSPA does that globally, and the WSPA protects and helps all animals around the World where help is needed. They bought agree that animals should not be raised in a factory as this is a situation of prolonged suffering for the animals. The practices used to raise these animals are upsetting and make you not want to eat meat again if you see it. Unfortunately a lot of people are closing their eyes for these practices, and keep buying these products, to which the industry continues to use these practices. As the consumer is King, if they would refuse to buy these animal products, the industry would have to change their practice. it is that simple. So you can help these organizations by buying animal friendly products consciously to show your support. Only consumers can truly change the system by asking for better living quality for the food they eat, and not let a few cents make the decision of what animal products you eat or not. The money you save this way short-term will get back to you in health problems the long way, as these animals are treated with hormones, cruel feeding methods, lots of medication, and are just unhappy. You eat that energy and bad energy is never good for you. Think about helping these organizations and think when you buy your food next time in the grocery store. You are what you eat.

wspa logo

8. The Non-GMO project.

non gmoCategory food safety. While most people are becoming more aware of the reasons to choose and eat organic food, just buying products that say “Organic” on it, is not good enough anymore to assure what you eat is truly as nature intended. Big corporations are making “organic” a business and are trying to sit on the fine lines of what is organic and not. A product can get an “organic” seal even if the product is not 100% organic. You can’t be totally sure anymore unless you investigate yourself some more of what you and your family eat. It is important to investigate even further what you eat, on a molecular level. Since a few decades some big corporations have invented “GMO” , and they are selling it and you are buying it. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and means that the food that you consume, is genetically altered. (You should read my article on GMO  to understand what it is.) There are many reasons why one should not consume GMO, and this non profit organization is showing you all the facts. But it is a personal choice if you want to know or not. Now the Non-GMO project is labeling food that is without GMO, it has become much easier to know what is in the food products you buy. I appreciate their work so much! Now I know what to buy or not in the store. As food, together with clean water and clean air are the essentials to live, I think this is something that is important for all people. Your support will help them bring more awareness and better food to you. Keep an eye out for this label!

9. Food & Water Watch, Category air/water/food safety

This organization covers many issues we have these days. Issues that come from water pollution to fracking, from factory fish farming to bottled water and many more that affect everyone. this website is a great resource already to get your info on what’s going on in the World these days, so you can make the right decisions on what to support when it comes to the knowning what food you eat and protecting the water you drink.

food water watch

10. Justgiving

Category charity website.  And to conclude my 10 favorite charities to give to this year, I added a website to which you can browse yourself to find your preferred charity to give to. You can search on Just Giving for or a charity you like and donate online. Over 10.000 charities, big and small, are waiting for your donation! the dutch version is HERE>

just giving logo

I hope these 10 great organizations have helped you to find out whom you are going to support this year!

Other charities that were brought to my attention on Twitter when I asked my followers which charities should add, but did not make my top 1o are: Net4KidsLendahandGive Directly, Reporters without Borders,  Stichting Vluchteling(NL) Artsen zonder grenzen (NL); Warchild; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International; Greenpeace; Bits of Freedom (NL); Wikileaks; Tess Unlimited, Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij KNMR,  World Wildlife Fund WWF. Plan Nederland, Terre des HommesStichting Hulphond Nederland, ,Inloophuis de Eik in Eindhoven (NL) ,De Snoezelbus in Rotterdam (NL),Even a charity to make cannabis legal named VOC (NL) .Thank you followers for sharing these with us!

Forbes also made a list of the top 50 largest USA charities, which can help you make a decision on what charity to support this year too!

Love, Lonneke

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One Response to My top 10 charities to give to this year!

  1. christophe December 28, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    Hello Lonneke,
    Apparently, ( as you said in a previous article) Bill de Blasio, the new mayor of New York city who will take office on January 1st wants to end carriage horses and their lamentable living conditions.Unfortunately, there are still many tourist town in France (in Belgium, as Brugge, and in many countries) who naturally practice this kind of attraction.
    Fortunately, the slavery of human beings has been abolished long ago … (although I remember an article that Abigail had wrote on cocoa production with teenager !!).
    I think this is really a good thing that a celebrity like you (you and Dirk) adopt and love a dog because you give the good example to follow, (I see so many people who have pets they do not like and they mistreats), congratulations, I’m sure your dog is very happy.
    I am not writing this comment to make me look like an angel, because I’m not, I don’t acceded a lot of charity association and I have flaws like everybody, but I think it’s a good thing to denounce those people who don’t have no qualms to animals and humans.
    Thank you for your great article Lonneke , congratulations for giving your time and your support for associations.

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