Around this time every year, our minds turn to those who are less fortunate. In the spirit of Christmas, we renew our commitment to helping the poor, the oppressed, and the lonely. Plus, on a practical level, the end of the year is a great time to take stock of our finances and figure out if we have really given as generously as we can. In the days between Christmas and New Year’s, I usually end up making some last-minute donations to charitable causes, and I’ll bet you do, too. So, with so many options out there, how do we, as Catholic women, figure out where to put our money?
There are lots of worthy causes out there, so I don’t propose to give some sort of exhaustive list. I do, however, want to share some ideas for living out your vocation as a Catholic woman through your end-of-year-giving. Any of the organizations I mention are great for guys to give to, as well, but I thought it would be nice to reflect on the ways we can live out the words of Pope St. John Paul II through our charitable giving:
“Necessary emphasis should be placed on the ‘genius of women’…For in giving themselves to others each day women fulfill their deepest vocation. Perhaps more than men, women acknowledge the person, because they see persons with their hearts. They see them independently of various ideological or political systems. They see others in their greatness and limitations; they try to go out and help them.” (Letter to Women, 12)
With this in mind, here are some of my favorite organizations to give to:
If you’ve made your way around this blog, you’ve seen me mention Endow before. If you’re not familiar with this organization, you should be! They do incredible work educating on the nature and dignity of women (hence the acronym ENDOW). No, I don’t work for them, but I am a trained Endow facilitator and lead a couple of study groups, so I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of their mission. I have had so many women come to me and say that attending Endow study groups has changed their lives and helped them to realize their God-given beauty and dignity as a woman. The organization’s leadership is amazing, and I guarantee that even a small donation will go a long way toward renewing our culture’s understanding of authentic femininity.
To learn more about Endow, click here.
To donate, click here.
Others ways to help: If you don’t have spare change in the piggy bank right now, don’t worry! There are other ways you can help advance Endow’s mission. Sign up for a study group near you, become a facilitator, or, most important of all, PRAY!
Sisters of Life
These sisters are literally the holiest women I have ever met, and their mission could not be more important: creating a culture of life. Their outreach includes helping pregnant women in crisis and accompanying women in post-abortion healing. They also host retreats for all ages, so if you haven’t been to one, I strongly encourage you to do so! Supporting the sisters’ mission financially as they use their feminine genius to “acknowledge the person” and serve society’s most vulnerable is a great way live out our own vocation as women.
To learn more about the Sisters of Life, click here.
To donate, click here.
Catholic Relief Services
CRS is an international humanitarian-aid organization run by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is pro-life and strongly committed to upholding Catholic teaching in its work. (You can view their statement on their Catholic values here.) So many humanitarian organizations out there do good work, but mix in initiatives that are contrary to Church teaching. CRS is one organization I feel very comfortable supporting, since I know my donation will be used to uphold human life and dignity. Plus, I know that by supporting them as they serve the poorest of the poor, I am heeding the Lord’s call to all people, but especiallywomen, to “acknowledge the person” and then “go out and help…”
Other ways to help: As Mother Theresa said…”My secret is simple. I pray.”
I hope you’ll consider giving to these organizations, even if all you can afford right now is volunteer time or prayer. Feel free to post other ideas in the comments section below. Have a blessed Christmas!