5 charities that are changing the world – I’m writing about them because you may find them as inspiring as I do.
I have always admired people who devote their lives to helping the planet’s voiceless: marginalised people, the environment and animals.
Unfortunately, a few years ago I realised that my activism and involvement in causes I care about had declined.
I only ever took part in activism occasionally and never volunteered.
Despite raising money for rainforests and joining the World Wildlife Fund when I was 13, as a mid-40s adult my daily actions were out of alignment with my cherished values.
Under the shadow of the US presidential election results in 2016, I felt upset, depressed and powerless about issues like climate change, deforestation and environmental destruction.
Yet, when I looked at myself I found that – despite my strong feelings – I was not walking my talk. I was simply an angry and disillusioned keyboard warrior, nothing more.
A few years earlier, in 2014, I’d started to work on my conflicted feelings about making more money. I spent a lot of time – and energy – working through my money blocks and sorting out my finances.
I learnt a lot, including that one of my beliefs was ‘The rich are exploiting the planet.’
Hardly surprising that view was in there.
I’d been thinking about the end of the world since I was 13, but what the heck had the 1% been doing all that time?
It seemed like nada.
I chipped away at this pernicious belief and found others. For example: “If I have more, others will have to have less.” This is a common problem amongst empaths and other natural born healers who feel that if they look after themselves, someone else will be deprived. Read more about that in my Attract More Money course.
My circumstances changed considerably as I educated myself on my attitudes towards people with a lot of money.
So much so that, by 2015, I decided to tie-in my increased earning potential with my beliefs. I put my money where my mouth was by doing something fiscal to support the charities I believed in.
I couldn’t go to the rainforest or the seas to help protect them, but other people could – and did!
I wanted to support THEM.
I found 5 kick-ass charities: daring and committed groups who stand up for animals, the environment and indigenous people across the world.
These were all really lean organisations and this made me feel comfortable my money would be used carefully.
Then I tied in my earnings with donating monthly. This action made it easier for me to increase my income without the attendant empath guilt.
Though I was very far from the frontline, I could put my skills to good use and contribute to the greater good with the cash earned.
- What issues do you care most passionately about?
- How can you stop yourself feeling powerless?
- How to do feel about creating wealth + financial success?
If you’ve struggled with similar issues, I’d urge you to find causes you believe in and tie in donations to your earnings.
Especially if you are doing spiritual work or healing, you may feel comfortable with the idea of tithing. This is giving away 10% of your income to good causes.
Mine are set up as monthly direct debits that leave via PayPal.
If you’ve been thinking about giving and you want your money to go to lean organisations (i.e. not huge, bloated charities where most of their income goes on admin), then you might like my 5 favourite kick-ass charities that are changing the world!
5 charities that are changing the world
1. Sea Shepherd, global marine conservation
Called “eco-terrorists” by the Japanese government and currently banned by US courts from approaching Japanese whaling ships, Sea Shepherd is the world’s leading direct-action ocean conservation organisation. Sea Shepherd was founded to protect marine life in 1977 by Paul Watson, a former member of Greenpeace, after a dispute with that organisation over what Watson saw as its lack of more aggressive intervention.
Sea Shepherd operations have included scuttling and disabling whaling vessels at harbour, intervening in Canadian and Namibian seal hunts, shining laser light into the eyes of whalers, throwing bottles of foul-smelling butyric acid onto vessels at sea, boarding of whaling vessels while at sea, and seizure and destruction of drift nets at sea.
Sea Shepherd claims that their aggressive actions are necessary as the international community has shown itself unwilling or unable to stop species-endangering and cruel whaling and fishing practices.
2. VET PAW – Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife, US / Africa
Made famous online by comedian/animal activist Ricky Gervais and gun-toting ex-army officer Kinessa Johnson (above). VETPAW provides employs post-9/11 veterans to train and support Africa’s anti-poaching rangers and help protect endangered African wildlife.
Ten years ago founder and US army veteran Ryan Tate was exposed to the atrocities of elephant and rhino poaching, and the devastation it had on east African communities. He vowed to do something about it.
Iconic and irreplaceable wildlife is still on the brink of extinction due to illegal poaching. The crisis is already having far-reaching and catastrophic consequences. VETPAW collaborates closely with rangers, national parks, and government agencies in Africa.
Many army veterans are un- or underemployed. They face difficult futures once service has ended. Veterans benefit profoundly from the opportunity to serve and saves lives. VETPAW facilitates career development and personal growth too.
VETPAW‘s veterans work side-by-side with anti-poaching patrols, implementing infantry tactics, unit cohesion, medical skills, and other game-changing tools in the modern poaching war.
3. Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue, worldwide marine conservation
Top scientist Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to the oceans and seen huge change in the oceans since she grew up in the US in the 1940s. She wants the world to know our oceans are dying.
Hundreds of miles of ‘dead zones’ are appearing where once their was abundant life. Eco-systems are being destroyed by over-fishing, mining, human waste (including rubbish) and pollution.
A global initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance, Mission Blue was formed in response to Sylvia Earle’s 2009 TED Prize wish. Dr. Earle urges people “to use all means at your disposal — films, expeditions, the web, new submarines — to create a campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas; Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the blue heart of the planet.”
Watch the Mission Blue Documentary free on Netflix.
4. The Crees Foundation nature conservation, the Amazon, South America
The BBC Two documentary ‘I Bought a Rainforest‘ featuring wildlife photographer Charlie Hamilton-James beautifully highlighted the work of The Crees Foundation. There are over 44,000 species of plants in the Amazonian rainforest yet only 1% of those 44,000 plants have been studied by scientists for their medicinal value. (1)
Despite this, the world has lost the equivalent of 68,000 soccer fields of forest every day over the past 13 years — 50 soccer fields per minute. (2).
Crees Foundation has a mission to create a realistic long-term model for protecting the bio-diversity of the rainforest; one that fully involves the people who live there. This means encouraging and supporting sustainable ways of making a living from the rainforest, starting within the 1500 acres of rainforest the foundation owns.1. Ref: Nick Polizzi, The Sacred Science.
2. Ref: World Resources Institute, 2013
5. The Gentle Barn animal sanctuary, California
Over 160 farm animals rescued from severe abuse, neglect or abandonment live at The Gentle Barn, California, USA. They are rehabilitated with top quality nutrition, medicine and countless hours in the arms of staff and volunteers.
Slowly, as the animals realise that they are loved and their abuse is over, they regain their trust in humankind. Because of ongoing physical and psychological needs, the animals are given sanctuary for the rest of their lives.
This charity works with inner-city children from Los Angeles, group homes, mental health care facilities, foster homes and schools. The children’s interaction with the rescued animals is deeply healing for both animal and child.
Engaging with the animals teaches these often troubled children how to feel empathy, how to behave towards others – and how to respect difference.
More charities that are changing the world!
In January 2017 I added Marc Ching and Barn Sanctuary. Finally, I added the IAPF in April 2019. So much goodness out there!
6. Marc Ching’s Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation
Marc Ching is a holistic nutritionist for animals who started the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation in 2011 after he realised he could rehabilitate abused and neglected dogs in Los Angeles.
In 2015, he heard about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China and travelled there to learn more.
He discovered abuse and inhumanity so brutal he knew his life would never be the same. His work is now focused on rescuing and campaigning for animals in Asia, as well as the US.
I urge you to listen to his compelling story in this fascinating and moving interview with Marc Ching on the Rich Roll Podcast.
7. Dan & Tom McKernan’s Barn Sanctuary (farm animal rescue, USA)
Barn Sanctuary is a hands-on animal sanctuary dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for animal refugees in Michigan, USA.
The small charity educates the public about the horrific treatment of animals raised for food – and the positive impact a plant-based diet can have on the environment and human health.
Siblings Dan and Tom McKernan provide rescue and shelter to horses, cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, sheep, goats, and rabbits who have been saved from abuse, abandonment, and natural disasters.
Additionally, visitors can play with goats, belly rub pigs, cuddle the chickens and get nuzzled by some very friendly sheep!
8. International Anti-Poaching Federation
The IAPF was founded in 2009 and operates in southern and East Africa. Their focus is ecosystem preservation via a community-driven conservation program. The IAPF empowers disadvantaged women to restore and manage networks of wilderness areas.
It is registered in four countries, with Dr Jane Goodall as a Patron and with vegan Damien Mander as Founder & CEO. It has supported rangers to help protect over 6 million acres of wilderness across the African continent.
See this superb interview on the Rich Roll Podcast:
Find your charities that are changing the world!
- What causes are you rooting for?
- What calls out to your heart?
- How can you support your own causes + beliefs via your business?
If you can’t be the change directly, invest in those people who are fighting for those changes on your behalf.
If you are interest in going plant-based for your health, the planet + the environment, check out my Good Vibes Plant-Based Food Guide!