In this day and age, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the state of the world around us. From growing economic issues to social strife, there are a multitude of strong and complex forces making life challenging for many people everyday. Fortunately, there are number of organizations that exist to provide assistance to those in need. From the large and well-known international charities and aid organizations to the small grassroots efforts providing local assistance, these organizations are providing vital aid to those who are otherwise unable to generate the resources needed to take care of themselves. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most prominent organizations that provide assistance and the essential work they do to improve the lives of people around the world.
International Charities and Aid Organizations
One of the foremost organizations providing assistance on a global scale is the United Nations (UN). Founded in 1945, the UN has since become the primary institution responsible for providing international coordination on global issues. It has a number of specialized departments and affiliates, with each engaging in a wide range of activities in pursuit of peace, security, and stability for all nations. Additionally, the UN works to protect human rights, prevent disease, reduce poverty and promote development in various ways.
Another well-known and influential international charity is the Red Cross/Red Crescent. Operating in over 190 countries and territories, the organization provides emergency support and disaster relief, as well as long-term development assistance. This includes providing medical aid and construction of health facilities to those in need of assistance, as well as initiatives to foster global cooperation and understanding.
World Vision is one of the largest nongovernmental organizations and a prominent international charity. Its operations are focused on child-centered community development programs that benefit around 80 million people in almost 100 countries. The organization works in many different ways, including promoting access to clean water and sanitation, providing food, shelter and medical care, promoting education, and more.
Nonprofit and Humanitarian Organizations
There are a number of small, local organizations providing assistance within the United States and around the world. One of the most notable of these is Feeding America, the United States’ largest domestic hunger-relief charity. Feeding America supports food banks in more than 200 communities throughout the country, providing access to nutritious food items along with nutrition education and assistance with utility bills. The organization also participates in disaster relief efforts, contributing to relief efforts in areas affected by natural disasters.
Another organization working to help people domestically is the Salvation Army. This Christian humanitarian organization is best known for providing assistance to homeless and at-risk individuals, offering support through a number of shelters and outreach programs. The organization also provides job training, substance abuse recovery programs, disaster relief, youth programs, and more.
There are also a number of faith-based organizations providing assistance on a global scale. One of the most prominent is the American Jewish World Service (AJWS), which supports more than 900 organizations across the globe. Through projects ranging from agricultural development to advancing civil and political rights, AJWS works to help people living in poverty and oppression around the world.
Finally, there are a variety of organizations dedicated to providing assistance specific to certain populations or issues. For example, Heifer International is an organization dedicated to eradicating poverty and hunger by empowering small-scale farmers and providing access to needed resources and training. Other organizations specialize in helping people affected by human trafficking and other abuses, such as the organization Not For Sale, which works to eradicate human trafficking and restore communities affected by the crime.
The Red Cross, or the American Red Cross (ARC), is one of the most well-known organizations that provide assistance to individuals and communities in need. Founded in 1881, the ARC is a charitable organization that provides relief in times of disaster, emergency aid, and other essential services. The Red Cross provides assistance in the form of emergency aid, such as shelter and food, relief services, such as first aid and disaster relief, and education, such as CPR and water safety courses. The Red Cross also operates blood donation centers, community health centers, and international aid programs. The organization’s mission is to “prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.”
Feeding America is a nationwide network of food banks, pantries, and meal programs that provides assistance to people in need. The organization was founded in 1979 and has since become one of the largest charitable networks in the United States. Feeding America provides food assistance to more than 37 million people, including 21 million children and 7 million seniors, who otherwise would not have access to healthy meals. The organization also assists with disaster relief, is a strong advocate of public policies that progress healthy food security, and runs educational programs to teach individuals how to shop and cook nutritiously.
The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, is a United Nations agency focused on assisting with the needs of children around the world. For over 70 years, UNICEF has worked to create a better world for children through five areas of focus—nutrition, health, education and protection, social inclusion, and survival. UNICEF provides interventions and assistance to help children reach their fullest potential, such as providing nutritional support, vaccinations, access to clean water, education, and interventions to protect children from exploitation. In addition, UNICEF also advocates for better policies and laws to protect children’s rights.
Americares is an international disaster relief and poverty alleviation organization that provides assistance to people and communities affected by poverty or disasters. Founded in 1979, the organization has developed programs to address the health and economic needs of marginalized communities in nearly 90 countries in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Americares provides direct assistance to individuals, such as with healthcare, food, and shelter. It also runs programs to create long-term social impact and stability in impoverished communities, such as its Preemptive Medicine Program, which helps to reduce healthcare costs and improves health outcomes.
Samaritan’s Purse is an international Christian relief and development organization based in Boone, North Carolina. Founded in 1970, the organization is committed to meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people affected by poverty and disasters around the world. Samaritan’s Purse provides aid to individuals in need through its various programs, such as its water and sanitation project, community development program, disaster relief efforts, and food security program. The organization also advocates for better public policies and provides education and training programs to help those who are most vulnerable.
United Way is a national nonprofit organization that works to create lasting changes in the lives of individuals and communities. Founded in 1887, the organization funds and works with local organizations in various cities and communities across the United States. United Way provides assistance through its various programs, such as its Financial Stability/Asset Building programs, which help individuals become financially independent; its Basic Human Needs programs, which provide food, shelter, and basic health services; and its Education programs, which provide access to quality early childhood education and school readiness services.
The organizations discussed in this article only represent a fraction of the vast number of groups providing assistance around the world. Facilities like food banks, homeless shelters, and medical clinics, among many other smaller organizations, are working together to provide assistance to people in need in an effort to create a better world. It is truly inspiring to witness how much can be achieved when people come together to do something as selfless as providing assistance to those who need it most. It is these organizations that work tirelessly every day to make a difference in the lives of those they help, and thanks to their efforts, the world is becoming a better place.