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Donate to these 9 charities instead of buying flowers for Mother's Day

May 05, 2020
5 min read
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Giving back is important, now more than ever before. While governments around the world are bailing out businesses large and small, individuals continue to struggle — if you have the means, people and animals alike could really use your help.

For years, my sister and I have shipped flowers online, often earning up to 30 miles per dollar in the process, but that tradition ended this year, at my mother's request. Right now, people are having incredible difficulty making ends meet, doctors and nurses are saving patients using makeshift masks, and elephants are starving in Thailand — it's an incredibly challenging time for people and animals all around the world.

Flower farmers could use a financial boost as well, I'm sure, but there are charities around the world that are event more desperate for your support — I'll be sharing some that stand out in particular below.

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Baby2Baby

This critical organization is working around the clock to help families impacted by COVID-19. So far, Baby2Baby has distributed millions of items all around the United States, providing parents in need with formula, diapers and other essential supplies.

Feeding America

Through a nationwide network of food banks, Feeding America distributes more than four billion meals each year. Your donation will help provide meals through one of 200 food banks, including one in or near your community.

UNICEF

Working to save and protect children in 190 countries and territories around the world, UNICEF is no stranger to humanitarian emergencies. As part of its COVID-19 response, the organization has already delivered almost six million protective items to health workers around the world, and continues to provide children with adequate health care, nutrition and safe water during this critical time.

Trinity Place Shelter

This New York City transition shelter provides LGBTQ youth and young adults with emotional support and education, in addition to a safe place to live. Your donation will provide food for residents, public transportation to work and funding for the purchase of critical equipment.

God's Love We Deliver

Currently, God's Love We Deliver is working hard to feed vulnerable members of the community throughout the New York City area. For $54, you can sponsor a bag of shelf-stable meals, with enough food to keep someone eating healthy for a week.

Ready, Willing and Able

This 12-month residential program offers paid work, in addition to a variety of social services, helping homeless men land on their feet in New York City. So far, more than 7,200 people have successfully completed the program, landing a full-time job and a home of their own.

Save Elephant Foundation

I had an enlightening visit to the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai Thailand in 2012, and have pledged to support these magnificent creatures ever since. I made a donation on behalf of my own mom, to the Save Elephant Foundation, which is helping care for elephants desperate for your help. You can also make a donation via Trunks Up, and, if you have lots of love to give, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust could always use your help, too.

James Beard Foundation

Countless restaurant workers are currently out of work, as coronavirus has prompted much of the U.S. to ban sit-down dining in an effort to contain the spread. The JBF Relief Fund aims to provide critical aid to small, independent restaurants, helping to cover operational expenses and keep restaurants from going out of business during the pandemic.

Non-profit news organizations

Independent journalism is as important as ever, with organizations like National Public Radio (NPR) depending on you for much-needed funding in their never-ending quest for the truth. Consider making a donation on mom's behalf, and pick up a subscription to her community newspaper, too.

Bonus: C&C's Awesome Foundation

TPG contributor Chris Sloan runs a charity, Caleb and Calder Sloan's Awesome Foundation, that's matching COVID-19-related donations through April 13th, up to $250 apiece — an incredibly generous gesture. You can email your donation receipt to cncawesomefoundation@gmail.com, and they'll take care of the rest!

Maximize your return

As with all purchases, it's entirely possible to earn valuable points and miles when you make a donation. You'll want to do a bit of research, though — some charities, like the Save Elephant Foundation, accept donations via PayPal, and they won't have to pay a fee if you fund your donation via a bank transfer. Others may allow you to cover the organization's fee at checkout, which is something to consider, too.

If paying by credit card won't negatively impact your donation, I recommend a card that offers The best credit cards for everyday spending, such as Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. See our post detailing the best credit cards to use for charitable donations for more.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

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    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

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  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
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  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees