New Year, New Start! Kickoff 2021 by Supporting These Causes and Nonprofits

December 18, 2020

Disclaimer: This post is reflective of our company while under the name Pledgeling and the listed information may be outdated. Please refer to our main company website on Pledge for current information and resources.

January is the time to start anew and set intentions for the year ahead that you envision. By adding an element of giving back, you serve a deeper mission and purpose for the betterment of our world.

We invite you to consider making donations to the following list of organizations that are highlighted this month based on a traditional calendar of cause themes and days of special recognition. You will also notice each cause’s alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is a global framework that was adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to address the world’s most pressing causes.

Looking for more inspiration? Be sure to follow our social media accounts (@Pledgeling) where we provide more content about the events, campaigns and partners who are joining us in the #PledgeToDoGood.

Here is your monthly guide of causes and nonprofits that you can easily support through Pledgeling as a way to honor these special dates. Our platform and products make it easy to donate to any cause of your choice. Happy New Year & Happy Giving!

National Volunteer Blood Donor Month (NVBDM)

SDGs Alignment: #3 Good Health and Well-Being

To increase awareness of blood donations, the nation's leading blood donation organizations - including America's Blood Centers, AABB, and the American Red Cross - have joined together in January to promote NVBDM. Here’s how you can support their programs by giving blood or monetary donations this month.

  • America’s Blood Centers advocates for and advances policies that promote the role of independent blood centers in providing life-saving blood components and recognize the continuous need for a safe and robust blood supply. Their member organizations of community-based, independent blood centers operate more than 600 blood collection sites providing close to 60 percent of the U.S., and a quarter of the Canadian, blood supply.
  • American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

January 4th - World Braille Day

SDGs Alignment: #10 Reduced Inequalities

To raise awareness of the importance of Braille for approximately 1.3 billion people living with some form of distance or near vision impairment, the United Nations established an official World Braille Day. It's celebrated on January 4th, the day that Braille's creator, Louis Braille, was born.

According to the World Health Organization, 39 million people around the world are blind, and another 253 million have some sort of vision impairment. Braille provides a tacticle way to allow the communication of important written information to ensure competency, independence and equality.

  • American Foundation for the Blind removes barriers, creates solutions, and expands possibilities so people with vision loss can achieve their full potential. They advocate for better policies that promote accessibility, equality, and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Blind Children’s Learning Center prepares children with visual impairments for a life of independence through early intervention, education and family support. They’ve developed a learning model that draws children into the mainstream of life early and begins teaching them the skills they will need throughout their lives.
  • Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides guide dogs to people with a vision loss. They are passionate about connecting exceptional dogs with individuals for greater independence.
  • Therapeutic Living Centers for the Blind provide for the lifetime needs of individuals with multiple-disabilities and blindness. TLC believes in the value of each individual and promotes the philosophy that each participant can be assisted to achieve his or her full potential.

January 17th - World Religion Day

SDGs Alignment: #16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

World Religion Day seeks to push the idea that the fundamentals of all religions are congruous. In other words, the similarities among religions outweigh the differences, and it's possible for our different expressions of spirituality to exist in harmony. You might consider supporting a religious group or organization in your community. Even if you don't have a particular faith, there are groups that share your unbiased support of freedom of religion. Whether they're groups that seek to unify religions, bring peace to conflict, or support the right for everyone to practice how they please, the work they do helps to make the world safer for people to worship.

  • Interfaith Voices is an independent public radio show fostering interfaith understanding by providing engaging conversation about religion, across many traditions and beliefs. They were born just three days after 9/11, when a nun had the idea to host a multi-faith panel on religion and terrorism, live on the radio.
  • Religions for Peace USA gathers representatives of religious communities in the U.S. to promote multi-religious cooperation for peace and justice; build on the spiritual, human, and institutional resources of its communities; enhance mutual understanding; and act for the common good.
  • United Religions promotes enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the earth and all living beings. They unite to bridge differences between people of all beliefs, to create community, and to solve local and global challenges.

January 18th - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

SDGs Alignment: #16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Each year Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday in January. On this day, we honor the slain civil rights icon, who at his very basic core was a selfless human rights volunteer for “everyman” and a tireless community action advocate.

What you might not know is that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was officially observed as a federal holiday back in 1986, and it was in 1994 that Congress designated the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday as a National Day of Service.

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Community Health Foundation gathers and stewards resources in support of the mission, vision and values of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital and the community it serves. Their vision is a healthy, diverse, vibrant and engaged community in which quality healthcare is accessible to every community member.
  • The King Center prepares global citizens to create a more just, humane and peaceful world using Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology (Nonviolence365®). Nearly a million people each year make pilgrimage to the National Historic Site to learn, be inspired and pay their respects to Dr. King’s legacy.

January 24th - International Day of Education

SDGs Alignment: #4 Quality Education

The UN has declared January 24th as International Education Day as a tribute to the value of education and a reminder that there's still a lot to be done. Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls for "free and compulsory elementary education." Unfortunately, the reality is that many children still don't have the liberty to go to school. In fact, roughly 264 million children don't have access to education (source: UNESCO).

  • UNICEF Education Cannot Wait is the first global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises. 1.5 billion kids are out of school due to pandemic closures. Help get the most vulnerable kids in school and learning.
  • COVID-19 Student Educational Resource Fund directs funds to First Book to help provide necessary supplies as schools close and students lose access to books & learning materials. First Book's coronavirus response is focused on making sure students are equipped with books & hygiene supplies to support learning at home. Along with books, First Book is also providing: basic hygiene supplies, such as hand sanitizer, tissues, and antibacterial wipes, free e-books, and other free resources and activities educators can send home to help parents guide learning - available in English and Spanish.
  • Street Child aims to create educational opportunities for some of the world's most vulnerable children. Since launching in 2008, Street Child has supported more than 50,000 children across Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nepal.

Lastly, we want to continue recognizing how Racial Justice and COVID-19 remain important causes to support in the new year:

  • For a more comprehensive list of 20+ organizations fighting for racial and social justice, please visit this link.
  • For a more comprehensive list of 20+ organizations fighting against COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Relief Efforts Blog Post.

Thank you for being part of the #PledgeToDoGood!