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10 NGOs in the United States everyone should know

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#1. Direct Relief

Direct Relief is a humanitarian NGO that works in all 50 US states and more than 80 countries. Its mission is to ‘’improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, without regard to politics, religion or ability to pay’’.

This NGO’s programs assist the needs of those who are most vulnerable and at risk. Direct Relief works both in the US and worldwide to equip hospital staff with life-saving medical resources to be able to care for the world’s most vulnerable people. Its work is especially recognized in disaster relief where it responds fast to requests from local partners and coordinates assistance with other organizations and government institutions.

#2. Americares

Americares is a health-focused humanitarian and development NGO that assists people affected by disaster or poverty with medicine, medical supplies and health programs. It supports and assists people in the US and around the world by supporting long-term health initiatives.

Since its establishment in 1979, Americares has responded to natural disasters, conflicts and health crises in 164 countries across the world and provided more than $ 12 billion in medicines, medical supplies and other humanitarian aid. Its emergency programs helped communities to respond to and recover from disasters, while its clinical services deliver healthcare for those who have none. Americares is headquartered in Connecticut and has offices in Japan, India, Sri Lanka and Haiti.

#3. Feeding America

Founded in 1979 as a clearinghouse for food donations, Feed America became one of the largest US hunger relief organizations with network of 200 banks. Its mission is to ”feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage the country in the fight to end hunger”.

Feeding America not only feeds people, but it also works on raising awareness about the issue and advocates on behalf of people who struggle with hunger and conducts research and better understand the problem. It works to break the cycle of poverty by and cooperates with distributors, manufactures, retailers, farmers and food service companies to collect food before it goes to waste.

#4. Step Up for Students

Step Up for Students is an NGO that supports parents ”to pursue and engage in the most appropriate learning options for their children, with an emphasis on families who lack the information and financial resources to access these option’’. By following this mission, the Step Up for Students helps public education in the US achieve equal opportunities.

Step Up for Students is based in Florida, the US, and it administers five scholarships for school children: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) and the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower-income families, the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs, the Hope Scholarship for public school students who are bullied or victims of violence and the Reading Scholarship Accounts for public school students in third through fifth grade who struggle with reading.

#5. Food Tank

Food Tank is an NGO that works for safe, healthy and nourished eaters by educating, inspiring, advocating and creating change. The organization works on alleviating hunger, obesity and poverty through environmentally, economically sustainable ways.

To achieve its goal, the Food Tank offers solutions by creating a network of information and connection for all people to consume and share, targeting especially farmers and producers, policy maker, governments, researchers and scientists, academics and journalists, and communities to join together to fight environmental and social problems. It provides innovative ideas that are already used in fields, laboratories and kitchens and works on finding solutions on how to nourish ourselves and protect the planet.

#6. Polar Bears International

Polar Bears International is an NGO that envisions a long-term survival of polar bears. It works on conserving of polar bears and the sea ice they depend on.

The organization serves as a global hub for information regarding the habitat of polar bears and it uses advocacy, science and the media to inspire the public to care about the Arctic. Polar Bears International became a leading voice on climate warming impacts to polar bears that conducts and supports scientific research on polar bear conservation. The organization also works on educating the world on polar bear conservation and provides guidance for the actions that will help ensure their survival.

#7. Do Something

Do Something is the US based NGO that works exclusively for young people and social change. It has millions of members and represents every US state and it is present in 131 countries.

Through its digital platform, its members can join social change, volunteer and civic action campaigns to make impact on causes they care about. Some of its most succesfull campaigns were Teans for Jeans, where over one million pairs of jeans were donated in one year, which was enough to dress half of all US youth in homeless shelters. Other campaigns that were also succesful were Get the Filter Out, when around 3.7 million cigarette butts were cleaned to protect the plantes and Power to the Period, through which 585.965 period products were donated to shelters.

#8. Rotary International

Rotary International is an international NGO established with a purpose to ‘’bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world’’. It has 1.2 million members worldwide working to achieve change in their communities.

The organization believes that all people have a shared responsibility to act to solve the world’s most persistent issues. Its members and clubs are, thus, working on promotion of peace, fighting diseases, providing sanitation, clean water and hygiene, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.

#9. The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental NGO established in the US in 1951 with a goal of creating a world where people and nature can thrive.

Since its establishment, the Nature Conservancy has grown to be one of the most wide-reaching environmental NGOs impacting conservation in 79 countries across six continents. It has more than a million members and employs more than 400 scientists. To achieve its mission, the organization works on several key areas: tackling climate change, protecting land and water, providing food and water sustainability and building healthy cities.

#10. Kiva

Based in San Francisco, the US, and with offices in Portland, Nairobi and Bangkok, Kiva is one of the largest NGOs in the US working for improvement of underserved communities in 77 countries across the world with a mission to ‘’expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive’’.

Kiva provides loans to underserved communities through crowdfunding and unlocking the capital. In this way it improves the quality and cost of financial services and removes the underlying barriers to financial resources in many countries worldwide. By obtaining loans from Kiva, farmers can invest in equipment, women can start their own businesses and students can pay their tuitions.

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Disclosure: Global Peace Careers may be compensated by course providers.