When doing a quick Google search to find out what some good causes might be, you’ll see lists that include: food pantries, child and family services, shelters and homeless services, crisis services and more. Although all of these are “good causes”, dictionary.cambridge.org defines a “good cause” as: a socially useful organization or activity that is not managed for profit. I’d go so far as to argue, that a good cause can be defined as anything that will improve or help an individual, group or organization to achieve a goal, lighten another’s burden or make a difference in the world.

Under this definition, you can find many different causes in which groups and individuals are striving towards a common goal, lending a helping hand, and trying to make a difference in the world. Many of these good causes require financial donations to make their goals and dreams a reality.  

Similarly, there are organizations who are committed to improving the quality of life for select groups of people. This can include but is not limited to organizations such as, Ronald McDonald House Charities, American Red Cross, Fisher House Foundation, and United Way. Each organization has a different mission, but at the root of it, they are in support of a good cause that will bring relief and aid to those who are in need.

Now that we have identified what some good causes are, let’s look into each one and see what makes a good cause a good cause based on the definitions given above.

Ronald McDonald House Charities

As a parent, when your child gets sick and ends up hospitalized, the last thing you need to worry about is where you’re going to sleep or where your next meal is going to come from. This is especially true for parents who are far from home, or where a child will be hospitalized for an extended period of time.

It is this mentality that the Ronald McDonald House Charities was built upon—nothing else should matter when families are focused on the health of their child. When staying at a Ronald McDonald House, families are able to enjoy home-cooked meals, private bedrooms and playrooms for kids.

According to the Ronald McDonald House website, the Ronald McDonald Houses are funded and made possible thanks to generous donations from supporters—individuals, organizations and businesses. For those families that need to stay at a Ronald McDonald House, are able to do so for little to no cost, depending on their situation. Their stay can be anywhere from one night, upwards to several months or even a year or more; once again the length of stay will be dependent upon each family’s unique situation.

So, what is it that makes Ronald McDonald House Charities a good cause to support? The fact that families who have a child in need of medical treatment, can stay at a Ronald McDonald House, regardless of their ability to pay, for the duration of their child’s hospitalization or treatments. By not requiring families to pay for their stay, families can focus on their child’s health. Ronald McDonald House Charities believes that when a child is hospitalized, the love and support of their family can be just as powerful as the strongest medicine doctors prescribe. This is why Ronald McDonald House Charities are committed to providing a place for families to stay, where they can be close to their child, during hospital stays and treatments.

A friend of my dad’s is involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities in his community, and he has invited my dad and others to get involved in raising money. He asks that friends and family members collect and save the tops to their aluminum pop cans. He is then able to take these tops and turn them in for money that is then donated directly to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. It is something that most people are going to toss out as soon as they are done with their drink, something super simple that most people wouldn’t think of, can be used to raise funds and support a good cause. 

American Red Cross

American Red Cross, Disaster relief text on the side of trailer - San Jose, California, USA - 2019

During any natural disaster, one of the first groups to respond and render aid is the American Red Cross. That is because the Red Cross offers a wide variety of services that are intended to provide relief and support to those in crisis; to help individuals be prepared in order to respond to emergencies that may arise.

In fact, according to the American Red Cross website, they respond to an average of 60,000 disasters every year, which is approximately an emergency every eight minutes. When responding to a disaster, 95% of disaster relief workers are volunteers. The types of disasters that they respond to vary from home fires to large natural disasters and everything in between.

There are five main areas the American Red Cross focuses their resources on: disaster relief, lifesaving blood, training and certification, military families, and international services. In response to natural disasters, the American Red Cross is able to provide those affected with clean water, safe shelter and hot meals when they need them the most. Following the initial disaster, the American Red Cross stays on, to assist those affected with recovering and lingering community needs. Through their efforts and working closely with community leaders, government and relief agencies, the American Red Cross is able to help organize and implement financial assistance both for immediate needs and longer-term.

Another huge component of the American Red Cross is blood donations as there is no substitute for blood. Everyday there are people across the globe who are in need of valuable blood transfusions, these can include individuals who were in an accident, burn victims, patients undergoing heart surgery or organ transplant, and cancer patients. According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the United States is in need of blood. This valuable service is only possible due in part to generous donations through blood drives. Donating blood is something that any healthy adult is capable of doing.

Other services provided by the American Red Cross include certifications and training to prepare for an emergency situation. This includes first aid training, CPR training, AED (automated external defibrillator) training, babysitting and caregiving training, swimming training, CNA (certified nursing assistant) training, and BLS (basic life support) training for health care providers. The American Red Cross is also proud to support America’s military and veteran families. This is accomplished through providing support to military families during deployments and emergencies, providing home comforts and critical services on bases and in military hospitals located around the world. One of the biggest roles the American Red Cross plays with the military is by providing 24/7 global emergency communication services across the country and around the world.

What makes them a good cause is that they rely on their volunteers and generous donors to help make their mission possible. From blood drives held all across the country, where generous, life-saving, blood donations are made, to volunteers who respond to a disaster and render aid. The American Red Cross has numerous volunteer opportunities available for those who wish to get involved and lend a hand. These opportunities are listed on their website, where you can learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer.

Fisher House Foundation

The Fisher House Foundation is similar to the Ronald McDonald House, in the fact that they provide lodging for families who have a loved one in the hospital. What makes them unique and special is they provide lodging free of charge for military and veterans families. All Fisher House homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world.

Although the Fisher House Foundation does get funding through a congressional trust fund, they do also receive generous donations that go to help deserving military members, veterans and their families. The donations the Fisher House Foundation receives come in the form of monetary donations, frequent flyer miles, hotel reward points, and other charitable programs and partnerships that are in place. When frequent flyer miles and hotel reward points are donated, they are used to fly families to their loved one, or to put them up in a hotel to be close by where a Fisher House is not available.

Fisher House Foundation is an example of a good cause, because of the good they do for the numerous military members, veterans and military families who have given so much for our country. For those who’d also like to help military members, veterans and their families can make monetary, airline points, or hotel point donations to the Fisher House Foundation. Any individual or organization that would like to make a donation, can learn how to donate frequent flyer miles, hotel reward points or monetary donations through the Fisher House Foundation website.

aGoodCause.com

In addition to these different organizations, agoodcause.com, has ongoing campaigns to help support other good causes in our communities and around the world. These campaigns include: veterans aid collation, ending cancer, alleviating world hunger, children and youth impact, disaster relief, and animal cruelty. For more information about these different causes that agoodcause.com has for ongoing causes, or to make a donation, please visit: agoodcause.com.

There are many different groups, organizations and foundations that provide goods and services to others—all of which are a good cause. All of these different organizations and groups are working and committed to improve and alleviate hardships from those who are suffering or down on their luck. Even though they have similar goals, they each have a different group they cater to, each of which are good causes that benefit others. 

I believe when you do anything with the right intention and the right frame of mind to help others, during a time when they need it the most, is a good cause. Whether you donate to a national organization, such as, the ones mentioned here, or to your neighbor’s daughter’s soccer team fundraiser, it is a good cause. When you hear of a cause that seems to speak to you, or moves you to take action or to make a change in your life, it is a good cause, one that you should consider donating time, talents or money to helping the good causes you come across.

Author: Ashley Christensen

Sources:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/good-cause
https://www.rmhc.org/home
https://www.redcross.org/
https://fisherhouse.org/

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