NEWS + ADVICE
Holiday Gift Guide: Donations that Support and Honor
The delivery trucks are out in full swing, hurrying through town to drop off gifts at countless doorsteps. But there may be another gift to give this season that doesn’t come in a box. We’ve outlined several non-profits we support that you may consider adding to your gift list, from education, to inclusion, mental health, and our nation’s heroes. These organizations continually give cherished gifts to the communities they serve. Take a moment while your wallet is open this season and give a gift that will keep giving beyond the holidays.
Wreaths Across America
Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Maine, had a surplus of wreaths approaching the end of the holiday season in 1992. Remembering his boyhood visit to Arlington National Cemetery, he realized he had an opportunity to honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. With help from Senator Olympia Snowe, he made arrangements to have his surplus wreaths placed at Arlington.
This wreath laying became an annual tribute and continued quietly for years until a photo of the decorated stones at Arlington gained attraction on the Internet in 2005. The event continued to grow as communities around the nation sought to participate too and in 2007, Wreaths Across America was formed with the mission to remember, honor, and teach. In 2014 alone, 700,000 memorial wreaths were laid by the non-profit and its network of volunteers at 1,000 locations across the nation and afar. Today Wreaths Across America continues to honor our nation’s veterans with several programs and is committed to teaching children about freedom and those who protect it.
Education is also highly important to the CyberTexas Foundation in San Antonio, Texas. The city is a hub for cyber security with outstanding academic programs and thousands of professionals working in the industry. The foundation aims to lead the way in cyber security and “steer academic, business, and government entities to develop, promote, and enhance cyber and cyber security programs and capabilities.” Their goals span developing the cyber workforce through expanded cyber curriculum in Texas, enhancing economic development by retaining, recruiting, and growing cyber businesses in Texas, and increasing community cyber awareness and preparedness.
Youth Code Jam
Also looking to advance educational endeavors, Youth Code Jam focuses on inspiring kids to tell computers what to do by learning code. The organization “provides unique, innovative, impactful and family-focused out of school time, hands-on, computing programs for a wide range of neurotypical and neurodiverse students as well as providing teacher professional development designed to bring computer science to every school and every classroom.”
They’re getting upper elementary through high school students excited about programming, while preparing them for real world jobs, building their confidence, and inspiring them to imagine. From playing online to creating online, Youth Code Jam is making a difference one child at a time.
The Diana Initiative
Another non-profit making a difference for its patrons is the Diana Initiative, an inclusive conference that looks to encourage diversity and support women pursuing information security careers. Attendees are able to find a sense of empowerment through shared experiences during networking and collaboration in a relaxed space where everyone is truly welcome.
Mentoring is an important aspect of their work, as nurturing talent is valuable on both the individual and community level. Through events and conversations they look to promote diversity and supportive workplace cultures, while also launching careers.
Mental Health Hackers
While we all deal with stress in our fast paced lives, it’s important to pause and take care of ourselves and those we share our lives with. Mental Health Hackers strives to educate information security professionals about the unique mental health risks they face and provide guidance. The organization creates mental health and wellness villages at conferences to improve the mental health of the community through meditation and yoga, fidget tables, air loungers, educational information, and more.
This list is by no means comprehensive, as there are many other worthwhile charities out there to consider, each bringing hope and joy to the individuals they strive to make a difference for. Help them make the season brighter and make a contribution to a worthwhile cause today.This entry was posted on Monday, December 16, 2019 1:37 pm