Boing Boing readers' charitable giving guide - the best of your picks

Last week, I posted Boing Boing's annual charitable giving guide and asked you to add your own favorites to the comments. There are some really compelling write-ups there, and I thought I'd pull out the ones that really struct me as a kind of "Boing Boing Readers' Charitable Giving Guide" (though I really recommend going through the comments on the original post for yourself!). And as always, please add your favorites here.

Two anonymous posters mentioned Child's Play: "the charity run by Penny Arcade to donate games to children in hospitals."

Another anonymous reader says: The purpose of the Afghanistan Women's Clinic (which is just starting to get off the ground) is to improve the health of women and children in the remote provinces of Afghanistan. The site has tons of info about the plight and difficulty of women's healthcare in that country. Currently they are trying to raise enough money to provide training for midwives.

From MrsBug: "Sustainable Harvest: Teaches poor (mostly) Central American farmers how to farm sustainably and organically, while helping them with low-tech solutions to feed their families (wood-conserving stoves, more diverse crop selections, etc)."

From DloPwop: "My favorite charity is Clean Water for Haiti, of which I am the director. We are a small, volunteer run NGO that sells Biosand water filters at a subsidized price. Our budget is only about $200,000 per year but virtually all of it goes to help the Haitian people find access to drinking water. If you want a more intimate picture of what we do in Haiti you can look at my wife's blog.

Dan Schnitzer adds, "Please consider giving to EarthSpark International, which develops local businesses to provide access to clean energy technologies. We are presently focused on Haiti. Full disclosure: I'm Co-Director of EarthSpark. You can also see what I've been up to here.

EMJ recommends Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): "Our mandate concerns emergency relief, and the principles we honour while carrying out our work are contained in the MSF Charter. We launch our operations in areas where there is no medical infrastructure or where the existing one cannot withstand the pressure to which it is subjected. In most cases, relief programs change to rehabilitation projects that may run for several years after the most urgent needs have been met."

Another anonymous reader says, "A vote for the Office of Letters and Light, the group behind National Novel Writing Month, Script Frenzy, and the corresponding Young Writers Programs. They're working towards creative expression, literacy, and literary appreciation - and they're the people who keep us going every November and April.

wackyxaky testifies: "I've always found particular inspiration from Partners In Health (pih.org). They do comprehensive medical care in the most extreme poverty areas, such as the upper plateau of Hati, Malawi, Peru, and more. PIH is very highly rated in efficiency and success rates. I'm a little biased, because it was established in part by Paul Farmer, my idol. Part of what has made them so successful in providing healthcare is that they take a holistic view of healthcare, reforming and educating the way people think about health, improving hygiene and access to clean water, employing locals to do a tremendous amount of follow up work, etc. I can't recommend them enough."

Our Maggie has a bushel-load:

Harlem Children's Zone is an innovative non-profit that seems to be developing a new, actually effective model for improving the lives of underprivileged children over the long haul and breaking the cycle of poverty. You can read more about them in this Washington Post article.

Scholarship America strives to make post-secondary education available to all.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters, you know what they do. I'm a Big and this is a great program.

National Alliance to End Homelessness is just what it sounds like and their mission is particularly important today, when homelessness rates are at a recent high.

The Salk Institute is doing the basic lab research necessary to find cures for a whole host of human diseases.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria does important work getting preventative treatment and affordable medications to all parts of the world.

michaelocc says, "I'd ask any Torontonians interested in helping a worthy cause at http://hohoto.ca. The most mind-blowing holiday party ever to check out - our Twitter-powered giant Seasonal love-in for the geek, creative and marketing crowd in the GTA. Last year's event (recap) raised $25K for the Daily Bread Food Bank. Food bank use is up 18% this year - they desperately need our help. Tickets are dirt cheap and the party is just phenomenal. Trying to raise $40K this year. Help the world suck a little less and party your ya-yas off while you're at it."