It’s #GivingTuesday. Promote your favorite organization.

To counter the rampant consumerism of Black Friday, today is Giving Tuesday, and is a great opportunity to volunteer your time and/or give some cash to an organization you support. I know not all of us have extra cash (or extra time), but here are a few of my favorites. Feel free to add yours in the comments.

Restore Red Hook. Restore Red Hook is doing an amazing job of raising funds to help local businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Nearly every shop in the neighborhood was hurt in some way; many places have tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage that isn’t covered by insurance. RRH is raising money to issue grants to qualifying local businesses.

Sanctuary for Families. This org is particularly close to my heart — when I was still practicing law, I did several pro bono asylum cases with them. They have an incredibly talented, hard-working team of people on staff, and they operate on a shoestring yet still manage to help many, many women who have suffered from domestic violence and abuse.

Callen-Lorde. Another organization I dealt with pretty regularly when doing asylum work was Callen-Lorde. They offer comprehensive health care to LGBT people in New York City, including HIV treatment, mental health services and trans-friendly health care. They are truly wonderful.

Wikipedia. We all use it, and it’s great. But sites like that actually take a staff to run them. Consider supporting their work.

Where else should folks be donating this Giving Tuesday?

63 comments for “It’s #GivingTuesday. Promote your favorite organization.

  1. ColoradoSal
    November 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Not that it isn’t awesome to give every day, but NEXT Tuesday (Dec. 4) is Colorado Gives Day. So if you’re in Colorado and can’t give today, maybe schedule for then to give to a local organization.

    More info here with the ability to donate through the site to various organizations in the state. Or go direct to your favorite local group.

  2. Heather
    November 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Maybe consider donating to the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation of America at IBD is a pretty debilitating and embarrassing disease that is poorly understood and has few current treatment options. As both a patient and a researcher, I implore you to consider donating here.

    Other than that, I recommend donating to your local animal shelter. They need money and supplies and are usually thankful for anything they can get, and there is often an upturn in surrenders during the holiday season. Many will have donation links or list material items they need on the website.

    • Donna L
      November 27, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Seconded re the CCFA, as a Crohn’s Disease patient myself since I was diagnosed in 1977.

      Also, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, at, which “works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine gender identity and expression, regardless of income or race, and without facing harassment, discrimination or violence.”

      And the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, at, which describes its mission as follows:

      Callen-Lorde Community Health Center provides sensitive, quality health care and related services primarily to New York’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities — in all their diversity — regardless of ability to pay. To further this mission, Callen-Lorde promotes health education and wellness and advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender health issues.

      They both do great work.

      Last, but definitely not least, the Ali Forney Center, at, whose mission is

      to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) youth from the harm of homelessness, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.

      The Ali Forney Drop-In Center for homeless LGBTQ youth, in Chelsea, was destroyed by the flooding from the hurricane, and is in especially dire financial straits; it could use any and all contributions, no matter how small. See

  3. Palaverer
    November 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I just read about the woman who was beaten up for being queer. She’s in recovery and needs help paying hospital bills. Here’s the story.

  4. November 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    These are three lesser-known organizations I support and that could definitely benefit from even small donations (links are to the “about us” pages):

  5. Lori
    November 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Another plug for Sanctuary for Families. It’s a wonderful organization with an amazing staff. And Jill, I didn’t realize you aren’t practicing anymore (not that it’s any of my business). But as a former “big law” associate (for 7 years), I congratulate you for getting out. I hope you’re writing full time now. Best of luck.

  6. November 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I adore , whose deal is that public school teachers submit proposals for projects, field trips, or even just the purchase of basic classroom supplies (up to date textbooks, non-broken chalkboards, etc.) and then donors pick the project(s) they like and give what they can, thus getting the projects funded. It’s a gratifyingly direct way of helping kids now (as we work on the longer-term project of making public schools work the way they should). Plus, if you give $50 or more to a particular project, you get letters from the kids once the project actually happens.

  7. Millicent
    November 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Mata Hari: Eye of the Day – women of color domestic workers organizing and supporting each other

    Food First – Intersectional, inter-regional food soverignty activism and global solidarity

  8. JustAddWine
    November 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    NY/NJ Baykeeper is a great environmental nonprofit doing work to ensure clean water in the NY/NJ area. They do an awesome oyster restoration program and there is a lot of research coming up about how more oysters could mean less storm surge in areas that were affected by Sandy and Irene. Check them out!

  9. Jean
    November 28, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I would also highly recommend FIERCE (, an organization supporting LGBTQ youth of color, and Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ, here:

  10. Donna L
    November 28, 2012 at 1:19 am

    In a comment in moderation, I mentioned Callen-Lorde, totally without having absorbed the fact that Jill had already done so. But, yeah, they’re wonderful. I’ve been a patient there since 2002, and the people there were pretty much the first people ever who actually treated me like a human being who deserved health care despite being trans, and used the right pronoun for me even when I was still presenting as a guy, and gave me hope that maybe I had a future when I wasn’t sure I did.

    • Donna L
      November 28, 2012 at 1:22 am

      This is just a test to see if maybe using the word “trans” is what’s sending almost every single comment of mine into moderation recently.

      • Chataya
        November 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

        I think I’ve had posts using “trans” go through without mod before.

      • Chataya
        November 28, 2012 at 10:09 am

        comment in mod, but another test:

        transcontinental railroad

  11. Donna L
    November 28, 2012 at 1:24 am

    I think I’m right. And if it’s true, it needs to be fixed. (A reference to my speculation, in a moderated comment, about a possible reason why almost all of my comments are going into moderation recently.)

    • Chataya
      November 28, 2012 at 10:11 am

      You’re right, I just posted two test comment using it in different contexts and it grabbed both of them.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 11:17 am

        If so, and I obviously don’t know for sure, it’s completely disgusting and reprehensible — even though I’m sure it’s not intentional on Feministe’s part — and I don’t see how I can keep commenting here unless it’s changed, even if it means getting a different system. It may sound like an overreaction, but that’s how angry I am about it. Justifiably so, I think.

      • EG
        November 28, 2012 at 11:24 am

        Can it really be the word trans that’s sending so many of us into mod-hell?

        If it is, I don’t think that’s an over-reaction at all; it’s like those horrible school censoring programs that prevent students from getting access to pages about breast cancer, because obviously the word “breast” is obscene.

      • EG
        November 28, 2012 at 11:25 am

        Can it really be the word you mention that’s sending so many of us into mod-hell?

        If it is, I don’t think that’s an over-reaction at all; it’s like those horrible school censoring programs that prevent students from getting access to pages about breast cancer, because obviously the word “breast” is obscene.

      • EG
        November 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

        You’re right. I just posted two versions of the same comment–one spelling out the word t r a n s, and the other using “the word you mention,” and guess which one went into mod? Otherwise they were word for word the same–I copied and pasted.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 11:27 am


      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 11:27 am


      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 11:27 am


      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 11:29 am

        T r a n s

      • Kayay
        November 28, 2012 at 11:32 am

        I personally think that is an overreaction. I noticed every time I used the word it went into moderation. However I think it’s probably to avoid anything particularly phobic being splayed all over the site.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

        Thanks, EG. I just tried a similar experiment, submitting a one-word comment with the letters separated that did not go into moderation, and three one-word comments with the actual word, and with two long-form words for which it’s an abbreviation. All three went into moderation, so it seems that all three are subject to the “moderation” filter.

        Well, I’ve enjoyed my year of commenting here, but I no longer feel welcome. Who puts this system out, Focus on the Family? So long, everyone, and thanks for everything, especially to the wonderful allies here. I may be back, if and when this is fixed.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

        But I’ll leave one parting comment: fuck you, kayay. If I can’t talk about those issues without every single comment going into moderation, then it’s not worth being here.

      • Kayay
        November 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

        And again. I was just saying, I think this can be fixed, but also that it wasn’t set up by someone hostile to OUR issues.

        Why did you just react so virulently to me? I’m shaking.

      • Chataya
        November 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

        I think it is well-intentioned (preventing vile hate speech) but poorly implemented. Putting “t r a n s” on the same level as the c-word or racial slurs is not cool.

        It’s not like plenty of hate speech doesn’t get through just fine.

      • Kara
        November 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm


        Enjoy your flounce, then.

        Especially since the explanation that kaykay suggested was correct (and was corroborated by Jill, who has now fixed the issue) and to which you responded by flying into a rage and telling her to “fuck off” as a parting shot.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

        Actually, I apologized below, kara. Not that I think any cis person has any right to tell me when I should or shouldn’t “fly into a rage” at an incredibly stupid and insulting decision that was very obviously going to make any discussion of trans issues impossible. I think a lot of people would fly into a rage if the words “gay” or “lesbian” or “feminism” or “woman” were put on a moderation list, ostensibly to prevent bigoted comments. But when it comes to “trans,” it’s all OK as long as it was well-intentioned, right? As far as I’m concerned, anyone defending this to any extent is exhibiting cissexism. And I think I’ve been commenting here long enough that people should know that I don’t fling pejorative terms like that around lightly, and that I deserve the respect of people believing that I know cissexism when I see it, and that I’m not just some “angry t-word” overreacting to every perceived slight, no matter how inconsequential. You have no idea how disappointed I am that people don’t see how monumentally insulting to trans people this entire episode is.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

        transgender. transsexual. Just trying those out, too.

      • EG
        November 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        I think a lot of people would fly into a rage if the words “gay” or “lesbian” or “feminism” or “woman” were put on a moderation list, ostensibly to prevent bigoted comments.

        That was exactly the analogy I was going to make. Exactly. Plenty of misogynist mras say horrible things about women, but that doesn’t mean that “women” or “female” needs to be flagged.

    • Kristen J.
      November 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Huh. That’s bizarre. I wonder if it can be fixed or if another program will have to be implemented.

    • Donna L
      November 28, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Kayay, I apologize. I was reacting to your suggestion that these words were intentionally added to the moderation list to control hate speech. I thought the idea that anyone could have done something so wrongheaded and insulting on purpose was completely preposterous. Now, I know that you were right. Also, when I said that my decision to leave until this was fixed “may sound like” an overreaction, that didn’t mean that I agreed with that. In fact, I strongly disagree; the more I think about it, the more I think that my reaction was entirely justified and appropriate — even more so now that I know that the decision to add that word to the moderation list was intentional. But you didn’t deserve to be the target of my anger.

      • Kayay
        November 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

        Thanks Donna. :) incidentally, I sent you a quick message on FB.

  12. Sam
    November 28, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Hey y’all, if a comment goes to moderation, no need to post it twice (as about half the comments above are repeats).

  13. Chataya
    November 28, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Heifer International provides livestock and seeds to families in need around the world. You can also choose to help send a girl to school, provide a source of clean water, or help someone start a small business.

    The Humane Society of Pulaski County is a private no-kill animal shelter that depends entirely on donations to operate. I’ve spent many hours volunteering there, and they dedicate every spare dime and square inch to the animals. They often step in when other shelters cannot or will not, routinely taking in dozens of animals from puppy mill raids.

    • Wiley
      November 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Heifer International is great, but I like to add an addendum when I promote it explaining that infrastructure donations (like stoves and wells) are better, especially for people who care about animal welfare and the environment, than goats or rabbits.

      • Chataya
        November 28, 2012 at 11:57 am

        Thanks for the information! I was trying to decide whether to donate for a goat or chickens, that gives me something else to consider.

      • Brandy
        November 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm

        Sustainable Harvest International is one good alternative to Heifer.

  14. Wiley
    November 28, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Preserving (and continuing) lesbian history in DC:

    I second the Ali Forney Center!

  15. November 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    So. I went into our mod program to see what the issue was, and you’re right, the word “trans” was flagged. Just so people know: This isn’t because of some Focus on the Family shit where we don’t want certain words used. It is because many times, we get drive-by hateful commenters who make anti-trans statements, and we wanted to be able to flag those. But you’re all right that just the term “trans” was too broad. It’s difficult to effectively pull in the nasty comments without also pulling in the good ones.

    So in the interest of full disclosure, in addition to particular email addresses, IP addresses and common spam words (“poker,” “blackjack,” etc) here is what our mod system looks like on the back end:

    /*** ableism ***/
    ” lame ”
    ” mad ”
    /*** sexism & anti-feminism ***/
    “dozy bints”
    “dumb cunts”
    /*** trans-hate ***/
    /*** general abuse (often misspelled) ***/
    /*** need to be used v.v. carefully and many people don’t/won’t ***/
    /*** hate sites ***/

    • tomek
      November 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      hmm. why is block ‘dozy bnit’ when ‘bnit’ is block?

    • Donna L
      November 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      Well, thanks for fixing it, but I really shouldn’t have to thank you, because it was a monumentally misguided idea in the first place. An apology would be nice; being well-intentioned is no excuse for instituting such an insulting policy that you should have known would directly interfere with every single discussion of trans issues. Did it never occur to the person who added the words trans and transgender to the list how different those words are from the rest of the words on the list, almost all of which are epithets and insults? As Chataya said, it wasn’t cool. I find it hard to believe that it would ever have occurred to anyone to put every post using “gay” or “lesbian” into moderation. This isn’t supposed to be a high school in Mississippi, and I’m very disappointed. You can all tell yourselves I’m overreacting if you want; go right ahead.

      • November 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        Donna, I agree and I apologize. I’m not sure at which point “trans” was put into the mod list; I personally didn’t add it, but I should have checked the list sooner, and generally kept abreast of what terms we were modding. You are more than justified in being angry and disappointed.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

        Thanks, Jill. I appreciate it.

      • EG
        November 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        I don’t think you’re over-reacting. I’m pretty horrified at how short-sighted and cis-sexist that mod-policy was. “Dyke” isn’t on that list–presumably because while many assholes still use it as a term of abuse, it’s been reclaimed. But “trans” never even needed to be reclaimed–it was the correct and respectful term to begin with.

      • amblingalong
        November 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

        That raises some tricky issues, though, right? I don’t disagree with you, but I’d argue that ‘bitch’ has been reclaimed to the same degree as ‘dyke’ has, but it’s on the list. Incidentally, a ton of anti-gay words (faggot and its derivatives) aren’t on there.

        I agree trans* shouldn’t be getting sent to moderation, but at the same time, I’m not sure exactly where the line should be drawn. IMO, anyways, I’d be OK with words that have been reclaimed, but are still commonly used as slurs, being on the list- including dyke and bitch. If ‘trans’ was commonly used as a slur, I might feel differently, but its really not; ‘tranny’ is, and I think having it on the list makes sense.

        The only other thing I’d add is I’m cis and straight, so obviously not claiming the above is the be-all end-all analysis.

      • November 28, 2012 at 3:57 pm

        So I have no interest in defending our placement of “trans” in the mod filter. Like I said earlier, I wasn’t the one who put it there, but I should have been aware of it and I should have thought through these issues. I will say, though, that we try to mod out words that are commonly used on this site in discussions that go badly — that is why I imagine “trans” was in there in the first place, so mods can (and have to) pay closer attention to trans-related discussions to make sure that they don’t get ugly. “Prostitute” is in there for the same reason. A ton of anti-gay words aren’t on there because we frankly almost never get commenters who use those words and any commenter who did would almost definitely be a first-time commenter and therefore automatically modded anyway, so there’s not much of a point.

        Just want to clarify that it’s not like there are “lines” we have to draw when it comes to the mod queue. Often times we’re trying to make value judgments on a word, but more often, we’re trying to flag the most commonly offensive comments. “Fag” isn’t much of an issue on this site, because it’s exceedingly rare that a not-new commenter would use that word in a way that’s offensive. “Trans” isn’t a slur, but it is often used in comments by radfems and transphobic (or just trans-not-getting-it) commenters. It’s not that the word is bad; it’s that the discussions that center on trans issues often take bad turns, and so it’s good to keep an eye on them. The mod queue is our most effective “eye.”

        All of that said, you are all right that “trans” shouldn’t have been on there, and it’s not anymore. But yeah, the mod list isn’t simply a list of terms we find offensive.

      • Donna L
        November 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm

        I’d argue that ‘b—’ has been reclaimed to the same degree as ‘dyke’ has,

        I don’t think so, not even close. Women have been self-identifying as dykes forever — how long has “Dykes on Bikes” been around? The other word, not so much.

    • amblingalong
      November 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Incidentally, I’m genuinely curious if anyone actually believes using the word ‘mad’ as a synonym for ‘angry’ is genuinely ablest, especially since that particular etymology predates the use as a synonym for ‘insane’ by about five centuries.

  16. November 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    All of that said, I have removed “trans” from the list. Just wanted to clarify that it came from a place of wanting to flag hateful comments, not from a place of trying to censor discussion of trans issues.

  17. Kara
    November 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Some places that I like to direct my charity dollars to which have not yet been mentioned. My picks tend to be larger national organizations rather than local ones.

    The Humane Society (both of my pets are rescues)

    Disabled American Veterans (because there are many active duty and former military in my family, and there but for the grace of god and good luck…)

    The Wounded Warrior Project (see above)

    • Chataya
      November 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      The Humane Society of the United States is a front for PETA, does very little animal rescue, and is not affiliated with any of the local organizations that use “Humane Society.”

      • Kara
        November 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

        Ick, really? :( That’s a damn shame.

        Well, I will forget them (as I hate PETA) and simply donate to my local humane society and my local(ish) SPCA.

        Thanks for the info!

      • Chataya
        November 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm

        Yeah, unfortunately. I, too, was completely unaware of it until about a year or so ago. I thought it was a national organization for local humane societies. As amblingalong says, almost all of their money goes to lobbying, including things like opposing no-kill laws.

      • Chataya
        November 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

        And the ASPCA is a great charity!

      • amblingalong
        November 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm

        Yeah, I would definitely suggest asking people to donate to their local Humane Societies (which do hard and valuable work) but the HSUSA is a pretty nasty organization which has been repeatedly criticized for financial mismanagement; in any case, money donated to them does not go to shelters, it goes to political lobbying for animal rights (such as banning horse slaughter or regulating circuses).

      • Datdamwuf
        December 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

        Just leaving a comment here to second this info, HSUS is an animal rights org NOT an animal welfare org. They just hide it, unlike PETA. That poor dog on the letter they send you is not getting any of your money. The local orgs are generally OK but some of them also do a lot of politics for animal rights so check them out. HSUS still sends literature to Animal Shelters advising them to kill any dog that looks like a pit bull or might be a wolfdog. I won’t write all the bad crap they do here, too long a list.

      • tomek
        December 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

        maybe can someone explain for non-usa what is diference of animal right and animal wefare? i think animal should be given some decent condition during life.

  18. (BFing)Sarah
    November 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Better BedRest is a great organization, for people who are placed on bedrest due to medical complications in pregnancy.

    As for the above, Donna, I’m sorry that you had to deal with feeling unwelcome due to the mod blocks and I’m glad you will still be commenting now that it is fixed.

  19. November 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I’m late, but this is where I give some money.

    The kinds of grants normally available to arts and community organizations are far less accessible to an organization explicitly working on sexuality. This is an all volunteer endeavor.

    Full disclosure: I also volunteer for CSC in an administrative position.

Comments are closed.