The Christmas season is supposed to be about giving.
Not in the sense of bestowing a deluge of gifts on overindulged children, but supporting those who are in actual need.
Yet even if that’s your goal, it can be tough to do. For every worthwhile cause, there’s a flooded market of shady actors who want to take advantage of your compassion by lining their pockets.
Put this sad commentary on human nature aside and take heart: in my own personal giving and research for this story I’ve discovered several good, reputable Android apps that connect you to a ton of excellent causes. These apps make it convenient to find new efforts to support and share with others.
Make a global impact with Share the Meal
The United Nations is at the forefront of working to help the most impoverished communities around the world. The Share the Meal app helps you contribute modest donations toward the United Nations World Food Programme.
Just tap how much you want to donate, and then make the contribution instantly via PayPal or a credit card. This would be a great place to integrate Android Pay, as you could send the funds just as quickly as making an impulse buy in the app store.
There’s a social element too, as you can share your good deeds on Facebook. The goal isn’t to brag, but to get others to help out in something that’s relatively simple but can impact a ton of kids who need the assistance.
Advertise a cause with Donate a Photo for Charity
If you’re the social type, then this unique app called Donate a Photo for Charity from Johnson & Johnson may be the one for you.
The idea is you take a picture and share it to Johnson & Johnson’s collection and across social networks to drum up support for a cause (a temperamental kitty always works).
Every time you do that, the company will give $1 to the effort you chose. Some of the charities include Save the Children, Born Free Africa, and United Service Organizations. You can browse a gallery of others’ pictures and which causes they got behind.
Google One a Day
Google’s really good at creating simple, powerful solutions for its tech products. That power went to even better use with its Google One a Day app.
You’ll get pinged daily with a new cause to support. With just a couple of taps you can send that particular charity $1 and carry on with what you were doing.
The money comes right from whichever credit card you have tied to your Google account, so there’s no setup process. Just give and go.
Browse through the various causes and give more beyond the standard dollar if you wish. You’re also able to register for a “Random act of kindness” by offering to match the donations that your contacts make.
If you run or work out regularly, then all that energy can go towards a good cause (not that your health isn’t worthwhile).
When you sign up with Charity Miles, you earn 10 cents per mile for biking or 25 cents per mile for walking or running for a favorite cause.
The money comes from the app’s corporate sponsors, which means you’ll see some advertisements when using it.
However, there’s a good collection of charities involved, so it should be easy to find some type of cause that you can back. You can also connect your profile to Facebook and encourage others to join in with the giving.
Even if you contribute regularly to a favorite organization or religious entity, there’s good reason to use apps like these to find others to get behind. Micro-giving can add up, especially when you consider how many smartphone users are out there.
These apps also aggregate the vast number of charities into one place where you can trust the money is going toward a reputable entity. Giving is so much better when you can trust that it will go toward the need.