Christmas is supposed to be the season for giving, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to remind people that they can give to people besides retailers. Below are a couple of links to worthy causes. If you've enjoyed reading No Right Turn this year, or are simply naturally generous, and you have money to spare, please consider flicking them a few dollars to help them in the year ahead.
If you support human rights, then please consider donating to the New Zealand branch of Amnesty International (online form here). They are a strong, consistent and impartial voice for human rights worldwide: for the release of prisoners of conscience, for fair trials, for an end to torture, disappearances and extrajudicial killings, and for the abolition of the death penalty. They do good work, and while the constant flood of stories about human rights abuses may make it seem like they're getting nowhere, they do get results. Amnesty's ability to focus international attention on individual cases has saved thousands of people from torture, imprisonment, and death.
If you think supporting human rights is "too political", or if you're an animal-lover, then I suggest the Auckland SPCA (online form here, or you can call 0900 99 SPCA (0900 997722) to make a one-off $25 donation). They have a tough time around christmas, and they need all the help they can get to deal with the flood of abandoned pets they get in January.
Finally, if you'd like to directly help poor people in the developing world, Oxfam has a number of interesting ideas at Oxfam Unwrapped, including water, farming and educational projects. This stuff is cheap - $10 for a pair of chickens, $20 for trees, $35 to help someone start a business through a microcredit scheme - and there's plenty of options to choose from.
The causes I've highlighted above are those that appeal to me, and there are countless other ones which are equally deserving. I have no way of knowing if any of you will donate or not, but please do so anyway. It's christmas, after all.