This time of the year you may be feeling particularly charitable and full of good will. With the end of the year fast approaching, now is a good time to reflect on your charitable giving. If you would like to give but don't have a favorite charity or cause, I would like to suggest the following. These are organization I support.
The Beacon Center of Tennessee is one of the organizations that I am most excited to support. It "empowers Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives, so that they can freely pursue their version of the American Dream." Beacon is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing expert empirical research and timely free market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee. The organization had a major hand in ending the Hall income tax and in phasing out the Tennessee inheritance tax. It documents and exposes government waste. It promotes school choice, advocates for healthcare freedom, and stops job killing regulations. With Nashville on a path to become the San Francisco of the South, the Beacon Center is challenging the city in court when it violates the constitution. Donate.
Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Alzheimer's is personal for me. In November 2004 my sweet wife Louella was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. As it turns out she did not have that disease at all but had encephalitis. She was only correctly diagnosed a couple years ago but by that time her treatable illness had already caused irreversible brain damage. More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's.and more have some other form of dementia. Dementia and Alzheimer's are not just part of the normal aging process. The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease is growing — and growing fast. An estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's disease in 2016. Donate.
Nashville Rescue Mission does more to help the homeless than Metro government and all other organizations combined. Nashville Rescue Mission serves close to 2,000 meals a day to hungry, homeless, and hurting people in the community. This includes three hot meals a day, 365 days a year at two locations. Each night, hundreds of men, women and children find a warm bed and safety from the streets at Nashville Rescue Mission. They house an average of 800 men, women, and children each night which includes anywhere from 25 to 85 children. In addition, they provide hot showers, clothes, day rooms, case management, and education, counseling and training. May God bless the Nashville Rescue Mission who are serving the people that are often unwanted and unloved. Donate.
Victims of Communism Foundation is not letting the world forget the horror that was, and to a certain extent still is, Communism. If it was up to Hollywood, the education establishment and the popular press the horror of Communism would be whitewashed and swept under the rug. At any given time there are a dozen movies about Hitler or the Holocaust or World War II on Netflix but the horrible and fascinating story of the 70 year reign of terror and near world-wide domination of Communism is largely ignored. From the famines, purges, and gulags of Soviet Russia to Mao's Great Leap Forward and the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge—from the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre to the Castro regime's 2012 murder of Oswaldo Payá—communists have killed more than 100 million people. Countless more suffered and suffer still. The Victims of Communism Foundation is not letting those victims be forgotten. Donate.
Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation is non-profit that protects important natural and scenic lands across Tennessee. TPGF works with private landowners and local, state and federal agencies to conserve the best of Tennessee’s natural world by creating parks, protecting buffers and corridors, and through conservation easements and outright acquisition of privately-held land. Beautiful vistas, waterfalls, and critical habitat would often be lost to public access if not for the work of TPGF. Cummins Falls, Black Mountain, Devilstep Hollow and Virgin Falls are just a few of the natural treasures they have saved. I think we are so blessed to live in the majestic garden spot of Tennessee. I am proud of the work this organization is doing to preserve our State's natural treasures. Donate.
Institute for Justice is the National Law Firm for Liberty. IJ litigates to limit the size and scope of government power and to ensure that all Americans have the right to control their own destinies as free and responsible members of society. IJ often takes cases in which the government is keeping people from earning a living due to regulations that protect current providers of a service from competition. IJ has had a role in two Nashville cases. One was the case of Mary Ford. Metro wanted to take her property which housed her music business enterprise and sell it to a large company. IJ prevailed. The other case involved Metro Livery. This company was providing an economical limousine service for a modest price. Metro said the only type of livery service that could exist in Nashville was taxis or luxury limousines. Metro passed ridiculous regulations regulating price, number of clients that could be serviced, and rules requiring central dispatching in an attempt to drive this company out of business. IJ litigated the case a long time and while eventually losing in the courts, Metro Nashville reversed course when overwhelmed by the advent of app dispatched ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. The legal delay allowed Metro Livery to survive until Metro reversed course. IJ is doing heroic work protecting the little guy from the heavy hand of government, in protecting consumer choice, private property, and the first amendment. Donate.
The National Review Institute was founded by William F. Buckley Jr. in 1991, 36 years after he founded National Review magazine. The Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), charitable organization, established to complement its sister organization, National Review, by engaging in policy development, public education, and to advance the conservative principles Mr. Buckley championed. National Review has been the premier source of conservative ideas for over 60 years. While NR is not as widely know as some popular talk show host and may not be able to turn out a rowdy crowd, NR is immensely influential. Without NR it is doubtful America would have even had a conservative movement and our history would have been vastly different. NR made conservatism respectful and grounded it in principles. Support NRI.
In addition to these organizations I occasionally help people in need directly. I also give small amounts from time to time to other organizations and causes I deem worthy of support. I also contribute to candidates running for local, state and federal office. In my view, preserving our nations character, solvency, and constitutional form of government and defeating liberalism is as worthy of support as is feeding the hungry or curing a disease. If America fails to remain free and prosperous then misery will increase at home and in the world and there will be no money to do other good deeds. Contributing to the preservation of liberty is as noble as any other charitable giving.
I know peoples circumstances differ and people have different priorities. No one should give out of a sense of guilt or pressure or obligation. However, if you feel led to give, do it. Don't stifle the impulse. I know it makes me feel good to know I am helping others or being a part of something bigger than myself. It really is a blessing to give. Please give wisely and give where you feel led to give, but please keep an open heart. It is easy to become cynical and uncaring. Even if you can not give much, a lot of people giving a little can have a big impact.
May God richly bless you.
Happy New Year