The Trump Administration proposed budget cuts for the 2019 fiscal year that would take away millions in federal funding from multiple HIV/AIDS prevention programs. While Congress denied those budget cuts, advocacy groups around the world are worried that similar cuts will be passed in the future.
With World AIDS day coming up on December 1 and Trump’s recent budget cut proposals in the news, the spotlight on HIV and AIDS awareness has returned, causing many people to consider how they can donate to organizations looking to help with the epidemic domestic and abroad.
Donating to causes such as HIV and AIDS research has become easier than ever as more organizations begin using online donation portals and partnering with businesses such as Amazon. This year, holiday shoppers can effortlessly support the fight against HIV and AIDS just by being mindful of where they shop for Christmas gifts.
Shop smarter and make a difference
Organizations such as (RED) have been partnering with brands to help raise money and awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS. By shopping for these brands or through certain portals, you can contribute to health and community programs around the world that are working to stop HIV/AIDS.
(RED) is one of the largest and most well-known organizations dedicated to the elimination of HIV/AIDS. Every year, they partner with big brands to collaborate on special edition items. Brands donate a certain amount to the Global Fund for each purchase of a (RED) collection item.
Here are some their 2018 partners:
Apple. Apple has an entire line of products to support (RED), including a special edition iPhone XR.
Beats. Beats donates a portion of every sale of (PRODUCT)RED™ headphones and speakers.
Belvedere Vodka. Toast the holidays with Belvedere’s special edition bottle, and they’ll donate 50 percent of the proceeds to Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Telcel and Claro. These companies donate a portion of every (TELCEL)RED phone purchase to help fund programs in high-prevalence countries in Africa and Latin America.
Starbucks. On December 1, Starbucks will donate 25 cents (USD) for every featured holiday specialty drink purchased.
Durex. A percentage of each purchase of (DUREX)RED condoms will go towards The Keeping Girls in School Programme in South Africa, helping promote sexual health practices that prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
AirAsia. If you plan to fly to Southeast Asia this holiday season, you could help raise funds and awareness by flying on the first-ever (RED) plane. The airline is also donating money for each flight booked on airasia.com.
You can check out the full list of collaborations that support (RED)’s mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic on their website. You can also support (RED) by shopping for products on Amazon. Amazon offers a large line of (RED) products, including a few of the special edition items listed above, to online customers. From stocking stuffers to jewelry to Vespas and everything in between, you can support an amazing cause just by doing your holiday shopping online.
Using your credit card to fight HIV/AIDS
By using your credit card to donate, you can earn rewards or cash back on your donation purchase, which can help you pay for holiday travel or Christmas gifts.
Those rewards can also be donated to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Multiple airlines have at least one donation partner that contribute to the cause, and there are a few hotel chains that also allow you to donate rewards points to charities like Unicef, which uses funds to help those affected by HIV/AIDS.
If you are an American Express cardholder, you can also use the JustGiving website to use your Membership Rewards® to donate to a wide variety of charities, including Aid for Aids International.
Choosing a reputable charity to support
As it becomes easier to donate online and support causes through co-branded shopping experiences, it also becomes easier to fall prey to scams. Here are a few things to consider when choosing where to donate and which charities to support:
Check to see if they are a 501(c)(3) charity. This exemption status is typically a high indicator that an organization isn’t secretly supporting private stakeholders or individual interests. You can do a quick online search through an IRS finder tool, or you can call toll-free at 1-877-829-5500.
Know where they spend their money. Many charities spend more money on fundraising than they do on actually helping the cause(s) they support. If a charity is spending less than 50 percent of its budget on their programs, you might want to consider donating to an organization where you know your money is going directly towards helping people in need.
Donate at the source. While GoFundMe pages and other crowdfunding sites have gone viral in recent years with campaigns that support just about any and every cause, it’s always safer to donate to organizations and causes directly through their website donation portals.
Keep your information safe. Make sure you aren’t sharing information unless it’s through a secure form on a secure website.
There are so many ways you can help those in need this holiday season. By using credit card rewards and being mindful of where you shop, you can help change the lives of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from HIV/AIDS.
Read more about AIDS action in Africa on Mothers 2 Mothers m2m.org.