Maika Global’s Annual Guide to Give: Money, Time, Attention!

You don’t need money to make a difference this holiday season. With things looking quite different this year, a bit of time or effort could go a long way for an organization in need. 

Now full swing into the holiday season, with coronavirus cases surging globally, and a second round of lockdowns in progress, we are asking you to think about giving your time, attention or money to an organization in need.


And always, if you have a choice: Choose small. Choose local.

Perhaps Starbucks is five minutes closer than your local café, or the corporate retail stores sell the same items for $2 less than your local boutique. To a small business, five minutes or $2 can mean the difference between paying rent on time, or being able to afford this week's groceries.

Collectively, we can make a difference as we navigate the final weeks of 2020 and beyond. To help your search and spread a bit of holiday cheer, we have collected a few organizations that we, at Maika Global, hold near and dear to our hearts.

On our list are those who are helping local communities, small businesses, hospitality businesses, and their employees during these challenging times.

In lieu of gifts this year, we urge friends, family, and maybe a stranger or two, to donate to a local organization. We promise, your contributions will not go un-noticed.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Maika Global!

The International Rescue Committee

Helping people to survive, recover and reclaim control of their future.

The IRC is at the front lines of the refugee crisis. They help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The IRC is highly acclaimed as one of the highest-ranking nonprofits for accountability, transparency, and efficient use of contributions! So, if you choose to donate, your money will be used to fund programs that deliver lifesaving care to people fleeing conflict and natural disaster.

In 2018, a friend of Founder Madison asked for help to plan a fundraiser for the IRC. He was fed up with the way refugees were being treated domestically and abroad and he knew that Madison shared similar frustrations. Together they put on an event and ended up raising over $2,000 for the IRC!

It was her first independent fundraiser (not for work, school, or an organization she was directly involved with) and it was a huge success. While Madison’s friend was actually the one to introduce her to the IRC, she has since fallen in love with the organization and all that they do. Want to know why? Check out these 10 Reasons to Give to the IRC.

If you are interested in giving to the IRC, you can donate to the website directly. In lieu of gifts for your friends or family (and a good way to say I love you while staying at home) think about making a tribute donation in their honor.

Another fun way to donate is through a symbolic Rescue Gift, we think this is a great way to feel more connected to where your money is going. You can choose from options like a Year of School for Two Girls, Clean Water, Newborn Baby Kits, and Women's Small Business Training! There are over 40 options ranging from $15 to $1,500 making this an affordable and meaningful gift for anyone!

If your budget is tight this year, think about volunteering your time!

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

The Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants, its animals and the natural systems on which all life depends. We work to restore the integrity of the elements that sustain life - air, land, and water - and to defend endangered natural places. We seek to establish sustainability and good stewardship of the Earth as central ethical imperatives of human society. NRDC affirms the integral place of human beings in the environment. We strive to protect nature in ways that advance the long-term welfare of present and future generations. We work to foster the fundamental right of all people to have a voice in decisions that affect their environment. (Charity Navigator)

It is a no brainer why we would support this organization; they work to protect the Earth from forces working to destroy it and to create a sustainable and healthy world for future generations. SIMPLE. It is also important to highlight How They Work, the NRDC focuses their efforts in five main ways: Science, Litigation, Advocacy, Business, and Partnerships.

Donate on their website or if you’re short on cash this year – like so many of us get involved for free. Simple things like signing up for a Newsletter or calling your local congress person can make a huge difference in staying informed and taking action!

Traveling Storytime

The Traveling Storytime program is sponsored by the Redwood City Public Library's Youth Services Department, whose goal is to reach as many of the city's children as possible to instill the love of literature, learning and libraries. Each week, trained volunteers read to groups of children in daycare centers and preschools throughout Redwood City. The program has received grants and awards from a variety of organizations since its creation.

Maika Global’s SEO Coordinator and Project Manager, Noemi, volunteered here throughout middle and high school. Traveling Storytime began in 2000 with a Director and a handful of volunteers. Since then, volunteers have read to over 230,000 children. Today, approximately 40-60 volunteers provide the program's services to about 1,000 children on a regular basis.

Are you in the area and interested in becoming a volunteer? Learn more here! If you don’t live near Redwood City, think about looking up and supporting programs at your local library – a bit of your time could make a huge difference in the lives of children in your community.

Peninsula Food Runners provides more than 2.5 million pounds of free food annually to families in need. In any given week, we deliver over 50,000 meals to shelters, pantries, food banks, schools, homeless programs and low-income families. We are adding restaurants, caterers, supermarkets, food service providers and corporations every day who donate surplus food in the San Francisco Bay Area. We provide this free pickup and drop-offs service to our donors and recipients using over 600 volunteers and staff. Our recipients can expect food on a weekly basis.

Noemi volunteered with Peninsula Food Runners, whose mission is simple: to take food that would otherwise be thrown away and give it to those in need. In the United States we waste 40% of food that makes it to market. Recouping only 15% of that would feed 25 million people. They would send “food runners” to businesses and restaurants and other places to go pick up leftover food and deliver it to shelters and other places.

If you have excess food from home or a small private event, you can deliver to one of their local shelters.

Due to COVID-19, Peninsula Food Runners is experiencing a REDUCTION of 50,000 meals each week. Due to the Shelter-in-Place requirements, many Restaurants, Caterers, and other Food Service Providers have either closed down or have reduced their production drastically. This also means your local shelters, family service centers, elderly food service programs, and other neighborhood feeding programs are not getting the food they need. Learn more about the COVID-19 End Hunger Program here.


The Little Optimist Foundation

This is a South African non-profit, whose main aim is to inspire kids to 


• SURVIVE: Optimism is a potent health tonic and through our programs, talks, books and documentary we inspire kids to be optimistic despite their present situation.

• THRIVE: In partnership with our key sponsors, we fundraise and assist to renovate and refurbish pediatric health care, primary care and education facilities.

The main beneficiaries of the Little Optimist Foundation are vulnerable children, be they marginalized economically or have compromised health. In April 2016, Greg Bertish sailed an 8-foot Children’s Optimist dinghy around the Cape of Storms. He crossed False Bay, rounded Cape Point and headed for Langebaan Lagoon on the wild West Coast. His 200-kilometre journey matched the 200 days he had spent in hospital fighting life-threatening heart infections.

He raised R300 000 towards a new Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Greg hopes this journey of a REAL Little Optimist and his Children’s book about a little believer with a HUGE heart, will help teach kids that being small, sick, poor or different is OK. And prove that they too can survive and thrive. His story will inspire kids and the world to believe in themselves, get better, be better and follow their passions and dreams.

When this organization first started, our Digital Marketing and Events Manager, Haley, was part of the committee to help them expand. Unfortunately, this fell through and their focus turned solely towards South Africa for the time being, and with Covid ideas of going global was paused. It is Haley's hope to get back involved with the charity and help push Greg’s dreams along to help children all over the world.

Consider donating this year, our help goes a long way for this organization. Currently, the organization is raising funds for not only their 2020 project, but also providing 1000 teddies to 1000 kids in hospital on Christmas Day. R100 ($6.55 USD) gives a kid a large teddy, check out their Facebook page to learn more. 

Hospitality and Small Businesses

The hospitality industry and small businesses have had a rough go at 2020. In September an estimated 60% of businesses that were forced to close during the pandemic will not re-open. With additional closures going into the holiday season, this number is set to only increase. Haley holds a notable passion for these industries, having grown up with parents who have owned three successful small restaurants.

The impact that the pandemic has had on these individuals is no small feat. If you are able to donate to organizations who are helping small businesses and those affected in the hospitality industry, please do! If a donation isn’t quite in the cards this year, that’s okay to. Instead get takeout from a local restaurant or buy a gift or two from your local retail store.

⁠Some organizations to check out:

James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans

Save Our Faves – Bay Area

Direct Effect Charities

Our purpose is to raise awareness as to what YOU can do to make a difference in the lives of those in need. We are people helping people and our hearts are with the children, for they are our future. We believe charitable giving is enhanced by participation, beyond the act of simply writing a check. Together, we can change lives for the better and enrich our own lives as well.

Every year, our Public Relations Coordinator, Sonja, and her family help to facilitate the Letters to Santa initiative with Direct Effect Charities. Children from under-funded schools write letters to Santa and Sonja and her family answer by buying them the gift that they wished for, and helping other families get involved by answering letters.

Direct Effect Charities is a hands-on charity that does not heavily fundraise throughout the year. Their goal is to create programs that directly affect children in need, and touch the hearts of our supporting donors as well. Other programs to get involved with include: Build a Backpack and Chicago Kids Closet.

The Sumatran Orangutan Society

The relentless destruction of Sumatra’s rainforests has pushed the Sumatran and Tapanuli orangutans to the edge of extinction. With fewer than 14,000 Sumatran orangutans and 800 Tapanuli orangutans remaining in the wild, these species are both classified as Critically Endangered. Orangutans’ forests in Sumatra are under immense and mounting threat. They are being torn down for farmlands, logging, hydropower projects, mining and roads. International demand for products such as palm oil and timber, combined with weak forest governance and short-sighted land-use policies are driving deforestation at an alarming rate.

For more than 4 million people in Sumatra’s Aceh province, the rainforest is a vital life support system, providing clean water and a whole host of other benefits. The destruction of the ecosystem exposes them to environmental disasters such as flooding and landslides.

Orangutan habitat is also a very important area for the global fight to limit climate change, due to the substantial amount of carbon stored within Sumatra’s forests and peat swamps. Help us protect orangutans in the wild, where they belong. Take action this year, consider donating, or taking part in one of the many current campaigns including: More Trees Please, Damming Evidence, or Sustainable Palm Oil City Oxford.

⁠As someone who is quite passionate about the loss of rainforests to big corporation's industrial agriculture farms, our UX Designer Hannah, feel like a ny organization that fights to save native species is a great one to follow and support.

Dubai Cares

Education is more than a human right; it is an irrevocable asset. It is also one of the most effective tools to break the cycle of poverty. Dubai Cares is playing a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programs in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth as well as a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Thank You!

If you decide to act by donating to one of these organizations, or any organization that you believe in, thank you so much! If these organizations just aren't your cup of tea, we invite you to find an organization that aligns with what you care about most!

*Before Donating*

It is best practice to research where the money you donate goes to. For most organizations you can get a basic score and an in-depth overview at Charity Navigator.



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You don’t need money to make a difference this holiday season. Dive into charities near and dear to us here at Maika Global.
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Annual Guide to Giving: Maika Global Employee Series, Maria
You don’t need money to make a difference this holiday season. Dive into charities near and dear to us here at Maika Global.
Annual Guide to Giving: Maika Global Employee Series, Haley
You don’t need money to make a difference this holiday season. Dive into charities near and dear to us here at Maika Global.