Charity Feature: Doctors Without Borders

A person holding a small grey and white globe.
Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash

            For February’s charity of the month, I decided on Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). This organization is comprised of medical professionals dedicated to bringing care to vulnerable populations around the world. They work in war zones to treat civilians unable to escape, poverty-stricken areas, and wherever there’s a humanitarian crisis.

            Although I have no first-hand experience with being in those zones, I have worked with many people who were refugees, and I have strong familial ties to people who were refugees themselves. Being forced out of your home and the place you’ve known for perhaps your whole life is traumatic, but not having access to care when you’re hurt or get sick adds another level to that terror. Although they help refugee populations, they also work with people who live in impoverished areas with disease outbreaks, disasters, and war zones.

            Because MSF dedicated to their patients, they work with whoever currently rules the area so they can reach people in need as quickly as possible and continually assess the good versus harm their presence may be doing. That said, they don’t ally with one party over the other, nor do they rely on donations from governments or large foundations. Most of their funding comes from individual donations. That means they have the funds available to give treatment when the need arises, rather than waiting for funds to be released or media coverage to help generate operational costs. They are also transparent about where that funding goes, the majority of which is to the people in need.

            I could go on and on about them – how they bear witness to atrocities and speak out publicly about the need to address them, their self-enforced standard of care, and so many other things, but the MSF website says it much better than I ever could. If you have anything to spare, please consider donating to this organization. They save lives every day and work hard to make our world a better place for everyone to live.

Charity Feature: Animal Humane Society


A couple weeks before graduation, we noticed a cat had somehow gotten into our garage. I wasn’t entirely sure if it could get out, so I started feeding it and leaving it some water while I found a live trap. When my husband found out, he tried scaring it off before I could get one and thought he’d succeeded.

When I graduated, we discovered the cat was still there, much to my dismay. I borrowed a trap from a very generous friend. When we finally caught him, a sweet black cat, we knew we couldn’t care for him. We already have three cats, and the holidays are wild. Thankfully, we knew we could take him to one of the most trustworthy organizations I know of, the Animal Humane Society. Since then, he has been adopted.

Adopted Kitties

A black cat with green eyes lying on his side on a red blanket with sunbeams shining down on him.

We have a history with the local Humane Society. Two of our current kitties were adopted from them. They do amazing work with animals in their care, whether they’re surrendered, brought in as strays as our rescue cat was, or rescued from hazardous situations. Both our families have adopted dogs from them in the past as well.

Both the kitties we’d adopted were from unwanted litters. Our big black cuddle-bug of a kitty was healthy, but around six months old, when we adopted him. Our tuxedo kitty had some medical problems, though. We’d adopted him as a tiny kitten, and he had already been treated for ear mites and a respiratory infection. He is one of the smartest, sweetest cats I’ve ever known. Without the hard work of the Humane Society, I don’t want to think what would have happened to either of them.

A tuxedo cat curled up with a white blanket.

Rescue Readers
I could go on about all the amazing things they do, but I’ll close with one of their programs that is close to my heart, Rescue Readers ( Literacy is one of the most important issues out there for me. When students I tutored asked me how they could improve their English skills, I replied that they need to read and write as much as possible. It’s a learned skill, and they’ll only improve with practice. This is a great way to do that.

I had originally thought this was only for children, but I now see it’s for readers of all ages. If you love animals and want to try improving your reading skills, check this out. I might sign up this year. We may not be able to adopt another animal, but I love hanging out with animals of all kinds. Hey, it could be a fun way to proofread my work out loud. I doubt they’d judge my mistakes too harshly.

The work they do is why I decided to feature them for January’s charity. If you can support them, please donate, but if not? Read up on what they do and spread the idea of adopting animals instead of shopping for them.

A tabby lying on a box draped with a tiger-stripe towel on the left. A tuxedo cat on his back on the floor by her, and a black cat on a box draped with a green blanket. They're all by a sunlit window.
I couldn’t resist sharing one last picture of all three. Our tabby was given to us as a kitten from neighbors who were going to surrender her to the city shelter.

This entry is part of a monthly series of charity features. I have no affiliation with any of these organizations outside of donating and supporting their work.