March of Dimes is an organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Founded in 1938 as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the original mission of the March of Dimes was to find a vaccine for polio and to care for polio victims. Since that initial success, it has also been instrumental in developing newborn screening tests, identifying healthy habits for pregnant women, pioneering fetal surgical techniques, and working to reduce premature births.
UNICEF began after World War II to supply milk and food to starving children in Europe, the Middle East, and China. Today, UNICEF is active in more than 150 countries and territories around the world, helping to develop communitybased programs to promote health and immunization programs, basic education, nutrition, safe water supply and sanitation services, and emergency relief.
Each year more than 4 million newborns around the world die because they lack basic necessities like clean water, healthy food and vaccinations. One in five kids in the US currently lives in poverty. With programs in more than 120 countries, including right here, Save the Children focuses on providing longterm hunger relief, education, literacy, nutrition, basic hygiene and health programs to those who need it most. Save the Children wins a spot on our list not only because of the programs it runs but also because of how efficiently the organization operates. Ninety percent of all funding goes directly to those the organization serves.
Recognized as a fourstar organization by Charity Navigator, this Big Applebased nonprofit provides free pediatric care to the estimated one million homeless children across the nation. Providing physical and psychological care to victims of natural disaster and rural and urban impoverished communities, the organization has provided 2 million free patient visits in 15 states across the nation.
Cradles, clothes and cuddly things of all sorts are welcome at this North Carolinabased nonprofit, which sends “cuddle kits” to sick and needy newborn babies throughout the US. Providing baby necessities, support to families of premature children and bereavement services, the organization is especially in need of blankets, fleeces, sewing supplies, diapers and fabric. Of course, a little cash never hurts either.
According to the United Nations, 4 million babies worldwide lose their lives within the first year, mostly due to preventable causes. To provide babies and families with the most basic of necessities, Water For People is partnering with Johnson’s Baby to put clean water and sanitation systems into developing countries. Every day, nearly 6,000 people, the vast majority of which are children, die from waterrelated illnesses. To help the fight, Water For People has active programs in 12 countries.
20 million lowweight and premature babies are born each year. One of the biggest problems these children face is hypothermia, simply because their bodies aren’t developed enough to stay warm. To combat the shocking premature infant death statistics, Embrace Global is in the final stages of creating a portable infant warmer that costs less than 1 percent of a traditional incubator. Designed almost like a baby sleeping bag, the reusable warmers contain a tiny electric heater that keeps children warm, even when outside temperatures drop. The units are currently in clinical testing and will be distributed starting in India soon.
The organization formerly known as the Christian Children’s Fund currently focuses on helping 15.2 million children and family members in 31 countries. Making a 12 to 15year commitment in each community it serves, ChildFund provides labor and funding support to local organizations that offer prenatal education programs, conduct research and fight against infant illnesses, and provide financial and community support to new families. The organization offers education and community support for older kids in developing nations as well. Those who want to see their dollars at work can do so by selecting a project to help fund.
Finding out your child has a physical or cognitive disability can be devastating. Variety is here to provide support services and financial assistance to parents of disabled children in 13 countries around the world. Focusing on covering medical needs insurance won’t, Variety can be a lifesaving organization for families struggling to keep their children healthy. Programs include hosting holiday parties, field trips, sports activities, providing wheelchairs and walkers worldwide, providing transportation to families in need, and purchasing medical equipment and supplies.