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Young Adult lit charity contributions make great holiday gifts

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Still looking for that perfect holiday gift? There’s no better time to make a charity contribution in someone’s name (or to yourself) as a feel-good holiday present. Below you’ll find a list of ten charities linked to some of the most loved authors and books in Young Adult literature. Of course, there’s more than just ten that are worthy of attention so if your favorite was missed, please make sure to include it in the comments section. Happy gift hunting!

1. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation (Ian Somerhalder/”The Vampire Diaries”): The foundation’s namesake is the lead actor of wildly popular Young Adult book-turned-CW-television show “The Vampire Diaries.” The IS Foundation aims to empower, educate, and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures. The IS Foundation also believes in behaving in full collaborative spirit by joining with other Non-Profit, For-Profit, and governing bodies globally to help numerous causes such as ending deforestation, planting trees, eliminating pesticides and healing the planet.

2. The Volant Charitable Trust (J.K. Rowling/”Harry Potter”): In 2000, author J.K. Rowling (writer of the “Harry Potter” series, in case you’ve been living under a rock) established the Volant Charitable Trust, which uses its annual budget of £5.1 million to combat poverty and social inequality. The fund also gives to organizations that aid children, one parent families, and multiple sclerosis research.

3. The United Nations World Food Programme and Feeding America (the cast/crew of “The Hunger Games” movie): “The Hunger Games” cast and producers have teamed up with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Feeding America to raise awareness about hunger in the United States and around the world. Hunger is one of the world’s greatest solvable problem, affecting 1 in 7 people – almost one billion men, women and children around the world. In the United States, 1 in 6 Americans face hunger, nearly 49 million people. For just $5 a month, Feeding America and WFP can help provide at least 20 meals to a child in need.

4. Habitat for Humanity (Lauren Conrad/"L.A. Candy"): Young Adult author and reality tv star Lauren Conrad is a supporter of Habitat for Humanity and in 2012 joined the Valspar Color Project to help raise $100K for Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity helps low-income families create affordable housing.

5. National Literacy Trust (James Patterson/”Maximum Ride”): James Patterson, author of the Young Adult Maximum Ride series--among tons of other books--has formed a partnership with National Literacy Trust, an independent, UK-based charity that changes lives through literacy.

6. The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance (Meg Cabot/"The Princess Diaries”): Founded by award-winning young people's authors and illustrators, the main goal of the NCBLA is to make issues related to young people’s literacy, literature, and libraries an ongoing priority on the national agenda. The NCBLA acts as a freelance nonpartisan advocate creating and developing special projects and events that promote literacy, literature, and libraries and educate the public about practical literacy solutions. Young Adult author Meg Cabot supports the organization and contributed a story “Another All-American Girl” in 2008 to an anthology “Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out,” for which all author proceeds were donated. Additionally, well-known Young Adult authors Lois Lowry and Ann Martin are on the organization’s Honorary Board.

7. Project for Awesome (John Green/”The Fault in our Stars"): Young Adult author John Green and his brother Hank Green organized Project for Awesome in 2007, and it has been held annually on Dec 17 - 18 every year since. During Project for Awesome, thousands of people post videos about and advocating for charities that "decrease the overall level of world suck." Viewers are then encouraged to promote these videos and raise money for the charities. In 2012, the community raised over $400,000 and ten charities were granted $40,500 each.

8. Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network (Oprah Winfrey of “Oprah’s Book Club”): Oprah’s public charity, formed in 1998, was established to encourage people around the world to make a difference in the lives of others. Via her Oprah's Book Club Awards, Oprah's Angel Network provides books for under-resourced children in regions where a book club selection is set. For example, book club awards were distributed in Beijing, China for “The Good Earth” by Pearl S. Buck and in St. Petersburg, Russia for “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy.

9. Reading is Fundamental: Reading Is Fundamental: (RIF) is the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States. RIF prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. RIF provides new, free books for children to choose from and make their own.

10. Reading Hamlets: Reading Hamlets is a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty through literacy, by providing books to children, particularly girls in rural Nigeria. Reading Hamlets aims at promoting reading & improving literacy in schools & homes across Nigeria through advocacy and outreach plans. Its outreach plans include book donations, literacy campaigns & reading clubs.

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