Who gets your donation? Some Give To The Max opportunities

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Today's the day!

It's the fifth annual Give To The Max day, when thousands of Minnesota schools and non-profit organizations raise money through online donations at the GiveMn website. Incentives like matching grants and $200,000 in prizes will maximize some donations.

The Pioneer Press reports the 24 hour give-a-thon started at 12:01 a.m. Last year, 53,000 people gave $16.3 million during the 24-hour blitz.

Thinking about donating, but not sure where to put your bucks? We took a quick (and random) tour of the GiveMn website to look over some of the organizations, large and small, that have put out the tin cup today. Here's a sampling of a few of the varied and interesting groups doing good work in our community and seeking financial support today, complete with links to their donation page.

Wills for Heroes, a project of the Minnesota State Bar Association, which is raising money for its campaign to provide free basic estate planning for first responders. The program has completed more than 7,000 estate plans for first responders and their partners and spouses.

Books for Africa, a nonprofit that has already sent 29,000 books to Africa in an effort to improve literacy there. The organization has set a goal of raising $10,000 on GiveToTheMax Day to ship two containers holding 44,000 books to the country of Sierra Leone.

Second Hand Hounds, a non-profit animal rescue group that provides veterinary care and foster homes for homeless cats and dogs while seeking permanent homes for them. It also runs a feral cat management program to sterilize and provide permanent living situations for feral and semi-feral cats and kittens.

Blindness Training for Independence and Employment, which seeks to help the visually impaired "...get the training they need to become independent and succeed in school, college, and employment." The fundraising page says the organization "...works with blind kids, blind teenagers and college students, blind adults looking for their first job or wanting to return to employment, blind immigrants and refugees who lack English skills, blind veterans and wounded warriors, and blind seniors."

The STAR swim program in St. Paul, which provides free or reduced price swimming lessons to a diverse population in St. Paul. The program seeks to address a higher drowning rate among children of color.

So many worthy causes!

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