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Let's face it: shelters, treatment centers and halfway houses are not necessarily glamorous destinations for donations. Helping animals and children may make you feel warm and fuzzy, and those groups do need your support, but organizations that help people with dependency issues sometimes suffer from the effects of society's judgment.
Before you fall into the trap of choosing emotional or high-profile causes over these behind-the-scenes charities, think twice: addicts and dependent people are struggling with illness; they are not lazy or bad, and they and the organizations that serve them desperately need public support. While it is ultimately your decision to which organizations you donate, and all charitable giving is laudable, do think about those less well-known charities, such as halfway houses and shelters. Your gift will make a real impact for the organization, its clients, and your community will benefit, too.