9 Best Charities That Fight for Public Safety (Complete 2023 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight for Public Safety (Complete 2023 List)

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Eniola Adeeko

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Public safety is crucial to the development of any community and the welfare of its residents. However, the prevalence of crime, natural disasters, and cyberattacks continue to threaten people’s wellbeing and prosperity. Fortunately, charitable organizations are working tirelessly to promote public security and counter crime. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight for public safety?

The best charities that fight for public safety are the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation and American Red Cross. Charities like the Kailee Mills Foundation, Team Rubicon, and Direct Relief ensure road safety and provide disaster relief to those in need.

Whether you want to support first responders, fight crime, or assist those affected by disasters, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight for public safety are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight for Public Safety Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate in the US and globally, to improve public safety and citizen welfare locally and nationally.

Some charities assist first responders by providing them with lifesaving equipment to facilitate their work. Others focus on supporting individuals and communities affected by disasters and health crises. Yet, they share the same goal of fighting for public safety and fostering people’s wellbeing.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight for Public Safety in 2023

Below are our favorite charities that fight for public safety (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

  • Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
  • American Red Cross
  • Kailee Mills Foundation
  • Team Rubicon
  • Direct Relief
  • Detroit Public Safety Foundation
  • National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation
  • International Justice Mission
  • Indy Public Safety Foundation

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation: Help Them Save Lives

The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation was established in 2005 by Chris and Robin Sorensen to support first responders and victims of Hurricane Katrina. Today, they advocate for public safety and assist those affected by disasters by providing lifesaving equipment and resources to first responders and public safety organizations.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission is to impact the lifesaving capabilities, and the lives, of local heroes and their communities.”

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation

What they do: The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation promotes public safety by assisting victims during and after natural or man-made disasters. They also provide first responders with lifesaving tools to facilitate more effective disaster relief and emergency responses. Furthermore, they prevent disasters in the home and community by offering prevention education resources to the public. In addition, they support those interested in a career in public safety with financial aid or continued education. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has provided lifesaving equipment and resources worth $73 million to hometown heroes in over 5,895 public safety organizations in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. For example, in 2022, they delivered 456 sets of bunker gear and 108 thermal imaging cameras to fire departments. They also supplied 411 defibrillators to help public safety organizations to provide more effective first aid. In addition, they offered 89 extrication tools and 27 all-terrain vehicles for disaster relief.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by giving specifically for lifesaving equipment mentioned in their Book of Giving.

American Red Cross: Help Those Affected by Disasters

The American Red Cross was established in 1881 by Clara Barton to support people in need. Today, they promote public safety by providing disaster relief and supporting military and veteran families in the US and worldwide.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The American Red Cross has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​”

American Red Cross

What they do: The American Red Cross improves public safety by providing clean water, safe shelters, and hot meals to families and communities in need. They do this by providing safe and dry temporary shelter to families affected by disasters and work with them on their recovery plans. They also install free smoke alarms to help make households safer in communities at risk. In addition, they offer emergency assistance to members of the military on active duty through their Hero Care Center

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the American Red Cross has responded to over 60,000 disasters every year. They have served over 2 million people through their home-fire prevention campaigns and made over 1 million households safer. In addition, they distributed over 308,200 meals and snacks to flood victims between 2019 and 2020. They also provided nearly 130,300 relief materials and 15,000 overnight shelters to those in need.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the American Red Cross through their website. You can also assist them by volunteering or by donating blood to disaster survivors in need. In addition, you can support the charity by buying merchandise from their online store.

Kailee Mills Foundation: Saving Lives One Seatbelt Click at a Time

The Kailee Mills Foundation was founded in 2018 by Wendy and David Mills to raise awareness about the importance of seat belt use following the death of their daughter in a car crash. Today, they are a national organization focused on improving public safety through seatbelt awareness campaigns and supporting families who have lost loved ones in car crashes.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Kailee Mills Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We want to reduce fatality and injury resulting from non-seat belt use through awareness, education, and community involvement.”

Kailee Mills Foundation

What they do: The Kailee Mills Foundation advocates for public safety by educating the public on seat belt safety through school programs, community outreach, and awareness campaigns. For example, they work with law enforcement agents to conduct seat belt checks to ensure drivers and passengers are correctly buckled as cars exit school parking lots. They also install safety road signs to remind people to wear seat belts. In addition, they run the Kailee Cares Family Assistance Program to provide financial assistance, grief counseling, and emotional support to families who have lost a loved one in a car accident.

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the Kailee Mills Foundation has reached over 477 million people through their Click It or Ticket It campaign. They have also reached 31 million people through their seatbelt awareness campaigns. In addition, they have organized over 370 seat belt awareness events and installed 300 road signs to promote seat belt and public safety in the US. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Kailee Mills Foundation through their website. You can also assist them by sponsoring a seat belt safety school program or by making a purchase from their online merch shop.

Team Rubicon: Built To Serve

Team Rubicon was established in 2010 by a team of 8 volunteers to provide disaster relief to earthquake survivors in Haiti. Today, they are a global organization fostering public safety by helping communities impacted by disasters.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Team Rubicon has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Team Rubicon is a veteran-led humanitarian organization that serves global communities, before, during, and after disasters and crises.”

Team Rubicon

What they do: Team Rubicon fights for public safety by providing relief to communities in need. For example, they help to clear debris and offer free rebuilding services following a natural disaster. In addition, their medical teams provide emergency medical and trauma care for chronic conditions and preventable diseases. They also organize care for more complex health situations and patient transport systems management for disaster survivors. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Team Rubicon has deployed over 1.2 million hours to assist disaster-affected communities worldwide. They have also trained more than 29,765 volunteers in disaster response tactics. In addition, they have provided free disaster relief services to victims affected by over 171 floods and 93 severe weather conditions worldwide. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Team Rubicon through their website. You can also support them by volunteering or purchasing merchandise from their online store.

Direct Relief: Healthy People. Better World.

Direct Relief was founded in 1948 by Wilhelm Julius Arthur Zimdin to help World War II survivors recover and rebuild their lives. Today, they are a global organization promoting public safety by assisting people affected by disasters.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Direct Relief has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We work to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay.”

Direct Relief

What they do: Direct Relief fights for public safety by equipping healthcare workers with resources so they can provide medical services to those affected by disasters. These resources include emergency medical packs, cholera treatment kits, and oral rehydration solutions. They also provide emergency prep packs filled with antibiotics and medication to treat conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and severe allergic reaction during disasters.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Direct Relief has spent over $1.5 billion on medical aid in the US and 80 other countries to facilitate public safety worldwide. For example, they provided over 501 million doses of medicine and equipped 2,177 healthcare workers to provide medical services to those affected by disasters. They also made 16,972 deliveries of 10 million lbs of medicine and supplies to help disaster survivors.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Direct Relief through their website. You can also assist the charity by volunteering or fundraising to help disaster victims.

Detroit Public Safety Foundation: Investing in a Safer City

The Detroit Public Safety Foundation was founded in 2003 to strengthen police and fire departments and promote public safety in Detroit. Today, they continue to provide funding to aid public safety efforts not covered by the city’s budget.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Detroit Public Safety Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“The Detroit Public Safety Foundation is dedicated to supporting Detroit’s first responders through advancing training, technology, equipment, community engagement and wellness, thereby enhancing the overall welfare of Detroit’s citizens and visitors.”

Detroit Public Safety Foundation

What they do: The Detroit Public Safety Foundation is committed to improving public safety across Detroit. They do this by partnering with local, state, and national organizations to support first responders, such as the police and firefighters. They also raise funds, in-kind donations, and programming funds to provide advanced training, equipment, and technology for the police and fire departments.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Detroit Public Safety Foundation has supported first responders to improve public safety in Detroit. For example, in 2021, they raised over $1.3 million from 13 community partners to support the police and fire departments in providing efficient responder services. They also raised $1 million to give the Detroit Police Department essential equipment and training to aid their public safety efforts. In addition, they distributed treadmills and exercise bikes worth $130,000 to fire departments in Detroit to boost wellness among firefighters.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Detroit Public Safety Foundation through their PayPal account. You can also assist them by making a purchase from their online shop.

National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation: Enhancing Public Safety Through the Geospatial Technology

The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation was founded in 2005 to overcome the challenges faced by public safety agencies in the adoption and use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as tools to protect their citizens. Today, they continue to foster the adoption of geospatial tools, information, and best practices for daily operations and disaster relief.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We want to improve the safety, resilience, and well-being of our communities and government and non-governmental organization responses to chronic and emergent public safety threats and incidents.”

National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation

What they do: The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation collaborates with local, state, and federal partners to advance geospatial technology in public safety organizations. They offer free education and training services for public safety agencies interested in using GIS technology to improve public safety. They also provide the Hazard Explorer Tool to help public safety groups view the hazards in their communities, assess the potential impact on infrastructure, and develop mitigation strategies.

What they’ve achieved: The National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation operates a membership network of over 20,000 experts dedicated to advancing geospatial technology and providing relevant resources for improving public safety. For example, they have provided geospatial coordination efforts to facilitate disaster relief during 7 large-scale incidents in the US, including the Seneca Tornado in 2020 and the Hurricane Dorian in 2019. 

Ways to contribute: You can support the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation by joining or starting a working group comprising public safety leaders, GIS professionals, and operators using geospatial technology to foster public safety.

International Justice Mission: End Violence in Our Lifetime

The International Justice Mission was founded in 1997 by Gary Haugen to address violence in developing countries. Today, they are a global organization working with local justice systems to eradicate violence against people living in poverty and improve public safety.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The International Justice Mission has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Every person deserves to be free from violence.”

International Justice Mission

What they do: The International Justice Mission is a global organization that promotes public safety by protecting people in poverty from violence. They work with local authorities to police abuse of power, fight slavery and trafficking, and violence against women and children. They also rescue individual victims of violence and restore survivors to stability and safety.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the International Justice Mission has worked with local authorities in 14 countries to relieve over 12,800 victims from domestic and sexual abuse worldwide. They have also provided safety assistance to over 2500 women and children impacted by violence. In addition, they have assisted 571 child victims of online commercial sexual exploitation.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the International Justice Mission through their website. You can also support them by volunteering, speaking up to end violence or starting a fundraiser.

Indy Public Safety Foundation: Enhancing the Safety and Quality of Life in Indianapolis

The Indy Public Safety Foundation was established in 2013 to motivate civic leaders to assist public safety agencies in Indianapolis. Today, they continue to improve public safety and the welfare of residents in the state.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Indy Public Safety Foundation has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

‘Our mission is to enhance the safety and quality of life in the greater Indianapolis community.”

Indy Public Safety Foundation

What they do: The Indy Public Safety Foundation is dedicated to supporting first responders in Indianapolis. They do this by investing in superior technology to aid the delivery of emergency medical services. They also provide access and training for bystander CPR and defibrillators to help people respond to emergencies. In addition, they run the Frontline Supervisor Training and the Cadet program to train first responders and inspire young adults to pursue careers in public safety. They also operate a Graffiti Abatement Unit dedicated to removing graffiti from private and public places in the city. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Indy Public Safety Foundation has invested over $2 million in equipment, resources, training, and support for Indy’s first responders. They have also trained over 600 first responders in leadership and management. They work with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department to train about 40 active junior cadets weekly. In addition, they have removed over 100,000 square feet of graffiti defacing private and public property in the city.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Indy Public Safety Foundation through their website. You can also support this nonprofit organization by making a purchase from their online store.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight for public safety. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to public safety – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Eniola

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Eniola Adeeko

Eniola loves to research and write about providing humanitarian aid and access to proper education and literacy to underprivileged children around the world. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and volunteers with her local Red Cross chapter. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading novels, cooking new dishes, and creating podcasts.

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