Kudos to New York’s 92nd Street Y for coming up with a new way for you to spend your money — one with real meaning.  It’s called Giving Tuesday and today’s the day.  

Did you know that the average age of charitable donors is now 65?  Or that half of donors are planning on giving less or to fewer charities this year?  If you’re younger than that, and you have money to give, you can start influencing those statistics.

Here’s your chance to shine bright this holiday season.

Photograph by Jasen Hudson

It doesn’t matter how much you have to give.  Even if you’ve only got $5 or $50, Giving Tuesday is the way to kick off the holiday season!  Speaking of which

The Budweiser Clydesdales are doing fine and will probably go on doing fine. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the average equine.  This has been a hard year for horses.

If you’re wondering where to send your money this year, I’d like to recommend a few of my own “pet” horse charities:

The Brooke.  They support the world’s neediest equines — the working horses, donkeys and mules in the world’s poorest communities.

World Horse Welfare.  This organization is focused on helping horses today and tomorrow, through education, training, emergency relief, rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming, and campaigns focused on ending equine suffering.

CANTER (the Communication Alliance to Network Ex-Racehorses).  This one is close to my heart.  In the dark, throwaway world of racing, CANTER is a bright light for thoroughbreds all over the country.

ReRun also gives ex-racers a second chance.  Their care extends beyond fostering and adoption, as they monitor their adoptees through regular reports and photographs from the adopters’ vets (a great idea that I think other rescues should follow).

Any amount you can give will help a horse somewhere.  If you’re feeling flush this season, it’s nice to know that Giving Tuesday has an anonymous donor who will match contributions up to a total of $50,000.

If money is tight, you can always donate supplies or equipment or that horse stuff you no longer need (it will make you feel better than selling it on ebay; I promise).

Time can be the most precious gift of all.   A local rescue and the horses who rely on it couldn’t ask for a better gift than help with chores or with facilities maintenance or an afternoon with a curry and a brush in your hand…or a bag full of apples.

So go shine bright this holiday season and see about helping a horse in need.

Photo by Jasen Hudson