Today is Giving Tuesday and thus we are re-sharing this post from earlier this month about organizations that could use your help. The only changes have been to update links and remove some information that is now out of date.
For many Americans, yesterday was a day of shellshock.
While many saw Election Day as a huge victory, large portions of the nation's population woke up Wednesday morning hurt, fearful and deeply concerned about their future and the futures of those they care about. Some fear President-Elect Donald Trump does not care about their rights or existence – and that the other branches of government are in no place to fight for them either.
No matter where you placed your vote Tuesday, we ALL deeply hope that Trump is good for our country, that the next four years do not live down to the ugly moments from his campaign and that America will continue to shine in the world as a great and promising place for all to live and thrive.
But in the meantime, there undoubtedly is uncertainty.
For those concerned, while yesterday was a day to cope, to think, to stress, to lick wounds and to be angry, today – and all of the days after – are for getting to work. American progress and democracy, the voice and will of the public, all of it does not stop after Election Day. But standing still won't do anything.
Here are just a few ways those looking to help can reach out, make a difference and do some good.
1. Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee offers safe places and fun activities, positive role models, educational programming and other needed resources for local children and teens. To become a member, donate or become a volunteer, visit the Boys and Girls Club's website, or calling (414) 267-8100.
RAINN is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the nation, providing services to survivors, informing and educating people across the U.S. about sexual violence, and helping improve public policies and criminal justice response to sexual violence. RAINN also operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, available both online and by phone (800-656-4673). Click here to to donate or learn how you can volunteer.
3. It Gets Better
Created by columnist and author Dan Savage, It Gets Better is an organization dedicated to communicate hope and optimism to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world, as well as create and inspire change toward building acceptance. To donate and learn more what you can do, visit It Gets Better's website.
4. Homeless shelters and food kitchens
The Milwaukee Rescue Mission, Hope House of Milwaukee and Guest House of Milwaukee are great places to get involved, whether you are donating food, essential items or you time. To find other nearby homeless shelters, visit the Homeless Shelter Directory.
5. Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood provides important sexual and reproductive health services. To donate or learn more what you can do for the 21 health centers and clinics spread across the state, and many more around the country, visit Planned Parenthood's website.
6. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides free and confidential support for those in need and in distress. Visit the website to learn how you can get involved with the lifeline. Dr. John Draper also recently made a video for Facebook concerning the election and methods of coping for those who need them.
7. Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League is a civil rights and human relations agency dedicated to stopping the defamation of the Jewish people, as well as to secure justice and fight bigotry for all. Click here to donate to the ADL and learn more what you can do to support it.
8. Sojourner Family Peace Center
The Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee is the state's largest nonprofit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services, helping family violence victims and their children be safe, as well as find justice and wellbeing. To learn how to donate or volunteer, visit its website.
The American Civil Liberties Union works to defend the and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and by the laws of the country. To donate and learn more, visit the ACLU's website – which has already claimed that "if Trump implements his proposed policies, we'll see him in court."
To donate to the NAACP – which fights to ensure equal political, social, economic and educational rights for all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination – or become a member at its local branch (located at 2745 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), visit its website. The NAACP has already called for the reinstatement of the Voting Rights Act after Tuesday's results.
11. Immigrants and new Americans
For those looking to help in immigration organizations, this immigration law firm has gathered links to many groups working for immigrants' rights. Pick one, and find out how you can donate or help.
If you are a pro-choice advocate, NARAL is an organization focused on expanding and protecting reproductive freedom for women. To donate or volunteer, visit NARAL's official website.
13. National Organization for Women
NOW's website is currently down for reasons that are fairly obvious, but the organization – dedicated to maintaining access to reproductive health care, fighting for economic equality, ending violence toward women, as well as racism and bigotry toward the LGBT community – is taking donations on its temporary page.
14. Milwaukee LGBT Community Center
The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center strives to serve the needs of the Milwaukee LGBTQ community and to make the Greater Milwaukee area safer and more inclusive through programming focused on anti-violence, counseling, healthy relationships and more. To donate or volunteer, visit its website – and also visit this directory of additional LGBT support organizations and groups to see what else you can do.
15. Milwaukee Women's Center
The Milwaukee Women's Center, a division of Community Advocates, works to provide treatment and services for women, men and children affected by domestic violence, addiction, poverty and mental health issues. To donate or volunteer, click here.
16. Don't move to Canada
Or Ireland. Or Sweden. Or anywhere else outside of America. If you're in a concerned group alienated by Trump over this campaign and you truly feel America is no longer where you feel you can live your best, healthiest life, go for it. It'd be far from fair for me – a straight white man – to tell say there's nothing for you to fear. I couldn't know.
But for everyone else, don't leave. America, and the rest of the people who live here, won't disappear if you move to a different country, and the ramifications won't be limited to its borders. If you don't agree with Trump or the next four years, make your voice heard, fight for people's rights, maybe – as Slate argues here – move to a swing state if you have the means and you really want to make sure your vote has power and, in general, stand up for what you hope for in America. Too many people worked too hard to found America, to keep America together, to fight for their rights as Americans and to fight just to get to America for you to bail when things might get hard.
17. Get out the vote
No matter who had won Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning, we should all agree that an election where almost half the population didn't vote is a real problem. Whether it's because of the stricter voter ID laws or just a general malaise toward politics and the candidates offered this year, a government by the people, for the people, should be voted upon by more than barely half of those people. So help get out the vote, for whomever you believe in, next time – and not just every four years. Get involved.
18. Talk to people
The reasons why people voted for who in this election are as complex as many of the issues on the table. Nobody achieves anything by demonizing entire swaths of people on either side – especially when it seems everyone on both sides agrees these were beyond imperfect candidates. Ask questions, actively listen, don't be dismissive, work to understand diverse perspectives, communicate your feelings and values in productive ways, and make steps toward unity and cooperation.
Believe in the good in America. Believe in the good in all people. We can do this.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.