Great Organizations We Support

Every year for the holidays, the Nia teachers at Studio Sway put on a gala fundraiser jam. There are so many wonderful organizations to support. I’ll use this page to catalog the non-profit groups that do important work to make our world a brighter, stronger place. 

At the end of each year, I go to Nicholas Kristoff at the New York Times to see which organizations he recommends. I trust that he’s done the work to research the organizations. In addition, I value his perspective. Kristoff now has a website devoted to sharing information about organizations that make a significant, positive impact on people’s lives both in the US and internationally. I was able to donate from the site by adding organizations and donation amounts to my cart. This saves me time because I didn’t have to visit the individual sites. 

There’s evidence that giving to others - whether it’s those we know or to organizations - contributes to our sense of efficacy and happiness. Research says the amount doesn’t matter (though my personal experience contradicts this with larger amounts increasing my sense of having done something valuable). Experiment with this. Consider donating something every day in December. This can be with online donations or giving something to others in your community.  I did this one year, and each day I searched online for different organizations. I discovered many interesting and worthwhile non-profits. The end result, beyond providing supports for others, was that I was heartened by all the good work we can do together. It feels good to read about others who are doing good. 

I have two favorite ways to give. One is to fund something specific, for instance, a scholarship for a girl to attend school. The second way is to raise funds together as we do at the annual Nia fundraiser jam.

In 2019, we donated $500 and a trunkload of items to S.A.F.E. House, which provides emergency shelter, rapid rehousing, and other assistance to empower survivors of domestic violence. Your funds and donated items assist New Mexican families to make our community stronger.

We’ve happily donated several times to Enlace Communitario, including in 2017, to support their work “transforming lives of domestic violence survivors and their communities” in New Mexico. 

Crossroads for Women provides "comprehensive, integrated services to empower women emerging from incarceration to achieve safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives in the community, for themselves and their children.” We donated in 2016 to this wonderful New Mexico organization. The women who work here are so devoted and passionate; it was an honor to meet them and dance with them at our jam.

All Faiths Children’s Advocacy Center supports families in crisis here in Albuquerque. 

Impressed with the courage and compassion of Malala Yousafzai, we donated to the Malala Fund for education for girls. 

Our 2012 fundraiser supported the local chapter of Girls on the Run, which empowers middle-school girls. Another local program that’s similar is Running 505, a wellness program that teaches about all aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. That same year we donated to Girls for a Change.  Earlier in the year we supported Paws and Stripes in Rio Rancho. 

In 2010, Kristin Schuetz was teaching Nia and working at RoadRunner Food Bank. We held a spring jam for them and the in December, we sent funds and love  to the Center for Biological Diversity. 

In 2008, we raised almost $800 for Compassion Beyond Borders, an organization that Sara Koplik recommended to us. 

2007 was the year we donated to both Heifer International and Finca, which provides micro-loans to help people start small businesses.

The first fundraiser in December 2006 was at Midtown Sports and Wellness where more than 60 of us danced together and raised $2071 for the Global Fund for Women. 

Free the Girls is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit that helps women rescued from sex trafficking reintegrate into their communities. Their economic empowerment model is collecting bras and helping formerly trafficked women in developing countries become entrepreneurs selling these bras in their local second-hand clothing markets in their communities. The donation of just four bras provides a living wage for a woman in the El Salvador program. These can be day bras, sports bras, any bra that is in very good condition and appropriate for resale. Send to Free The Girls, 1552 Pioneer Trail, Chesterton, IN 46304.