As the 2016 election comes to a close, I can't even begin to bring myself to say the words I'm hearing are true. According to the Associated Press, Donald Trump — the same man who has proven time and time again that he doesn't care about women, about immigrants, about the welfare of this country — has just become the president-elect of the United States of America. It scares me to write those words. I'm disappointed in this country I once thought was so great, but even more so, I'm scared of the fact that I don't know where we go from here. How does America heal from this wound? How do we move on when the most powerful man in the country is filled with such hate? No one can answer that question just yet — but there are things that we can all do to help just a small, small bit in the face of this terrible reality. There are tons of organizations around the country that are devoted to supporting women's rights, and it's these organizations we can all believe in during Trump's presidency.
I know that it seems hopeless right now — trust me, I know exactly how hopeless you're feeling. It's like Brexit part two, only 30 times worse because this time you feel like you can't breathe. But we must be resilient, and loving, and strong in these dark times. We need to band together and help those organizations that are looking out for the good left in the world, because the only thing that can trump hate right now is love. I chose to focus on that rather than the sad, sad reality in this country at the moment, and I recommend doing so as well.
If you're not sure where to start, these are some good options. Even if you don't have time to volunteer, donating money is a good way to give back as well. Anything helps.
National Organization For Women (NOW)
With its NOW Foundation, the National Organization for Women is devoted to achieving "full equality for women through education and litigation," according to its website. There are many ways to donate to the organization through its website, or, you can locate your local NOW chapter for volunteer opportunities.
Ms. Foundation For Women
Established in 1973, the Ms. Foundation For Women has "secured women’s rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income women, immigrant women and women of color. The foundation invests funds, time, expertise and training in trailblazing organizations nationwide." You can check out how to get involved on its website.
Women In Need
Based out of New York City, Women In Need (WIN) consists of a collection of homeless shelters exclusively for homeless women with children and families across all five boroughs. If you're local, you can get involved by signing up for volunteer opportunities through its website; if you're not, you can also donate through its form, here.
Live Your Dream
Another important organization. According to its website, Live Your Dream "improves the lives of women and girls through grants and programs leading to social and economic empowerment," according to its website. You can donate to the organization through the website, or you can even pledge to help other women live their dreams.
Women For Women International
Established in 1993, Women for Women International, directly works "with women in 8 countries [affected by war and conflict] offering support, tools, and access to life-changing skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency," according to its website. You can easily get involved by becoming an ambassador here, or you can sponsor a sister with a monthly donation.
American Association Of University Women
As one of the oldest organizations on this list (since 1881!), the AAUW is dedicated to improving the lives of women however possible. You can get involved, according to its website, but doing everything from sharing things on Facebook to even hosting a AAUW event.
An organization established to inspire girls to be "strong, smart, and bold, providing more than 140,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges girls face," according to its website, Girls Inc. is an important group. To learn how to support Girls Inc., head here.
We have to band together right now — we are stronger as one than we are alone. Never forget that.
Image: Chelsea LaSalle/Bustle