Calloo! Callay! Our annual Foolanthropy charity drive is under way!

We invite -- nay, urge -- you to check out our Foolanthropy pages. Even if you can't contribute anything to our world-improving joint venture, the five marvelous organizations we've selected would be delighted if you just learned more about them and what they do. (Of course, perhaps you can contribute just a little bit? We'd love to see as many Fools pitching in as possible.)

Know that we're serious about our charitable giving. This is our eighth consecutive year raising money, and we chip in some money of our own, too. Over the past eight years, together we've raised more than $2 million for some outstanding organizations. It's safe to say that we've saved hundreds of families, if not thousands, from economic despair and in many cases from disease and death.

Before you donate any money -- to Foolanthropy or elsewhere -- it's smart to learn as much as you can about the recipient organization. Here are some helpful websites:

Of course, one of the best places to learn about any organization is via its own website. Click into our Foolanthropy nook and you'll be guided to the websites of our featured organizations.

The organizations include:

  • Canine Companions for Independence: Enhancing the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.

  • First Book: Giving children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.

  • Habitat for Humanity International: Seeking to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

  • Heifer Project International: Empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in a sustainable way with gifts of farm animals and training.

  • Spirit of America: Extending the good will of the American people to assist those advancing freedom and peace abroad.

We also invite you to share any Foolanthropic thoughts on our Foolanthropy discussion board -- or just drop in to see what others are saying.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.