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Well there’s no more denying it, the holiday season is firmly upon us. Hopefully you’re feeling merry and bright. Hopefully your halls are decked and your presents are wrapped neatly under the tree. Hopefully you’re not standing in line at the Apple store because you were too busy working that you forgot to order the Apple Watch she asked for. Just us?

In addition to tinsel, and peppermint-flavored everything, the Christmas season also places an emphasis on giving back to those less fortunate and let’s face it, a little good karma never hurt anyone. There are a plethora of traditional options for spreading cheer (we’re looking at you bell-ringers), but in true Startup Muse fashion, we’d like to shine light on a few startups using their entrepreneurial prowess to give back to the world.

 

New Story Charity

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Mission: Co-founded by Brett Hagler, Mike Arrieta, Matthew Marshall and Alexandria Lafci, and advised by a team of executives from companies like DocuSign and HP, the 501(c)(3) non-profit boasts 100% transparency in their efforts which aim to transform tent communities across the world in to dependable, sustainable housing through crowd-funding. New Story has thus far provided 151 homes in  Leveque, Haiti  and is now setting its sights on El Salvador.

How to help: Start a holiday campaign. Invite friends and family or business associates to donate to your campaign in lieu of gifts. Get started here.

Pencils of Promise

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Mission: Pencils of Promise, PoP for short, operates on the fundamental principle that every child deserves a quality education and the venue and supplies to facilitate that. Every dollar earns directly contributes to school building, scholarships, teacher support programs and/or water, sanitation and hygiene education.

How to help: Support PoP’s “Season of Promise” by making a donation that will help the group reach the goal of building 30 schools in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos. So far, funds have been raised to build 24 of the 30 school goal. You can donate any amount you choose, but the charity estimates that $250 can educate a child, $500 supports a teacher and $25,000 builds an entire school.

Equal Heart

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Mission: Operating here in Texas and in Colorado, the organization was founded by a group of friends with strong ties to the nonprofit community. Equal Heart’s mission is to support individuals and families facing times of adversity. Currently, the group is focused on combating childhood hunger. This holiday season, the group has partnered with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas to deliver healthy foods to neighborhoods without easy access to groceries.

How to help: All of the food and produce delivered this season has been donated by local companies. Support their efforts by donating or get in touch via e-mail to provide other resources.