Just last week I sent an email out to the people on my email list inquiring what charity or charities they personally support. The Home Quest team is looking for different ways to give back to the community and I was scouting for some new ideas.

Here, are four organizations that people told us they are supporting...and whom we support as well. At the end is a complete list of all of the responses.

1. Sparrow Clubs USA

Our favorite charity is the Sparrow Club. It empowers kids to help kids in medical need. Each year, a sponsor (I sponsor Crater High Sparrow Club) provides program support and "sparrow cash" which fund sparrow projects and help the Sparrow family.  The kids at the school support the sparrow family with love and encouragement as they earn the sponsorship dollars by doing community service and the Sparrow inspires students to do selfless acts and serve the community.

2. The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life of Medford Jackson County

This one is very personal in honor of my mom, Sharon Huntwork. She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. For those that don't know — I didn't — that's the bad kind. We're lucky and found it Stage 1. She's had a double mastectomy and chemo...and the prognosis is very good. This year, not only will I give financially, but I will participate in it.

3. CASA of Jackson County, Inc.

CASA of Jackson County, is a non-profit organization responsible for recruiting, training and supporting the work of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers. CASA volunteers do what no one else does — they donate their time to act as independent eyes and ears of the court and speak solely for the best interest of children and youth in the custody of the Department of Human Services. Home Quest Realty is sponsoring the Ryan Moon Gallery Event to help raise awareness of CASA of Jackson County and all of the vital services it provides. The event is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Insurance Lounge in the Medford Center. Ryan is a brilliant local artist. Signed prints of his will be available for sale, as well as raffle items...all proceeds benefiting CASA. Sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting CASA of Jackson County at 541-734-2272.

4. Crater Foundation

The Crater Foundation awards a scholarship to every graduating senior from Crater High School who applies for one, and provides financial aid to students and families in need. The Crater Foundation has awarded over $3.3 million in scholarships to Crater High graduates. The impact a scholarship can have on a young person’s life is unbelievable. Students who thought they couldn’t attend college can turn their college aspirations into reality with help from the Crater Foundation. Home Quest Realty is sponsoring the Crater Foundation Summer Wine Event at Del Rio Vineyards on Saturday, Aug. 20. If you are interested in sponsoring that event or a scholarship, you can contact them by email: [email protected] or phone: (541) 494-6308.

I'm am proud to know so many with generous hearts. Here are the other worthy organizations people told me they supported:

Hope Equestrian
Southern Oregon Humane Society
Junior Achievement
Special Olympics
Maslow Project
The Family House
Pregnancy Center
United Way
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Raining Cats and Dogs
Use Your Gift Foundation
Rogue Retreat
Walking Tall
Dunn House
Family Nurturing Center
Wellsprings International 
FOTAS (Friends of the Animal Shelter)
Save the Whiskers
Wildlife Images
Hearts with a Mission

There is a really great independent charity evaluator called Charity Navigator that provides free ratings of the financial health and accountability & transparency of thousands of non-profits. In their quest to help donors, their team of professional analysts uses that knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America's best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities. If you're a savvy donor who wants to check out an organization before you give, visit their site.