Z decided she wanted to help orphans. We've read books and seen movies that have them, and their need really touches her. She tells me how grateful she is to have a family etc. She also loves Harry Potter, wants to be a writer and credits JK Rowling as her inspiration. So, Lumos (her charity for orphans) was the obvious choice! She has a terrific program there.
E wants to help the animals via our local Humane Society Shelter. We've had doggies come to our yard the last couple of weekends, and we've worked with the shelter to find their owners etc. Now that she understands what the shelter does, she wants to volunteer there (Summer maybe?) and do whatever she can to help. She does want to adopt the animals too, but she'll have to do that once she has her own place.
As an aside, I have favorite charities our family gives to during the year. We love St. Jude's, Sierra Club, ACLU and Conservation International. In the past, we've also worked with Sustainable International, United Plant Savers and ASPCA.