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18th of January 2018

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15 local charities that you can donate to this holiday season

Image: tookapic2017%2f10%2f20%2f14%2funnamed5.9fa34By Sara Estes2017-12-20 19:39:06 UTC

The holidays can be all consuming: From shopping for gifts, to travel plans, to a jam-packed social schedule, it’s easy to get caught up in the madness. Which is why it’s so important to take a step back and remember the people and charities that need support. 

In the year 2016 alone, $390 billion was given to charitable organizations, and the majority of this money — 72 percent to be exact — came from individual donors, according to Giving USA. 

In the spirit of giving, we’ve rounded up local charities across the country that are all worthy of your attention this holiday season. No matter where you live, there are plenty of ways to give back — and this doesn’t just involve donating money. Organizations benefit immensely from people donating their time and energy to help out with day-to-day operations or special events.

We’ve spotlighted organizations across the country that can benefit from your time and contributions.   

Business Colleagues Together Teamwork Working Office

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If you live in the Northeast

Troy, NY

Capital Roots is a nonprofit organization that helps bring fresh food access and green spaces to inner city residents of the Capital District in upstate New York. It was founded in 1975 as a community garden organization, and has been working to reduce the impact of poor nutrition on public health ever since.

Philadelphia, PA

As a nonprofit research accelerator, No More Kids With Cancer is dedicated to accelerating the discovery of safer and more effective treatments for children with cancer. The organization has seven current projects, one clinical trial, and works with 15 different children’s hospitals. One-hundred percent of donations to No More Kids With Cancer go to research.

Richmond, VT

Over in Richmond, Vermont, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) works with people ages 15 to 24 and teaches them personal responsibility through work that connects them with their local environment. In addition to fostering important skills like communication, collaboration, and problem solving, VYCC’s programs help improve wildlife habitats, state park facilities, and the health of waterways in their local area.  

If you live in the Southeast

Kid painting Santa on a paper plate

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Atlanta, GA

After experiencing homelessness herself as a teenager, Malika Whitley started ChopArt in 2010 to help homeless youth in Atlanta. ChopArt provides arts programming at shelters and art camps to children ages 10 to 18, and also created the first arts summer camp for homeless minors. The organization has served over 30,000 homeless youth worldwide, as they also run programs in New Orleans, Hyderabad, India, and Accra, Ghana. 

Princeton, NC

Having a critically ill child is never easy for the rest of the family, and the Me Fine Foundation is on a mission to provide hope to people in these circumstances through financial assistance and emotional support. The foundation is headquartered in Princeton, North Carolina, and they serve families whose children are at Duke Children’s Hospital and the NC Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill. Through sponsored programs, educational resources, and many types of financial support, the Me Fine Foundation helps stabilize families so that they can stay focused on their child’s health.

Leesburg, FL

Angel Flight Southeast works to ease the stress and expense of travel for far-from-home medical care. The charity is a network of over 650 volunteer pilots who donate their airplanes, fuel, and time to fly passengers to medical appointments that are not in their local area. The services are completely free, and although it’s based in Florida, Angel Flight Southeast flies people to appointments in neighboring states as well as the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

If you live in the Midwest

Waynesville, OH

The Love Tattoo Foundation is a nonprofit that honors and assists American veterans who may have mental or physical wounds from serving our country. The organization aims to raise money for veterans, in order to help provide them the opportunities they sacrificed earlier in life. In order to accomplish this, Love Tattoo Foundation puts on benefit concerts and other community events throughout the year.

St. Louis, MO 

In an effort to ensure safe and healthy homes for everyone in St. Louis, Rebuilding Together St. Louis provides free home repair services for elderly and low-income homeowners. With the help of over 1,000 volunteers, the organization has “Build Days” throughout the year where they repair up to 60 homes in a single day. The organization also hosts fundraising events throughout the year, which are essential since all of the proceeds go directly to their rebuilding efforts.

Chicago, IL

Without proper school supplies, many children are not able to get the most out of their education. Back 2 School Illinois (B2SI) works to provide free school supplies to tens of thousands of children from low-income families in the Chicago area. Since students often run out of supplies come January, B2SI steps in to provide these resources, while also showing the kids that the community supports them and that their education is important.  

If you live in the Northwest

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Portland, OR

Farmers Ending Hunger serves its community with the mission to eliminate hunger in Oregon. The nonprofit connects local Oregon farmers and ranchers with hungry families through intentional planting and healthy food donations. The farmers donate a portion of their harvest, food processors donate products, and individuals contribute cash donations, allowing Farmers Ending Hunger to assemble and distribute emergency food boxes. 

Menlo Park, CA

With a unique social media strategy, Beyond Type 1 is working to change what it means to live with Type 1 Diabetes. The organization focuses on education, advocacy, and an eventual cure for Type 1 Diabetes. They utilize #LiveBeyond across social media platforms to share uplifting messages that empower people living with this disease and remind them that they are not alone.

Redmond, WA

We can’t forget about our furry friends! Motley Zoo Animal Rescue is a volunteer-run organization outside of Seattle that rescues pets and finds them a new home. They house the animals they rescue in private foster homes throughout the area, giving them safe and welcoming temporary homes. Motley Zoo also works with people to help them keep pets they already have by providing personal advice and training.  

If you live in the Southwest

Houston, TX

Since its inception in 2015, CYCLE Houston has donated over 150,000 bikes to impoverished children. The charity’s main mission is to improve children’s literacy in the Houston area, and they do this by incentivizing students with the opportunity to earn a bicycle for achieving their established reading goals. In the end, this not only helps improve literacy rates but it also shows kids that hard work can result in rewards. 

Las Vegas, NV

The Grant a Gift Autism Foundation is a nonprofit that provides programs and support to individuals living with autism and their families in order to prepare them to live as independent adults in the future. The organization offers many different services, including diagnostic and treatment funding, support systems, vocational training, transition planning, and education. Grant a Gift Autism Foundation also works with fellow autism organizations and state agencies to help achieve its mission to support children with autism as they transition into adults.

Chandler, AZ

With a slogan to “Give the gift of reading,” Story Monsters BookBank works to improve children’s literacy skills and increase their enthusiasm for reading and writing. The nonprofit offers support to schools and libraries in order to establish programs like author visits and writing workshops, and also provides funds that are put toward new books. 

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