Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season gets into full swing, I wanted to pause and find new ways to support my local community, as well as causes near and dear to the hearts of this online community! In looking for organizations to donate to, I asked you guys on Instagram to tell me about initiatives important to you. It’s been incredible reading about the many different causes from founders, employees, and volunteers alike amongst the readership of this blog!
If you feel inclined to give back but aren’t sure where to start, I’m excited to share a few of the nonprofit organizations that you guys are involved with. They range from small homegrown charities to more established ones, and there were a lot of submissions so I’ll share part 2 over the next few weeks! If there’s an organization or cause that you’re passionate about, please share with us by leaving a comment below!
And for Boston readers, stay tuned for a holiday drive we’re hosting locally in early December!
Children and Family-Related Causes
- Cakes4Kids shared by Mary A., volunteer | California + Virginia
“I volunteer and bake birthday cakes and cookies for underserved youth, including kids that are in group homes, at a domestic violence or human trafficking shelter, in low-income housing, or even homeless. The kids share their birthday treat wish (theme, flavor, colors etc…) and we bake a homemade cake or cookies for their special day. We are sure to include their name on the cake – many of the kids have NEVER had a birthday cake personalized just for them.”
- Action for Childcare shared by Amanda G., board member | Michigan
“Our mission is to ensure that children have the opportunity to thrive in healthy and safe environments by providing health and safety kits and safe sleep equipment for low-income families. Many families can’t afford essential equipment like fire alarms, baby gates, or even safe places for their baby to sleep. In our first full year in operation, we provided equipment to more than 176 families, but there is so much unmet need. We are an all volunteer organization with very low overhead, and nearly all funds raised go towards our health and safety equipment.”
- Generation Hope shared by Devon H., employee | Greater Washington, DC area
“[Our organization] supports teen parents in college and their kiddos. Founded in 2010, our mission is to surround motivated teen parents and their children with the mentors, emotional support, and financial resources that they need to thrive in college and kindergarten, thereby driving a two-generation solution to poverty. We serve up to 100 teen parents in college each year, and advocate for policy change and increased support for the nearly 4 million student parents at colleges around the country working to complete their degrees.”
- Pop-Up Birthday shared by Anonymous | Greater Austin, TX area
Founded by a mama of 3, this organization also spreads birthday joy for children affected by the foster care system. Donations can go towards pop-up birthday boxes (put together by volunteers), which include a re-useable storage bin with party goods, a gift card for cake, a personalized card and gifts from the child’s wish list (a gift for FUN, a gift for NEED and a gift to READ).
- Education is Forever shared and co-founded by Irene H. | Greater Los Angeles area
“In 2015, my then fiancé-now husband and I founded a scholarship fund, Education is Forever, in lieu of an engagement ring. We met at a school that serves 18-24 year old nontraditional students trying to earn their high school diplomas…Since then, we’ve been able to raise over $30,000 and grant 77 scholarships. Our scholarship fund is now a fledgling nonprofit, funded mostly through the salaries of my husband and myself, run by scrappy group of volunteers, that provides the following: Affordable dorm-style housing for homeless students, Mentorship and coaching in key areas that promote college success, Scholarships to help with non-tuition related expenses”
- Embracing Equity shared and founded by Daisy H. | National
“After teaching in Montessori education for 10 years, I finally decided to create a platform and learning community for educators to build the skills and capacity that we were not being trained on in our teacher preparation. [We] explicitly address equity across schools and geographic boundaries in an accessible, online learning platform and through in-person workshops. It’s a community of educators, parents, children and change-agents who are on a journey of integrated social justice, anti-bias, anti-racist education for every child.”
- She’s the First shared by Hannah C., volunteer | Global (with 200 college chapters)
“She’s The First is a [global] organization that’s dedicated to advocating for educational mobility for women, especially those in locations where education might not be easily accessible due to a multitude of factors. We have a chapter on Emory Campus and so far, we’ve worked hard to fundraise for our partnered girls in Nepal and India.“
- Gadgets for Future Graduates shared and co-founded by Courtney C. | Northeast Pennsylvania
“We officially launched our charity this year and our goal is to raise money in order to purchase items for students in 7th-12th grade who are in need or experiencing hardships of one kind or another. We plan to gift students something they want/need around the holiday season in order to put a smile on their face and, hopefully, give them an incentive/motivation to work hard in school. This year we are focusing on students at my husband’s alma mater, but we have every intention of expanding nationwide, similar to a Toys for Tots but for teenagers!”
Women’s issues & empowerment Causes
- Cozy Warrior shared by Anna W., founder (a dear friend whom I met through the infertility community)
“The reason I started The Cozy Warrior is because I believe infertility is a lonely road but it doesn’t have to be…Our mission is to empower women struggling to conceive, offering them comfort, strength and community. We want to get each woman in the midst of her journey a pair of cozy socks, and eventually grants to give them a real helping hand. I wanted to encourage anyone with an infertility story to submit their story.”
- HAWC shared by Katrina T., volunteer | Salem, MA
“A wonderful local charity is HAWC (healing abuse, working for change) – a Salem, MA nonprofit that provides free services to women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. It’s an amazing organization that I’ve worked to support numerous times through toy drives, back-to-school supply collections, and their annual Walk For HAWC fundraiser. They truly make such a difference in people’s lives, and their services have a direct impact on the Greater Boston community.”
- The Women’s Fund shared by Katheryn G., volunteer | Greater Houston area
“I’ve worked with this non-profit for three years now, and their mission is to teach health and resiliency skills to young adolescent girls in the Greater Houston area. I taught our “What About Me?” class which is a 10-week curriculum where our girls learn about skills like healthy eating, communication, personal relationships, goal setting, and the changes our bodies grow through as young girls during those middle- school years and how to manage your health as a young girl and ultimately, a woman.”
- Planned Parenthood shared by Nancy V. | National
“It’s not only important, it is essential that women have access to affordable care. Planned Parenthood doesn’t only perform abortions. They provide health services like: paps, birth control, STD testing for underserved communities … I’m lucky enough to not need [their] services now but when I was younger and in need of women’s health services, I was able to turn to clinics like Planned Parenthood. There are women out there who still need these services.”
- Rosie’s Place shared by Mary G., volunteer | Boston, MA
“A Boston charity I feel really passionately about is Rosie’s Place, a homeless shelter for women. I have volunteered there in person and donated to them for years, and I’m astounded by their amazing work. Not only do they provide food and shelter, but also things like interview training to help women get back on their feet.”