‘Tis the season for gift-giving – as well as for giving back. As always, there are a lot of important causes and organizations that need support this holiday season. Whether it’s a financial contribution or something you can do, the smallest amount of help can have a big difference. Here are some great organizations that definitely need the holiday cheer, and who knows? Maybe you’ll get some cheer for yourself along the way.
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Rescuing Leftover Cuisine
If you want to work with non-profits, but aren’t sure how you can fit it into your schedule, working with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a good start. The nonprofit is exactly what it sounds like – in 12 major cities throughout the U.S., RLC collects food from restaurants and brings them to local organizations that will distribute the food to those in need.
While you can make a monetary donation, you can also sign up to be a “rescuer,” where you’ll go to the restaurants on behalf of RLC and pick-up then deliver the leftover food. Shifts are under an hour, and you’ll be simultaneously ending hunger and lessening food waste!
Books Through Bars
The Books Through Bars program has many centers around the United States, but no matter where you are – you can send a book to the program, which will then be distributed to a currently incarcerated prisoner. Each month, volunteers distribute over two thousand books to prisons and host several learning sessions with community and school groups. Their website is full of testimonials from prisoners thanking the group for their work.
Books Through Bars accepts monetary and book donations. You can also volunteer with the group in many different capacities, whether it’s fundraising, packaging and delivering book donations, processing request letters, or something else altogether.
The Trevor Project
Headquartered in New York City, The Trevor Project provides crisis and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults. Aside from operating a 24-hour hotline, The Trevor Project also offers education for professionals who work with teens on a regular basis. No matter what your profession, you can access these educational materials for free.
The Trevor Project has a few different ways to get involved. You can train to be a Trevor Lifeline Volunteer and work with youths who call/text into the service, or you can volunteer on a regional level and work events and promote engagement with the organization. They also accept donations, and you can make a gift in a loved one’s name.
If you’re passionate about the environment, there’s no better time to start fighting against climate change. NextGen Climate is an organization that does just that, but by encouraging voter enthusiasm surrounding environmental issues. Whether it’s registering voters or helping citizens how larger bills affect their community, NextGen Climate is getting people involved with specific climate solutions instead of supporting a pro-environment candidate.
Even though the next election seems far away, you can sign up to volunteer with NextGen Climate on their website. In 2016, they worked to engage millennials and college students, so if you’re a member of either demographic you know that your input and efforts will definitely be appreciated.