The holiday season is finally here! Have you started decorating? Buying gifts for your friends and family? Eaten your body weight in pie? The holidays are a reason for celebration for many, but it’s also a time to remember to give back to our neighbors. No matter what you’re passionate about, we guarantee there is a nonprofit you can donate your money or time to. Here are 10 that are giving back right here in Pittsburgh.
412 Food Rescue
Did you ever wonder what happens to food that isn’t spoiled but can’t be sold for one reason or another, like baguettes that didn’t sell during the day and would be stale tomorrow? 412 Food Rescue is helping food retailers reduce their food waste by providing that food to nonprofits who get it to our neighbors experiencing food insecurity. How can you help? Sign up to be a Food Rescue Hero and transport food from retailers to nonprofits, donate money, or become a food donor.
Calling all animal lovers: Animal Friends might be the nonprofit you choose to support. Since 1943, they have been saving, engaging, enriching and affecting the lives of the pets and people in our neighborhoods. There are plenty of ways to get involved, like attending their events, volunteering, fostering a pet, and, of course, monetary donations.
Beverly’s Birthdays has created over 30,000 birthday experiences for kids across the Pittsburgh region experiencing homelessness. They’re working to make sure no child is forgotten on his or her special day, and we aren’t crying, you’re crying. There are a number of ways you can volunteer your time, like baking, staffing parties, or helping with the birthday boutique, in addition to hosting a donation drive, putting out a Change for Cheer box, or giving a monetary donation.
BikePGH is all about making Pittsburgh safe, accessible, and friendly to bike transportation. They have tons of resources for the most novice to advanced biker, and they put on fun events around the city like Open Streets. You can get involved by becoming a BikePGH member, volunteering, or giving a monetary donation.
The Carnegie Library is so much more than a place to read books. Although yes, you can find any book you’re looking for there. They offer programs for everyone from infants to adults at little or no cost. Programs like small business guidance, career and resume help, free computer and internet access, story time for kids, music or English as a Second Language services, and even acting as a welcome center for immigrants and refugees. The Carnegie Library always accepts volunteers and monetary donations.
Goodwill isn’t just here for your Halloween needs, they’re providing services in our neighborhoods throughout the year. When you shop there, 90 cents from every dollar you spend goes to their education, disability, youth, transition, job search, reintegration, community, and housing services. You can help by shopping at Goodwill or donating goods.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
No one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is working to make sure everyone from kids to seniors are fed. They also provide services to help with nutrition, applying for SNAP benefits, school meals, and more. You can help by attending one of their events, hosting a food or fund drive, becoming an advocate or volunteer, or by giving a monetary donation.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
Another basic need we all have is safe housing. Habitat Pittsburgh is working to help local families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through home ownership. They also provide home repair services for existing home owners. You can donate your time, no matter what your age or skill level is, or give a monetary donation.
Feminine hygiene products are something most of us take for granted. Happy Cycling is one of Pittsburgh’s newer nonprofits, and they’re providing long-term feminine hygiene products to underprivileged women in our area. You can give a monetary donation to help, or attend one of their events. PS: they have an event coming up on Giving Tuesday at Arsenal 201! Check their website for the details.
United Way is focusing on the health, education, financial stability, and basic needs of our neighbors. You might remember we told you about some of their events this summer: here and here. They have a number of programs you can volunteer with or donate to, like being a middle school mentor, helping with free tax preparation, helping seniors live happily at home, or even a networking event to help the Be a Middle School Mentor kids dream about college. Check out their website for more information about all of their programs.
Another really simple way to give back all year long is to do your Amazon shopping through their smile.amazon.com interface. It’s the same Amazon interface you’re familiar with, but with the added benefit of a small percentage of your shopping going to the nonprofit of your choice.
Don’t feel like you need to stick to our list…if you’re passionate about something else, do a little research! We’re sure there’s a nonprofit you can give to that will support it. And don’t forget that if your budget is tight, most nonprofits would love to have your time.This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.