This year more than ever it feels absolutely imperative to give back to others. The pandemic is just one of the many things that has wreaked havoc on people’s lives in 2020, and there are a lot of communities in need of help. Not that you need a special day to give back, but Giving Tuesday is a really beautiful reminder to lend a hand if you can. And if you need support, there are a lot of great resources to get what you may need.
Every year around this time I feel the pull to help others in my community. I have faced hunger and homelessness as a child, my family had been a sponsored family in the community a couple of times around Thanksgiving and Christmas and I want to pay it forward. Here are a few causes that could really use some support this year, and I hope you can pitch in, too:
- Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation has a list of current drives including 2020 Christmas gifts for Lakota elders and children, as well as books for several reservation elementary schools. If you donate, you can click on an item in need and you can ship it directly to the reservation.
- Toys for Tots is a great way to bring gifts to children in need not only in your community, but across the nation. The closest one to me is about 10 minutes away, however, if you aren’t near a drop-off location, the organization is now are doing gift donations virtually.
- Feeding America helps put food on the tables of those in need of meals. Per Feeding America: “Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 50 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020, including a potential 17 million children.”
- Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library donations help provide books to children who do not have access to them.
- Brave Space Alliance is a great resource for LGBTQ youth in Chicago.
- The Bail Project helps fight against mass incarcerations by providing bail funds for those in need.
- Donors Choose helps teachers across America fund their classroom projects. You can even search for schools in your area that need support.
- Therapy for Black Girls helps connect Black women to therapists and provides community support to help create an open dialogue about mental health.
- Your local animal shelter A quick search can help find your local animal shelters that need funding to house and care for the animals they currently house. For instance, Catsbury Park is a local organization in New Jersey that has had so many cats in their care over the last year and help strays with TNR. Reach out to your local shelter to see the best form of donations: cash, food, or time. It goes a long way.
- Knots of Love if you are crafty, consider making a blanket for babies in the NICU. If you aren’t crafty, consider sending meals to parents with babies in the NICU — they spend many hours in the hospital and giving them a meal is a great way to help.
- Similarly, you can start a meal train to ease the burden of cooking meals during difficult times to others.
- Considering calling your local hopsital to send meals to health care workers on Covid units.
- Be A Santa to a Senior sponsor a senior citizen for the holidays and purchase items from their wishlists.
- Volunteer to send letters and cards to children, seniors, military personnel and more Sending a lovely message to someone who needs a little extra love this year is a great way to give back.
These are just a few organizations you can support on Giving Tuesday. Of course there are countless others, including ones directly in your own states, counties and towns. Please consider giving someone a boost this year if that’s available to you. If it isn’t, kindness is always free.