The Season of Giving
An article celebrating the Thanksgiving season by highlighting local and worldwide nonprofits to donate to
Written by Andrea Brazis
November brings the holiday of Thanksgiving, which usually makes you think of honey roasted turkey, whipped mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. During Thanksgiving, families and friends alike get together for a big dinner to celebrate their appreciation for each other. Although this holiday isn’t generally considered a part of the “gift-giving season,” it certainly should be.
Thanksgiving is the one of the few times a year that everyone stops working for the day. This year, more than any other, I realize that not everyone gets an opportunity to celebrate with their family. Not everyone has the money to have large family dinners; some people feel that they have little to be thankful for.
Giving someone else something to be thankful for is a selfless yet fulfilling act that can leave a permanent impact on someone’s life.
This Thanksgiving season, I encourage you to donate to a nonprofit or charity, and research the missions of these places and the impact they leave on their communities. Giving someone else something to be thankful for is a selfless yet fulfilling act that can leave a permanent impact on someone’s life.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is a program that funds research and supports families in an effort to find a cure for childhood cancer. Childhood cancer research is severely underfunded in comparison to other types of cancers; it’s ALSF’s mission to create the opportunity to find a cure.
This program began as a lemonade stand run by 4-year old Alexandra “Alex” Scott who raised $2,000. She was battling neuroblastoma and specifically asked for the money to be donated so a cure for childhood cancer may be found.
What can I do?
Monetary donations can be made through Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation website. However, there’s more than one way to get involved with this program. You may join as a business or organization, a school or university, or simply create a memorial page to honor those who’ve passed. You can also check out the number of events all over the U.S. that fundraise for ALSF, as well as opportunities to volunteer with Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Paws With a Cause
Paws With a Cause is a nonprofit organization that enhances the quality of life for disabled individuals through trained service dogs. This program creates customized training for assistance dogs and works to understand both the individual client and the dog, to ensure that the program best fits their needs.
Paws With a Cause typically trains Golden Retrievers, Labradors or Golden Retriever-Labrador mixes. All dogs go through a health and temperament screening before starting their program. PAWS dogs are trained in over 40 possible tasks, including opening doors, retrieving items and tugging to remove articles of clothing. A few PAWS specialty training programs include service, seizure response and hearing. The dogs in these subsets all learn other specialized tasks to help clients with their specific disability.
What can I do?
Donations can be made directly online through Paws With a Cause and provide significant assistance in the finances in training a service dog. Additionally, you may volunteer with Paws With a Cause to directly assist with the program by raising a foster PAWS puppy or becoming a dog parent home. These positions are so important in giving the dogs a safe and warm environment to grow up in so that, one day, they may become a source of assistance and light for someone else.
Salvation Army is an international charity organization with a worldwide membership of over 18 million individuals; it’s easily one of the most well renowned charities. In 2020, Salvation Army raised $1.8 billion as a result of the pandemic, providing clothes and various necessities to those who needed them most. Currently, there are 131 locations worldwide, from the United States to Pakistan, Kenya and beyond.
Salvation Army provides a variety of services to help a variety of people, including disaster relief, holiday giving, LGBTQ+ support, veterans’ services, help for domestic abuse, rehabilitation, homeless shelters and food pantries. Through fundraisers and community donations, Salvation Army is able to provide assistance wherever needed, for the good of the people.
What can I do?
Monetary donations may be made through the Salvation Army website in any increment. Vehicular and edible donations may be directly delivered to or picked up from one of Salvation Army’s locations by yourself or a volunteer.
The Salvation Army is also frequently searching for individuals to volunteer with Salvation Army. Volunteering could be anything from helping at a food pantry to assembling gifts for their Angel Tree Program. This is a wonderful opportunity to give back to your local community and become a part of something bigger than yourself.
The Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is an environmental organization with millions of members all over the world. Their goal is to amplify and defend everyone’s right to a vibrant and healthy world; for them, actions speak louder than words. This powerful movement works hard to protect parks and monuments. They advocate for clean air and energy as well as protect endangered species.
The Sierra Club partners with a variety of businesses and companies to build a more inclusive and strong movement.
What can I do?
Donations in any amount can be made directly on The Sierra Club website. You may also support this project by becoming a member of the club, whether it be single or joint. Additionally, you can become a part of the Sierra team by applying to volunteer with The Sierra Club at a location near you, whether in-person or virtually.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project was created in 1998 and serves as a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for individuals in the LGBTQ+ community. They estimate that 1.8 million young LGBTQ+ people consider suicide each year. This program lends crisis support and counselors to talk or simply listen. Additionally, advocacy, education and research programs are all available, which allow individuals to connect and better understand the LGBTQ+ community.
As our world is constantly progressing and growing, making these resources available to young people is essential. Everyone deserves a safe space.
What can I do?
Direct monetary donations may be made through The Trevor Project website. You may also become an advocate for this project and volunteer with The Trevor Project, by partnering with them or even exploring the fundraiser opportunities through their program.