In honor of the eighth annual GivingTuesday, we rounded up some of our favorite local and national organizations supporting causes that are important to us, along with the ways you can organize, donate, and support each one. GivingTuesday is a globally recognized day of giving that was created in 2012. Last year, 3.6 million gifts and $4 million were raised online in the U.S. alone with over 200 local movements happening on the day.
With giving back being as popular as ever, it’s important to check with the organization you’re giving to prior to making a donation so you know what their specific needs are. Most groups can almost always use monetary donations, but if you can’t afford that, volunteering your time is a great way to support and connect with your community.
Downtown Women’s Center
Founded in 1978 and located in Downtown LA, the Downtown Women’s Center focuses exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women.
How to give: Donate your gently used household items for long-term residents, or choose to purchase new items off their Amazon wishlist. But make sure you check their website to make sure they’re accepting donations first. You can also organize a Toiletry Kit party with a group of friends to collect and pack everyday items for women using the day center, or Clean Home Kits for women moving from homelessness into housing.
Angel City Pits
Pit bulls are by far the most commonly abandoned dog breeds at animal shelters. Angel City Pits is an independent rescue organization dedicated to advocating for pit bulls through advocacy work and adoptions.
How to give: Donate your gently used dog toys, beds, crates, or purchase new items from their Amazon wish list. Volunteer to provide rides for adoptable dogs, join a pack hike, host a slumber party, or sign up to foster a dog in your own home to find its forever home.
We also love: Whiskers & Tails Foundation and Best Friends Animal Society
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and is dedicated to helping survivors, educating the public, and improving public policy. RAINN also created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) and carries out programs to prevent sexual violence and ensure perpretrators are brought to justice.
How to give: Volunteer for the National Sexual Assault Hotline and be trained to provide live, anonymous crisis support to survivors across the country. Organize for sexual assault prevention on your campus. Sign up to share your own survivor story to help the public better understand the challenges survivors face, and encourage survivors to come forward when they need support. Rally your friends, family, and community in person or on social media to contribute to supporting survivors of sexual violence.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like by offering learning opportunities to build a supportive community of peers and role models for future female engineers in the United States.
How to give: Start a Girls Who Code Club in your community by donating your time to lead 3rd-5th grade girls through the Girls Who Code curriculum, helping them to build sisterhood within the Club and learn to use computer science to impact their community. Gift the young girls in your life with titles from the Girls Who Code library of inspirational and educational books. Donate online to directly help close the gender gap in tech and help our nation's girls succeed in the jobs of the future.
We also love: Girls Inc.
Los Angeles Food Bank
An estimated 2 million people in Los Angeles County live with food insecurity, which means 1 in 5 people who live here may not know where their next meal is coming from. Since 1973, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank works to source, acquire and distribute food throughout Los Angeles County to provide meals for families and children struggling with hunger in the community.
How to give: Organize a Food drive to collect non-perishable food items, or a Virtual Food Drive to raise donations online. Donate online - every $1 provides food for 4 meals. Volunteer to box, sort and glean food to be later distributed throughout their network. You can volunteer yourself or gather a group of friends.
The holidays are a great time to give back and focus our attention on those in need, but don’t forget that most organizations need support year-round, so it’s best to find a cause you’re passionate about and can continue connecting with. We hope this list inspires you to find an organization you can help this holiday season and beyond.