Erin Kunkel

The West is full of charities doing great work. Consider supporting one this week, when your generosity can do the most good

Sunset Staff  – December 2, 2019

The West has given all of us so much. Here’s how we are showing our thanks this Giving Tuesday. We encourage all of you to follow your hearts December 3 and donate to organizations you believe in, too. it’s a great way to kick off the holiday season, and on this particular day, many organizations will find gifts matched by benefactors. Even a modest donation can have a real effect, so please give to these groups or any charitable outfit that speaks for you.

Save the Redwoods League

Want to be a Lorax instead of a Grinch this holiday season? This nonprofit dedicated to preserving the majestic sequoia trees of California—truly one of the Golden State’s richest natural treasures—has protected more than 200,000 acres of redwood forests and helped launch 66 redwood parks and reserves. This year for Giving Tuesday, the organization is offering you the chance to triple your gift and in the process help purchase Alder Creek, the largest remaining privately owned giant sequoia forest in the world. The purchase will allow the nonprofit to properly restore the 530-acre property containing hundreds of ancient sequoias. With your donation, you can not only speak for the trees but also you can help them thrive. —Jessica Mordo, associate digital director

 

Save the Redwoods League
   

Oregon Food Bank

I grew up without always getting enough to eat, so the Oregon Food Bank is extremely near and dear to my heart. Every year I try to make a little time to take my kid to volunteer at their warehouse, but sometimes all I can muster is whipping out my checkbook. And that’s okay! For every dollar you donate, OFB is able to provide three meals to someone in need. —Heather Arndt Anderson, garden editor

Oregon Food Bank
   

No Kid Hungry

There are so many children in the U.S. who show up to school with an empty stomach because there isn’t enough food at home. No Kid Hungry works to provide meals for students so they can be well-fed and focused throughout the school day. The non-profit also hosts free nutrition education classes that help families learn about healthy, practical eating habits. —Maya Wong, assistant editor

No Kid Hungry
   

International Rescue Committee

Increasingly concerned by how climate change and the struggle for resources and land have influenced war and global migration? For Giving Tuesday, give generously to @IRC, the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian org that works to help refugees worldwide, from Yemen to Venezuela, Haiti to Syria. Founded at the request of Albert Einstein to aid refugees fleeing Nazi Germany, the org still follows in those same footsteps to meet people where they are and help them survive and thrive in the tides of natural disasters, war, and conflict. Thinking of the fortune of my own education, I’ve rallied my female friends together to fund several girls for a year of school. We know our money’s really helping: IRC has an A rating on Charity Watch and a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator. —Dakota Kim, staff writer

International Rescue Committee
   

The Trevor Project

I’m one of the lucky ones. When I was a confused and closeted young person, I was able to muster the means to move to San Francisco, where I was able to become who I needed to be. And when I was ready to share my truth, my friends and family turned out to be my biggest allies. I thank my lucky stars every day that I ended up in a safe place. But until that’s true of every queer kid in America, I will continue to donate to the Trevor Project. This West Hollywood-based organization runs the TrevorLifeline, a hotline for LGBTQ youth, a demographic tragically prone to suicide. Sometimes hearing a supportive voice is all it takes for a kid to realize they’re not alone—and that it really can get better. A holiday miracle indeed. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

The Trevor Project
   

This Is About Humanity

I first learned about TIAH’s mission to provide humanitarian support to families on both sides of the border last year and have been inspired to support the organization in any way that I can ever since. Their work to raise awareness about overwhelmingly heartbreaking family separations at the border is incredible. Through their sponsorship fund at the International Community Foundation, they’ve been able to support individuals with aid like legal services, mental health programs, and immediate critical needs like medicine, food, and clothing. If you have the means to donate, it can make a big impact for those families. —Jasmin Perez, digital strategy director

This Is About Humanity
   

Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries aims to support men and women who were previously incarcerated or gang-affiliated by offering programs that range from educational opportunities to workforce development to mental health services. —Janessa Reyes, social media manager 

Homeboy Industries
   

The Edible Schoolyard 

The non-profit started by Alice Waters is dedicated to building a national edible education curriculum for pre-K through high-school students. It prioritizes giving kids access to healthy lunches at school, while supporting ranchers and farmers. I’ve seen what public school lunches look like first-hand, as the parent of a first grader, and I whole-heartedly support this effort that impacts future generations. Donating helps expand the network, which includes schoolyard gardens from Berkeley to New Orleans to New York, and even internationally. —Ellen Fort, food editor