Our Giving Tuesday Picks: Donate to Help These Charities Help the West
From food banks and animal shelters to environmental and LGBTQ causes, these organizations need your support this week
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 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.
In the early days of the pandemic, the outpouring of support for the restaurant workers who’d lost their jobs due to the shutdown has tapered off, but the situation is still dire. While many restaurants have re-opened, it’s only in a limited capacity, and the recent surge can only make things worse. Sacramento-based nonprofit Restaurants Care is one of the handful of relief organizations still accepting donations and disburses grants from $350–$1,000 based on need.
Save the Redwoods League
Want to be a Lorax instead of a Grinch? 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. With your donation, you can not only speak for the trees but also you can help them thrive.
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
You can immediately help feed some of the approximately 66,000 houseless in Los Angeles (some 19,000 of them children) by donating to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, whose generous donors are matching every contribution dollar for dollar on Giving Tuesday. This means a $35 donation will provide 280 meals. The food bank estimates the need for food this fall to be in the realm of some 16 million meals, so give as much as you can.
Having to give up a beloved family pet is a drastic choice no responsible animal guardian should have to make, but it’s happening with distressing frequency these days. This year, I’m giving as much as I can spare to animal shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. I’ll give some love to Walnut Creek’s ARF as well as Humane Society Silicon Valley, which are both places I’ve adopted from over the years, and which both have programs in place to help households struggling with pet-care costs. And I have a special place in my heart for the SFSPCA, where I met a fluffy tuxedo cat named Teacake who was the first pet of my adult life. The SFSPCA also is the force behind one of my favorite Christmas traditions, the Holiday Windows display at Macy’s in downtown San Francisco. Normally, adoptable pets frolic in specially designed displays at street level, attracting huge crowds on the sidewalk. This year, the display is virtual and anyone can tune in via webcam. Of course, these are just three of hundreds of shelters and rescues in the West, and we encourage you to find one in your own community. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer
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.
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.
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 live the life I needed to live. 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
Protect Our Winters
Time spent in our nation’s public lands has surged to unprecedented heights amid a pandemic that has reconfigured our sense of the familiar. To celebrate Giving Tuesday, Protect Our Winters, an organization founded by big mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones to safeguard these outdoor spaces against the detriments of climate change, will be matching any donation up to $10,000. Pull some change from your car’s cupholder and search for that random five bucks you may have forgotten about in your ski jacket. It will all be matched, dollar for dollar, to help move the needle on climate change.
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
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.
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. Donating helps expand the network, which includes schoolyard gardens from Berkeley to New Orleans to New York, and even internationally.