Looking to share your bounty this holiday season? Below are some of my favorite Seattle-area organizations who can use your time, household items, toys, and more to help improve the lives of homeless and low-income families in our area. You might also check out these tips on how to make the most of charitable giving.
Northwest Harvest’s mission is to end hunger in Washington. They partner with 375 food pantries, meal programs, and high-need schools across the state to provide nutritious food and promote good health for those in need. You can help by volunteering at the Cherry Street Food Bank in Seattle (children in 3rd grade or older are welcome to volunteer with you!). You can also host a virtual food drive or make a cash/vehicle donation.
Mary’s Place helps homeless women, children and families from the greater King County area. With a list of families that has double this year, the need for help is higher than ever. You or your organization might consider supporting their giving tree (donations due by December 7th) or joining in the Brooks Holiday Fun Run on December 1st benefiting the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign. You can also volunteer your time, donate wishlist items, or share your used clothing, blankets, and coats.
Hopelink provides critical services to homeless and low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities on north and east King County. You can help by donating food or grocery gift cards to their food bank, contributing unwrapped toys to their holiday gift room, or volunteering to help with their holiday giving events.
Each night in Seattle, 700-1,000 young people are homeless and most were traumatized before they reached the streets. YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, and employment training. Lend a hand by volunteering, hosting a drive, or hiring a YouthCare graduate.
Did you know less than 50% of Washington state youth in foster care graduate from high school? Treehouse seeks to level the playing field by providing academic and other essential support foster kids need to graduate at the same rate as their peers, with a plan for their future. You can help by volunteering, hosting a drive or donating to their holiday program.
With a mission to help people in need of immediate food assistance, the Emergency Feeding Program partners with 240 local agencies to distribute 50,000 bags of quality, nutritional food and ensure that no one will go hungry tonight. You can help by donating these most needed foods or making a cash contribution.
Eastside Baby Corner was founded by a local pediatric nurse concerned about the large numbers of babies in her practice who began life without basic essentials like adequate food, clothing, beds, or safety equipment. Today Eastside Baby Corner’s location in Issaquah, Northshore and Bremerton collect, purchase, and distribute essential care items such as formula, diapers, carseats, warm coats, school supplies, and more for babies and children in need. You can help out by volunteering, donating, or organizing a drive.
Since 1947, The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program has distributed 548 million toys to 251 million children in need. Consider helping out this year by donating a new toy, volunteering, or asking your organization to become a toy drop site.
Every year, nearly 40% of our country’s food ends up in landfills, while millions go hungry. Food Lifeline attempts to solve both problems by rescuing millions of pounds of surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, and restaurants. They then deliver this healthy and nutritious food to more than 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs across Western Washington–providing 97,000 meals every day. You can help by volunteering (opportunities are available for kids as young as 6, too!), donating funds or hosting a food drive.
Wellspring helps low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County address issues such as mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention. Each year they help thousands of children and families break cycles of instability, homelessness, and adversity to achieve positive, permanent change. You can help by donating to their Giving Together holiday campaign or getting your children involved in the Kids Helping Kids youth philanthropy program.
Founded and run by a group of philanthropic women over 100 years ago, Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. You can help their patients by donating a new toy or gift card, volunteering, contributing funds, or supporting one of its guilds (such as the Project Kids Cancer Cure Guild).
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