If the holiday season makes you feel like giving back, you're far from alone. Many people find themselves compelled to donate money, time, or items to people in need during this time of year. In fact, there's a whole day dedicated to this: Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday, which takes place this year on November 28, 2023, is a day that's all about giving back. It's important to remember to give to those who are in need amid the craziness of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales and the general hectic atmosphere of the holiday season. In addition to shopping small businesses for gifts that give back to worthy causes, you should also research some causes that feel important to you and find a way to give what you can. If you're feeling called to help young people in America and around the globe, we've identified the best charities for children that you can donate to now.
The charities and causes we've highlighted all have high scores from Charity Navigator, so you can rest easy knowing your money is supporting a worthy cause. We've included some basic information about the mission of each organization, but you should feel empowered to do further research and find the organization that best aligns with your values. We've highlighted organizations dedicated to many causes including fighting childhood food insecurity, funding research into childhood cancers, advocating for young women, and providing essential items to children in foster care.
In addition to the organizations we've highlighted here, we also encourage you to look to local organizations in your area and see if they are in need of donations or volunteers. Giving back to your community is one of the best things you can do around the holidays or at any other time of year.
These are the best charities for children that you can donate to now.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that's focused on helping children in the U.S. and around the world. They focus on addressing the root causes of poverty and injustice globally. Some of World Vision's missions that you can donate to include purchasing family emergency kits of fresh food and household essentials, providing clean water, and buying mobility aids for children with disabilities.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is dedicated to helping sick children. Their mission is to research cures and preventative treatments for a wide variety of life-threatening pediatric diseases including cancer and blood disorders. Families who are treated at St. Jude never receive a bill for medical treatment, travel expenses, food or housing. Your donation can help cover these costs and support important research into a variety of devasting pediatric illnesses.
My Stuff Bags Foundation
When children are entering foster care or a crisis shelter, they often aren't able to take their personal possessions or comfort objects. My Stuff Bags Foundation provides individual duffels filled with "brand new, age- and gender-appropriate toys, books, a stuffed animal, school supplies, clothing, personal toiletries, and a warm, often hand-made 'security' blanket, all theirs to keep," according to their website. There are many ways to support My Stuff Bags Foundation. You can donate money to the organization to fill the bags, or donate items. You can also make a no-sew fleece blanket using the guide on their website, and send it in as an item to be donated.
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is a charity dedicated to the cause of fighting childhood cancer. The money you donate can be directed towards cancer research, covering travel costs for families, or providing support to siblings of young cancer patients. You can donate through their website, which gives you options for a one-time donation as well as a recurring monthly donation.
UNICEF is the United Nation's Children's Fund, and has a far-reaching mission to aid children around the globe. Some of their focus areas include empowering girls and women, bringing supplies to children trapped in war zones, providing essential healthcare during crisis situations, advocating for children's rights, working to provide aid for disabled children, providing clean drinking water, and more.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
When children are receiving treatment in a hospital, it's common for families to be forced to spend lots of money on hotel rooms and food costs. That's where Ronald McDonald House Charities comes in. They provide Ronald McDonald Houses for families to stay in comfort near their child's hospital and connect with others, without incurring huge hotel bills. The organization also offers Ronald McDonald Family Room programs, which give families a comfortable place to rest and shower in the hospital, and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs, which bring essential healthcare services into communities.
Zero to Three
Zero to Three is an advocacy organization that recognizes the importance of supporting a child during their first three years of life. By donating to them, you're supporting important research into early childhood development and making sure that parents, early childhood educators, and families have the resources and tools they need to give babies and toddlers the best possible start in life. Some of the issue areas Zero to Three focuses on include early childhood education, childcare, and economic security.
Girls Inc.'s mission is "inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold." They work towards this mission by providing community programming for girls between the ages of 5 and 18 on topics including life skills, health and development, leadership, mental health and more. They help girls in cities and towns across the country develop self-confidence and the skills they need to become happy and healthy members of their communities through mentorship and continued educational support.
AdoptAClassroom.org is an innovative platform advancing equity in education. According to their website, 96% of teachers purchase school supplies using their own money to ensure that their students don't go without essentials. Most of them are spending more than $800 a year on supplies, but you can help by donating to a specific classroom, school or fund through AdoptAClassroom.org. This is a great way to donate, since educators can immediately use the funds to purchase the items they need for their classroom.
Marine Toys for Tots
The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots is a program that many people donate to around the holidays. Their mission is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute them to children in need around the holidays. There are multiple ways you can support Marine Toys for Tots. You can donate money towards the cause as a one-time donation, set up a recurring monthly, quarterly, or yearly donation, or find a donation collection in your area to drop off a new, unwrapped toy. You can also find out about additional donation options through their website.
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