In his poem, When Giving Is All We Have, Alberto Álvaro Ríos wrote,
“We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.”
With need especially keen this year during the pandemic, many of us are looking for ways to be “the helpers” for others. Below are some of our favorite Seattle-area organizations who are in need of time, resources, 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. Together we can make the holidays a little brighter for everyone!
Each night in King County, almost 1,100 unaccompanied youth and young adults experience homelessness on any given night, and around 70% of these youth sleep outside because of lack of shelter or housing. Why? A national study found that over 90% of homeless youth reported family conflict and 1/4 suffered from abuse and neglect 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 participating in the Survival Needs Drive, delivering a warm meal, donating cash or most needed items, hosting a virtual fundraiser, or hiring a YouthCare graduate.
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 hosting a virtual food drive, making a cash donation, or volunteering (children age 9 and up can volunteer with you!).
Mary’s Place helps homeless women, children and families from the greater King County area. You can help by participating in their giving tree tag program now through December 11th. 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, or making a cash donation to support their “Lend a Hoping Hand” holiday giving campaign.
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 hosting a holiday drive, purchasing items on their holiday wish list, volunteering, or donating.
With a mission to help people in need of immediate food assistance, the Emergency Feeding Program partners with 120 local agencies to distribute 42,000 meals of quality, nutritional food per week and ensure that no one will go hungry tonight. With volunteering limited this year due to COVID, your cash contribution would be most appreciated.
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 locations in Issaquah, Northshore and Bremerton collect, purchase, and distribute essential care items such as formula, diapers, car seats, warm coats, school supplies, and more for babies and children in need. You can help out by donating goods or cash, shopping off their wish list, volunteering or organizing a drive.
Last year, King County Toys for Tots donated 85,169 toys to 61,092 local children in need. Consider helping out this year by making a cash donation, or asking your organization to become a toy drop site.
**2020 toy donation locations and times to be announced**
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 the equivalent of 116,000 meals every day for hungry children, adults and seniors. 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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