After the Thanksgiving feast has been eaten and Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending sprees have ended, Giving Tuesday comes around to encourage us all to give a little back to our communities and people in need. If you're in the spirit,
the best places to donate to help children are ready for your help. Whether you want to help kids who are experiencing food insecurity, families of premature babies, or communities who lack a safe spot for their youth to play, there is some worthy group ready to benefit from your donation.
This year, Giving Tuesday falls on Dec. 1. The movement
started in 2012 and has since grown into a global initiative where people find some way to help others whether it's through a donation, volunteer work, or even just helping a neighbor rake their leaves. It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, just something that will brighten someone's day.
Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, volunteer opportunities are limited. You can still help, though, by donating to a non-profit organization. It doesn't have to be a monetary donation, either, because there are several non-profits serving kids that need other kinds of donations like baby clothes and handmade blankets. No matter how you want to give, here are some of the best places to do it if you want to help kids in some way.
1 March Of Dimes
March of Dimes estimates around 500,000 babies will be born premature or with birth defects in the US. In the month of December alone, they estimate 33,000 babies will be born premature, putting their lives and their mothers' lives at risk.
March of Dimes' mission is to support moms during and after pregnancy, regardless of their socio-economic status or demographics, drive and fund research to better understand, prevent, and treat health risks to moms and babies, advocate for healthcare policy change in the US, and provide education and support to families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Additionally, since the start of the pandemic, March of Dimes has been helping to further research in finding an effective treatment and vaccine for COVID-19 that is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
You can donate to March of Dimes here. 2 Afterschool Alliance
Afterschool programs are not only fun for kids, but they are also often essential to working families.
According to America After 3PM, a subset of Afterschool Alliance, around 10.2 million kids are enrolled in afterschool programs across the US, but for every one child enrolled, two are on waiting lists. Addtionally, they have found that 11.3 million kids are unsupervised on weekdays between 3 PM and 6 PM, which is when crimes committed by or against juveniles peaks.
Afterschool programs keep kids safe, oftentimes provide food, and give them the opportunity to expand their knowledge, get involved in their community, and more. Unfortunately, they are underfunded, and Afterschool Alliance aims to change that through its advocacy program where they partner with elected officials, schools, businesses, community leaders, program providers, and more.
You can learn more about the organization and donate to them here. 3 GLSEN
The Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) was
founded by teachers in 1990 because they understood the important role they played in creating a safe and supportive learning space for K-12 LGBTQ+ students. Since then, the organization has evolved, now advising, leading research, and advocating for not only LGBTQ+ students but also for students of marginalized identities as well.
GLSEN has chapters across the US and continues to grow. Through this program, educators have gained access to resources for themselves as well as developmentally appropriate resources for their students, education policies have improved in 15 states, and student-led efforts to create a safer and more inclusive community have been given support and guidance.
You can learn more about GLSEN and donate to the organization here. 4 No Kid Hungry
Pre-pandemic in the US, more than
11 million kids experienced food insecurity at home, and that number has grown significantly since COVID-19 has impacted the country. Many school-age kids rely on meals provided to them by their schools, and No Kid Hungry supports the federal school breakfast, national summer meals, and afterschool meals programs.
In addition to supporting these programs, No Kid Hungry works nationwide to lead research efforts and drive policy change to ensure students have access to the food they need.
You can learn more about the organization and ways you can help through their website. 5 Zero To Three
In order to fully develop and thrive, infants and toddlers need love and support from their parents and caregivers.
Zero to Three understands this need and works to provide parents with education to help them better connect with their babies, works with professionals to equip them with tools to encourage these relationships and promote healthy development, and advocate for these babies and toddlers at the state and federal levels by pushing for policy change that will better support families.
Zero to Three provides resources and information on early childhood development, early learning, parenting, and general policy and advocacy programs.
You can learn more about the organization and support them here. 6 Council For Exceptional Children
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is an international program that provides educators with the tools, professional development, and resources they need to help students with disabilities, gifts, and talents find success in the classroom. The CEC has a presence in all 50 US states as well as in Canada and several other locations globally.
The CEC works outside of the classroom, too, by advocating for policy changes that will help students with exceptionalities on the local, state, and federal levels.
For more information on the organization and ways to donate, check out their website. 7 Stand Up For Kids
Across the US, there are
more than 1.3 million kids experiencing homelessness, and Stand Up For Kids is working diligently to help them. The organization currently operations in 11 states and Washington D.C., but aims to continue to expand across the US to reach even more youth. Stand Up For Kids helps provide outreach programs, housing support, meals, and mentorships to help kids not only find a safe place to stay but to also have the tools they need to end the cycle of homelessness. Check out their website to learn more about Stand Up For Kids and find out how you can help. 8 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is continuously looking for ways to fight and treat childhood cancer. Additionally, they provide inpatient care to kids suffering from various types of cancer through clinical trials and other innovative approaches, all at no cost to their families.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a widely known organization, but if you want to learn more about what they do or how to donate,
check out their website. 9 Newborns In Need
Newborns in Need's mission is to help new families experiencing difficulties get what they need to help take care of their baby in its first few weeks of life. Volunteers help collect and distribute donated and new baby necessities to families across the US. If you aren't able to give monetarily, Newborns in Need has free patterns you can download online to knit, sew, and crochet clothes and blankets for newborns.
You can learn more about the organization and ways to help here. 10 Project Linus
Across the US, babies and children who are ill, traumatized, or are in need in some other way are gifted blankets through Project Linus. Volunteers hand craft the blankets that are then given to kids in their community who are in the hospital, living in shelters, working with social services, and anywhere else that a warm blanket can make a difference. The organization has chapters in every state across the country, and donates hundreds of blankets every month to local kids.
Learn more about them and ways to help here. 11 Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
In 2000, while undergoing treatment for her own cancer,
four-year-old Alexandra Scott wanted to start a lemonade stand to raise money for other kids with cancer. She raised $2,000 on her first day and $1M by 2004, when she sadly passed away. After her death, Alex's parents and brothers promised to honor her legacy by continuing to grow Alex's Lemonade Stand.
Now, the organization is one of the most recognized childhood cancer non-profits in the US. Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation helps support families battling childhood cancer, funds research, and raises awareness to further fight the disease.
You can donate to the sweet organization on their website. 12 ChildHelp
In the US,
every 10 seconds a child abuse report is made. ChildHelp aims to help the millions of kids who are at risk or victims of child abuse through treatment, intervention, and prevention programs. Through ChildHelp, communities receive education and resources to help prevent child abuse, victims are able to be placed into homes with loving caregivers, and abused children are given access to treatment programs to help them cope with their trauma. Learn more about ChildHelp and how to donate here. 13 KABOOM!
Every kid needs a place to get outside and play safely, but not every community offers spaces like these. That's where KABOOM! comes in. They work with communities to help them design and build new or improve existing play spaces and teen spaces. They focus specifically on creating play space equity, giving priority to communities in need.
KABOOM! is doing incredible work, and you can learn more about and donate to them
through their website. 14 The Youth Mental Health Project
The Youth Mental Health Project is a non-profit organization that helps educate and provide resources to parents and communities to better support their kids' mental health. They host events and serve as guest speakers to raise awareness on the importance of mental health and explaining why it is just as important to a child's wellbeing as their physical health. Additionally, they offer parent support services and communities to help them better learn how to identify and/or help treat their child or teen struggling with their mental health.
You can learn more about The Youth Mental Health Project and ways to support them here. 15 National Association For Children Of Addiction
National Association for Children of Addiction estimates that every single second of the day, two babies are born to parents suffering from addiction. Kids growing up in families affected by substance addiction need support and assistance, and that's what this organization aims to provide through advocacy, intervention, and educational programs. The National Association for Children of Addiction also pushes for policy change to better support families at the local, state, and federal levels and provides professional education to primary care physicians, educators, social workers, faith leaders, and more. Check out their website to learn more about the organization and how to make a donation.
This list only scratches the surface of the many amazing organizations that work to help kids across the US. Don't forget, too, that you can help kids right in your community through local charities and organizations. Just do a quick Google search and you'll certainly find a worthy cause to donate to. Giving Tuesday isn't about where or how much you give, it's about helping other people and making the world a little brighter (and it could
really use some brightness after this year).