‘Tis the season of giving and giving back. Remember those less fortunate than you this year by attending one of these events or donating to a local charity. With the right priorities, we can all make the holidays just a little warmer this year.
Assistance League of Charlotte
The Assistance League is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families through community-based philanthropic programs that feed, clothe, educate youth, and provide mentors for children. They have five philanthropic programs: Operation Check Hunger, Operation School Bell, Mecklenburg County Teen Court, Assistance League of Charlotte Scholarship Fund, and Assistance League Outreach. Support the cause by shopping at their thrift shop located at 3405 S. Tryon St., where all proceeds go to support these different philanthropic programs.
PFLAG Charlotte is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. They focus on creating space to understand the ever changing experience of an LGBTQ+ individual in the Charlotte community, and also connect the families of these individuals together with the goal of creating a safer, more equitable society and world for LGBTQ+ people. They offer a variety of resources including peer and parent support groups, suicide prevention resources, as well as blogs and newsletters that share the experiences of LGBTQ+ youths and their families. Head to their website for more information, or explore options to donate and volunteer.
Block Love CLT
Block Love CLT is a non-profit organization that provides essential resources and tools to those who have fallen on hardships in the Charlotte community. With a focus on human rights advocacy, they aim to improve quality of life for diverse communities and work to remedy homelessness and domestic issues by donating supplies and clothing all across Charlotte. To donate, head to The Block on the corner of North Tryon and Pfeifer Avenue or visit the website for more information.
The Arts and Science Council
The Arts and Science Council acts as the cultural background of Charlotte, providing arts advocacy, funding, and cultural event planning for the city. The organization combines funds from the federal, public, and private sector to allow the arts and culture institutions of the queen city to thrive. In the midst of Covid-19 the Arts and Science Council needs our help more than ever. To help support the museums, theatres, galleries, and creative monuments in Charlotte, check out their website.
Autism Charlotte is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families in the Charlotte area that are impacted by autism by creating programs after school that cater to their skill development. They have four main programs: Extended Learning and Development, PATHS, University Autism Outreach, and iCan Bike. Autism Charlotte has impacted the lives of over 4000 children that have been affected by autism, making sure the families and children know that they are not alone and still searching for answers.
Justice Ministires is a non-profit organization fighting sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, with a focus on rehousing and rehabilitating the women that went through this trauma. Justice Ministries reaches out to sex trafficking victims in an attempt to relocate them and get them out of the situation without causing them any harm by their trafficker, they then help them rise above the situation by trying to help them adapt back into a normal life with schooling or a job. Support the cause by donating to their team or by organizing a fundraiser for the team where all the proceeds will go towards rescuing these women.
Feeding Charlotte is a non-profit organization striving to reduce hunger among families by delivering fresh food to said families and attempting to cut back on food waste in Charlotte by educating the public about the food they are delivering. Feeding Charlotte delivers fresh food to other non-profits in the Charlotte area that are focused on feeding the hungry, they partner with other local organizations to save their leftovers and distribute it properly to those in need. Support Feeding Charlotte by donating food containers for distribution or your own fresh meal following the guidelines on the donations page of their website.
Arts for Life
Arts for Life provides patients at the Levine Children’s Hospital (and their families) with a variety of educational art programs. During their stay, children have access to instructor-led classes and group events, or are given the option to have art supplies delivered directly to their bedside. Their mission is to promote a positive healthcare experience for children and their families, while also inspiring these children to be creative. You can support Arts for Life by purchasing art supplies from their wish list, or by making a donation directly on their website.
FeedNC is a Mooresville-based nonprofit organization that connects individuals and families with healthy and nutritious food. FeedNC has created several programs to offer assistance. Their programs range from culinary training courses for those who are currently unemployed, access to fresh produce and other essential items from their food pantry, as well as a grocery delivery service for senior citizens. You can support this organization by donating desired grocery items directly to their pantry, or donating on their website.
Foster Village is a non-profit organization in Charlotte that supports children and families in the foster care system. Their mission is to equip these children with new clothes or personal hygiene products. Beyond that, Foster Village provides counseling services for children, and hosts events for foster families to instill a sense of community. Their new mentorship program provides resources and support for families new to foster care. You can support this organization by purchasing items off their Amazon wish list, or a donation on their website.
The Charlotte Ballet is a non-profit organization with a mission to support artists of the next generation, in addition to giving back to the Charlotte community. Founded in 1970, this institution has a professional company of dancers, and offers a wide variety of classes ranging from classical ballet to more contemporary styles for young students who want to pursue a professional career in dance. Some of their many philanthropic efforts include special classes, like their “Dance for Parkinson’s Disease” class for those debilitated by the disease, and their caretakers; a “Reach Scholarship Program” that provides a dancer with need-based aid for three years; and educational performances for local schools. Support the Charlotte Ballet by donating to the scholarship funds, becoming a corporate sponsor, or volunteering at one of their many events throughout the season.
The HEARTest Yard
The HEARTest Yard is a local program from Receptions For Research: The Greg Olsen Foundation. Olsen, a top-tier tight end in the NFL, founded the organization in 2013 when his youngest son, TJ, was born with a congenital heart defect. The HEARTest Yard supports families of young children with Congenital Heart Disease with goals of providing long-term care, in addition to helping “heart kids” navigate their new normal. In a partnership with Levine Children’s Hospital located in the center of Charlotte, Olsen’s program keeps showing up for local kids who need assistance, care, and support. Olsen hosts a 5K race each year to raise money and benefits for those in need and donations are always accepted online.
Go Jen Go Foundation
One-in-eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Go Jen Go is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to local individuals and their families during all stages of this vicious illness. This foundation is dedicated to and in memory of Jen Pagani, a Charlotte wife and mother who lost her seven-year battle with breast cancer in 2014. Since its inception, Go Jen Go has helped many Charlotte families with medical expenses and emotional support with fundraising events that happen year-round, including 24 Hours of Booty, the Run Jen Run 5K, Pink in the Rink, and Cheers Jen Cheers. Heartwarming stories of appreciation for the foundation and its help from survivors can be found online.
Project New Heights
Project New Heights is a North Carolina based non-profit dedicated to enhance the quality of life for underserved, at-risk youth through educational advocacy, support, and dropout prevention services. They work to strengthen communication between schools and their communities, engage families in students’ academic experiences, and involve students in their own academic planning. Project New Heights strives to address any challenges that may be impeding academic success, such as emotional and behavioral problems, substance abuse, truancy, homelessness, family relations, peers relations, and low academic performance. Overall, their commitment is to empower students to stay in school, graduate,and effectively transition into adulthood while achieving economic self-sufficiency. Support Project New Heights by donating a monetary contribution through their website, or shopping at the Amazon link on their site as well.
Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage
The JK Foundation for Courage is dedicated towards creating a future without intimate partner violence. They seek to accomplish this by funding initiatives with defined outcomes that prevent intimate partner violence, that provide educational curriculum for youth and young adults, that promote awareness, and that provide credible research for the exploration of innovative methods that stop intimate partner violence. The foundation was founded in honor of Jamie Kimble, a 31-year-old daughter and friend, who was killed by her abusive boyfriend. Support the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage by donating through their site, or sending a check to the Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage, 1850 E. Third Street, Suite 110, Charlotte, NC 28204. Checks should be made payable to: Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage.
Kids with PossAbilities
Kids with PossAbilities works to provide funding for therapy, assistive technology and educational scholarships for children with developmental delays in the Greater Charlotte area. The organization was inspired by the daughter of the founder, Ava, who was diagnosed with autism. Dana Leung started Kids with PossAbilties to help other families get access to critical therapies and educational opportunities for children with developmental delays. Support Kids with PossAbilities by donating on their website through the Novant Health Foundation.