During the holidays, many people (including myself) become distracted by the celebratory holiday sales and lose sight of what really matters. While it's not always a bad idea to treat yourself during Black Friday or become fixated on the newest technology, giving back after this year's pandemic should be a priority.
Due to social distancing guidelines, many in-person volunteer opportunities have limited capacities and may not be the best option for those trying to limit their exposure to unfamiliar groups of people. That's why I've compiled a short list of legitimate nonprofit organizations that are serving a variety of different communities around the world. I encourage you to find an organization that speaks to you, and just give what you can! Anything, no matter how big or small, makes a difference.
Prevent Child Abuse America
Prevent Child Abuse America was founded in Chicago, IL in 1972 and is committed to developing programs that prevent childhood abuse or neglect. One service they provide is evidence based home-visiting strategies that are proven to improve child well-being through Healthy Families America. These service reaches around 100,000 families each year. (Prevent Child Abuse America)
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is comprised of roughly 450 people of 70-plus nationalities who are country experts to lawyers and journalists. These individuals are dedicated to advocating for and protecting vulnerable minorities and civilians suffering in war. The organization works directly with governments and businesses across the world to push changes in policies and practices for victims. (Human Rights Watch)
Mental Health America
Harvard Business Review
Mental Health America is a nonprofit with programs and initiatives dedicated to promoting mental health. Through its 200+ affiliates and associates around the country, the organization works to protect the "lives and dignity of individuals with lived experience and ensure that peers and their voices are integrated into all areas of the organization." (MHA)
Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Conservation Society works alongside indigenous peoples from various regions to protect intact forests, grasslands, and coral reef systems. These systems are culturally valuable and oftentimes the source of livelihoods for many local communities around the world. The nonprofit's core approach to conservation involves indigenous peoples because of the shared interests that make these systems so valuable. (WCS)
Gary Sinise Foundation
The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded in 2011 with the intent to support active duty, veterans, first responders, and their loved ones. Recognizing the difficulty in returning to civilian life- Gary Sinise used his relationship with a broad range of nonprofits and the service community to create programs for our nation's defenders.