One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the feeling in the air that everyone's a little kinder and a little more giving. A great way to put this generosity to work is by volunteering with or raising funds for a nonprofit that supports something you believe in. There are so many nonprofits out there, you're bound to find one that lines up with the fire inside of you. Here's a handful of some of my favs that I'll certainly be supporting this season.
1. To Write Love On Her Arms
To Write Love On Her Arms is one nonprofit I've been a longtime supporter of. It's an organization aimed at presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicide. The organization raises awareness and starts the conversation about mental health while also raising money that goes directly into treatment for people struggling. Check them out here.
Love146 is an amazing organization that works internationally toward the abolition of child trafficking and exploitation. The money they raise goes directly toward survivor care, prevention education, professional training, grassroots empowerment, and contributing to a growing body of research. Check them out here.
3. Planned Parenthood
A lot of people are surprised to hear that Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit. This one is pretty well known but also at risk due to the recent political climate. Planned Parenthood offers a wide range of reproductive health care for all genders, including abortions, birth control, STD testing, cancer screenings, HIV/AIDS services, and much more. Planned Parenthood offers high-quality, affordable health care and is an organization we desperately need to support, especially now. Check them out here.
4. National Eating Disorder Association
Another one close to my heart. The National Eating Disorders Association is devoted to preventing eating disorders through awareness and education, providing treatment referrals, and increasing the education surrounding eating disorders, weight, and body image. The organization provides a hotline for those struggling and a screening tool for those unsure of where they stand as well as many other services and resources. Check them out here.
5. Feeding America
Although one in six kids in the United States struggles with hunger, we often forget that it's such a problem at home. Feeding America runs more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies. Check them out here.
6. Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project provides a variety of programs, services, and events for wounded veterans following 9/11. The organization focuses on not only bringing services to these veterans and their families but also helping them through the transition from their time in the service to their time back home. They focus on helping veterans with all kinds of ailments such as physical injuries, traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and more. Check them out here.
7. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is the nation's biggest and most comprehensive center related to the prevention of and recovery from child victimization. They help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization in all forms. Check them out here.
8. Humane Society of the United States
This nonprofit works to protect animals on both a small scale and a large scale. They provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year and fund education and training for local organizations. Some of the specific cruelties they are fighting against include puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts, and the wildlife trade. They also run many rescue shelters and are currently raising money to help the animals affected by recent natural disasters. The Humane Society really warms my heart. Check them out here.
9. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude is a leading children's hospital pioneering research and treatments for kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The majority of funding comes from individual contributions, so families never receive a bill from St. Jude. Research is also a vital part of the work they do as treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. Check them out here.
10. Crisis Text Line
I've personally benefited from this organization many times and I think it's a breakthrough in terms of hotlines and responding to crises. Crisis Text Line is just like any other hotline except conversations take place solely over text. It's convenient, less intimidating than a phone call, and connects you to a trained counselor in seconds. Check them out here.
11. The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline operates around the clock connecting callers with highly trained, experienced advocates to offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information, and referral services in more than 200 languages. Their database holds more than 5,000 agencies and resources in communities all across the country and chatting and texting options are also available. The NDVH is the only national, full-service hotline that answers the call for both victims and survivors, along with concerned friends, family, coworkers, and others seeking information and guidance on how to help someone they know. Check them out here.