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Six Local Organizations To Donate to for Giving Tuesday

Brown woman holding credit card and phone over the logo for Giving Tuesday.

A lot of national and international organizations get a lot of attention for Giving Tuesday. If you have the money to spare, we suggest donating to somewhere local, too.

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The Tuesday after Black Friday is dedicated to donating to nonprofits. We’ve compiled a few local organization to consider donating to in our and your local communities. These are essential groups that need just as much support as the bigger organizations, but have a much smaller budget and microphone to market from.

FIEL Houston

Early FIEL Houston rally with sign in English and Spanish reading "For families and their education."
(FIEL)

Founded in 2007 by Houston college students, FIEL is a civil rights organization and advocacy group run by immigrants and the children of immigrants. While still very segregated, the Greater Houston Area is among the most diverse in the U.S. and home to people from all around the world.

FIEL specializes in free services regarding education (all, but especially college) and immigration resources. Additionally, they organize to meet other community needs, too. This includes things like organizing to get immigration protections (at all levels—local, state, and federal), accountability for victims of police violence, disaster recovery aid, tenants’ rights, and so much more. Donate to FIEL Houston here.

Alyssa Shotwell.

White Pony Express

White Pony Express Logo featuring a horse in a heart.
(White Pony Express)

White Pony Express is a different kind of charity organization. It runs on a model called “The Circle of Giving.” They take clothing and food from the community where there is too much and redistribute the resources to people who are in need of it. For example, if a catering business or restaurant has excess food, White Pony delivers the food to people who are experiencing food insecurity. Any food not fit for human consumption is either donated to a local wildlife rehabilitation center or composted for local gardens. It ensures the community’s needs are met while minimizing waste. Donate to White Pony Express here.

D.R. Medlen.

Abortion funds

Abortion access continues to be under attack across the country. Fortunately, there are incredible activists and organizations fighting back. The Midwest Access Coalition helps pregnant people traveling to, from, and within the Midwest to access safe and legal abortion—an unfortunately necessary service as many states in the area have harsh abortion bans and are also trying desperately to ban interstate travel for the purpose of obtaining an abortion.

The National Network of Abortion Funds also does incredible work in a similar area. The group is a collection of 100 abortion funds nationwide. In my area, that includes the Missouri Abortion Fund (MoAF). Like the Midwest Access Coalition, they don’t offer direct funds to patients. Instead, they work with local clinics, covering portions of the cost of abortion services, including counseling, for those who need it.

MoAF says that since they began funding procedures in 2016, they’ve contributed more than $1.3 million toward abortion care for over 7,000 Missourians from all over the state.

Donate to MoAF here and/or the Midwest Access Coalition here. For those in other areas, find your region’s fund in the National Network of Abortion Funds here.

Vivian Kane.

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity logo with a road, hill, and sunrise.
(Rising Sun)

All over the country, the trade industries (i.e. electricians, plumbers, carpenters) are experiencing a lack of qualified applicants. Rising Sun Center for Opportunity trains women, at-risk youth, and those with employment challenges to work in these fields. Focusing on job safety, climate-friendly solutions, and liveable wage jobs, Rising Sun has helps change the lives of people all over the San Francisco Bay Area. They work with people to ensure their personal lives are safe and balanced, helping participants attain housing or mental health services so they can be successful on the job. Donate to Rising Sun here.

D.R. Medlen.

Pasadena Animal Shelter & Adoption Center

Tornado damaged Pasadena, Texas animal shelter.
(City of Pasadena)

When people think of animal shelters, they go straight to the big city ones and the ASPCA. Those are great, but there are also small ones serving our local communities nationwide. For Giving Tuesday, I recommend donating a few dollars to your local animal shelter.

If they’re well resourced and you want to donate to another one, I recommend the one in Pasadena, TX. They need extra help because their facilities have been severely limited due to the first-ever destructive tornado in the city’s history ripping through the building. While they’re still providing resources to pet owners in need like shots and pet food, they can’t take in animals at the moment. If you haven’t divested from Amazon yet, you can also send donations directly through their wish list. Donate to Pasadena Animal Shelter here.

Alyssa Shotwell.

Harvesters

Food insecurity is a massive issue facing millions of people in the U.S. and it’s only getting worse. More than one in eight (12.8%) U.S. households experienced food insecurity last year, a sharp increase from 2021 (10.2%), and that number is rising in 2023.

As a food bank and community food network, Harvesters collects, processes, stores, and distributes food to hundreds of partner agencies, including food pantries, community kitchens, and shelters in Missouri and Kansas. They make sure the food gets where it needs to go to help as many people as possible, feeding more than a quarter million people every month. The group’s mission is mission is “feeding hungry people today and working to end hunger tomorrow.”

By the way, during her Eras tour, Taylor Swift quietly made hefty donations to groups connected to national org Feeding America, including an undisclosed but “generous” donation to Harvesters during her stop in Kansas City. (And that was before she fell for our tight end.) Be like Taylor: Donate your food, money, or time to Harvesters or your local food bank.

Donate to Harvester here or find your local Feeding America member organization here.

Vivian Kane.

Project Row Houses

As a museum-head, I had to get one in and one of the best museum-like places doing fantastic work in serving their community is Project Row Houses. Founded by seven artists in 1993, PRH is a community nonprofit serving the residents of one of Houston two major historical Black neighborhoods, Third Ward.

The row houses served as installation/studio spaces for underrepresented artists outside of traditional practice and gave an economically disadvantaged neighborhood access to engaging art without needing to travel into unwelcoming spaces. The main pillars of the organization are community enrichment, neighborhood development, and art.

In addition to interesting art installations in the row houses, the organization offers free business-oriented sessions to residents, distributes food aid, has a free housing program for young mothers in their final stretch of college, and works with the local food co-op. Probably most importantly, PRH has worked to slow and reverse gentrification to give residents the tools to stay and not get pushed out. Donate to Project Row Houses here.

Alyssa Shotwell.

Honorable mentions

With Mississippi still in a water crisis and Palestinians still under brutal occupation, please see those respective lists and consider donating there, too.

(featured image: Giving Tuesday/Anete Lusina via Pexels)

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Author

Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.

Author

Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

Author

D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.

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