Holiday Giving: A Season to be Generous

By Bobbi Booker

November 28, 2017 marks the sixth annual #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. The awareness initiative was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to Black Friday/Cyber Monday consumerism and commercialization in the post-Thanksgiving season. Giving Tuesday has been praised as an antidote to consumer culture and as a way for people to give back. According to USA today, #GivingTuesday broke a record in 2016, with $168 million in charitable donations worldwide, topping the 2015 totally by 44%.

This holiday season FunTimes Magazine is promoting effective altruism by highlighting Philadelphia-based nonprofits and charity organizations that work tirelessly in serving men, women, children, families and communities throughout the region and beyond.All the organizations have links for easy online donations, but many offer up other ways to contribute as well. Below is a link to each organization with a description of their work as posted on their websites.

Givology! is an online giving marketplace for education that leverages small dollar donations to support grassroots projects and student scholarships in the developing world. Launched in March 2008 by students at the University of Pennsylvania, Givology democratizes philanthropy by introducing choice, transparency, and information sharing in education philanthropy in the geographic areas it serves in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

The Evoluer House,a nonprofit organization, delivers empowerment programs that help girls to envision a future devoid of disadvantages and filled with possibilities. The target population is girls of color in Philadelphia aged 13 to 18, who are experiencing a unique set of social and emotional challenges and barriers to success. Their curriculum equips girls with the tools to become college-bound and career-ready, and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. They recently celebrated the graduation of the 1,000th girl from its program; 100% of those graduates have gone on to attend college or post-secondary education/training. Many have also earned advanced

S.P.E.A.K. — which stands for Staying Positive Equals Amazing Kids — provides education and activities that encourage youth to become responsible, productive citizens. They aim to empower children with the courage to speak out on issues that affect their lives and the communities where they live. Their efforts encourage children to stay in school and understand that education is essential for their future, and help them to think positively and with skills and guidance to achieve a successful life.

Maternity Care Coalition‘s (MCC) mission is to improve maternal and child health and well-being through the collaborative efforts of individuals, families, providers and communities.MCC serves over 4,000 women and babies a year; Pennsylvania’s largest provider of Early Head Start services that benefit low-income pregnant women, families and children in SE

Women Against Abuse has operated Philadelphia’s only safe havens for victims of domestic violence, since 1977. Its mission is to provide quality, compassionate, and nonjudgmental services to foster self-respect and independence in persons experiencing intimate partner violence and to lead the struggle to end domestic violence through advocacy and community education.

The Cancer Support Community Greater Philadelphia (CSCGP) provides, at no cost to members, a comprehensive and professional program of emotional support and education to enhance the mind, body and spirit of people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. CSCGP offers programs at Ridgeland in Fairmount Park, at Gilda’s Club in Warminster, Doylestown Hospital, Abington Memorial Hospital, Temple University Hospital, and St. Mary Medical. Contact CSCGP at (215) 879-7733 or (215) 441-3290;; like CSCGP on Facebook.

The Center for Advancement in CancerEducation(CACE), founded 40 years ago, believes that 90% of all cancers can be eliminated through environmental & lifestyle choices alone, and science agrees. They have helped more than 25,000 people, via phone counseling or face-to-face at no cost, by providing research-based education, on how to prevent, cope with, and beat cancer through diet, lifestyle and other immune-boosting approaches; they do not diagnose or treat. (Donations appreciated). They also provide an online Holistic Cancer Coach Certification Program. Offices in Richboro, PA;;(215) 942-6438; Toll Free: 1-888-551-2223

Shoot Basketballs NOT People (SBNP) uses the sport to save and change the lives of youth. It is a non-profit organization that provides support to all youth that struggle with the peer pressures of conforming to negative measures as a way of life. SBNP works to decrease violence that inhibits youth in their childhood and perpetuates a cycle in which too many of today’s victims become tomorrow’s criminals.

The Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a nonprofit that works with teachers to transform instruction so that children can become powerful readers, writers and thinkers. Many Philadelphia schools have benefitted from CLI’s classroom libraries, teacher coaching, and support for parents and children as well.

Philadelphia READS® mission is to raise a city of readers through quality out-of-school-time programs focused to get children and youth to read on or above grade level by grade four.

MightyWriters is where 400 of the city’s best creative minds come together annually to help over 2,500 kids from Philadelphia learn to write with clarity. The mission of MightyWriters is to teach kids ages 7 to 17 to think and write so they can achieve success at school, at work and in life.

Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP) is a non-profit corporation that organizes volunteers to make essential home repairs for low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia. Since it was founded in 1988, more than 21,000 volunteers have contributed over 250,000 hours, resulting in the rehabilitation of 713 houses and 22 community agencies. The work of these volunteers, in addition to donated materials and funds, is estimated to have been worth almost $18 million dollars. The work is done at no cost to homeowners, although they are encouraged to work alongside volunteers.

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) is a non-profit organization that improves the health of families in the developing world through self-sustainable programs. FIMRC provides clinical services, community outreach, and health education programs. Founded in 2002, it is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, with a team of over 3,000 staff and volunteers.

MANNA (Metropolitan Area Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance) is a non-profit organization that cooks and delivers medically-appropriate meals and provides nutrition counseling to neighbors who are battling life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease, and HIV/AIDS.  Through the delivery of three meals a day, seven days a week, MANNA provides hope and nourishment to the Greater Philadelphia area and Southern New Jersey. Each year 4,200 caring neighbors chop, cook, dice and deliver meals – enabling MANNA to provide all meals and counseling free of charge.

The People’s Emergency Center’s (PEC) mission is to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and drive change in West Philadelphia. PEC offers affordable housing, job training, parenting and early childhood education, financial education and planning, life skills and technology coursework. PEC seeks to inspire women and children to aspire to new heights.

The Career Wardrobe (TCR) is the nation’s largest community-based, non-profit organization serving women transitioning into the workforce by providing professional attire and innovative educational programs. Since 1995, TCW has assisted nearly 70,000 women by inspiring the confidence necessary to achieve independence.  Their Gateway to Success Seminars and Professional Women’s Network provide opportunities for women to retain employment and develop career plans.

MenzFit is a non–profit organization, begun in 2001, whose mission is ensuring long–term gainful employment and financial fitness to low–income men who are largely minority with little formal education by providing professional interview clothing, career development and financial literacy services. They have helped more than 6,100 men, creating more than $54,000,000 in taxable income (based on an average salary of $17,500).

Back on My Feet (BOMF)seeks to revolutionize the way society approaches homelessness. Operating in 12 major cities (including Philadelphia) coast-to-coast, BOMF uses running to help those experiencing homelessness change the way they see themselves, so they can make real change in their lives that results in employment and independent living. Since launching in 2007, it has served more than 6,000 persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness and has engaged more than 100,000 volunteers and supporters.

Philabundance is the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization, acquiring, rescuing and distributing food to help feed those in need, and advocating for policies that increase food access. Their mission is to drive hunger from our communities today and end hunger.

Project HOME, since 1989, has been a leader in providing comprehensive services to persons who experience chronic homelessness. With innovation, leadership, and an unyielding commitment to the dignity of each person, they have developed nationally recognized programs that have proven that homelessness can be solved. They help rebuild low-income neighborhoods and engage in political advocacy toward positive public policies for low-income, homeless persons.

The Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) is committed to social and economic equity for low income women and their families.  They develop affordable housing; provide supportive services; advocate for policy change; and honor and promote leadership, dignity, and justice in communities.

The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania (ALPP) is a nonprofit, public-interest law firm providing free legal assistance to people with HIV/AIDS and those affected by the epidemic. The ALPP educates the public about AIDS-related legal issues, trains case management professionals to become better advocates for their clients, and works at local, state and national levels to achieve fair laws & policies. The Project is committed to breaking the physical and linguistic barriers that often impede access to legal services. The Philadelphia ALP makes home and hospital visits to clients too ill to travel.

Images of the Motherland: Interactive Theatre (IMIT) educates and expands public appreciation of African and American traditions and history through authentic presentations of drama, art, music, dance, culture and storytelling by creating living history of an entire people to pass from generation to generation with dignity, self-esteem, tolerance and mutual respect.

This holiday season, you are encouraged to join with people from the region and around the world who will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. Then let us all find a way that works for you to give all year long. The need is there beyond the holidays.



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