‘Tis the season of giving! Every year, I consider the holiday season as a time to give back. Many local charities and organizations need volunteers or extra assistance. If you’re looking for a new charity to support this year, here are some of my favorites causes and organizations:
Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank
As the largest independent hunger-relief organization in San Diego County, this organization provides food to 370,000 people every month through both nonprofit partners and direct distributions. This organization is lean and efficient, meaning that 93 cents out of every dollar donated goes directly to programs and services! Volunteer in their warehouse, at food distribution sites, or at Food Bank events!
Rancho Coastal Humane Society
Founded in 1960, this charity is dedicated to the rescue and shelter of abandoned companion animals. Their programs include dog, cat, and rabbit adoptions, intake of animals from over capacity shelters, fostering animals, and more! The Rancho Coastal Humane Society has a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. If you love animals, the Rancho Coastal Human Society is a great organization to volunteer with!
ACCION San Diego
ACCION is a nonprofit mission-based lender focused on connecting entrepreneurs with financing and resources to create and grow healthy businesses. This non-profit is a great way to support local businesses as they are starting up. They focus on providing economic opportunity for low-to-moderate business owners who lack access to traditional sources of credit. In 2018, they issued over 4.5 million dollars in loans and created and maintained over 700 jobs! Over 90% of the charity’s total expenses are spent on their programs, so your donation goes directly to a good cause.
YMCA of San Diego County
The YMCA supports youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through children programs and family services. As the second-largest YMCA association in the nation, it serves nearly 400,000 San Diego County residents! Volunteering at the YMCA is a great way to help build community through their many activities. With many different services, you can choose to volunteer in an administrative capacity, in social services, in childcare, or more!
Semper Fi Fund
Located at Camp Pendleton, the Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to our veterans. They support combat-wounded, critically-ill, and catastrophically-injured members of all branches of the US Armed Forces and their families, so they can recover and transition back to their communities. Get involved and host an event this holiday season to raise money for veterans!
Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego
Make-A-Wish is a national organization, but each branch works independently. The San Diego branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation works with children with critical illnesses to grant them a wish. Donate or volunteer to help children’s wishes come true! You can donate airline miles to help children fly, or volunteer in an office, as a translator, or with special events.
The Honor Foundation
My husband, Dan, is very active with The Honor Foundation in San Diego. The mission of this non-profit is to help returning Navy SEALs and members of U.S. Special Operations transition from deployment to employment. The Honor Foundation helps them find new jobs and careers that suit their individual skills. Your donations go directly to help supporting the expansion of their current programs to help even more men and women.
Next Step Service Dogs
Next Step Service Dogs is another non-profit that is near and dear to our family. My daughter, Allie, trained a puppy named Quinn to ultimately become a service dog for an active duty service member, veteran, or first responder with PTSD and/or a TBI. The mission of Next Step Service Dogs is to help these courageous individuals take the “next step” in their lives through the assistance and support of their new service dog.
These are just a few local charities and organizations you can support this holiday season. Which charities or organizations do you volunteer with? Let me know in the comments below!