Updated for 2022
Giving Tuesday is a “global generosity movement” that happens on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. But really, doing good is something we can all do every day of the year!
But how do you decide who to help? Or which organization to support with a monetary donation? There are so many important charities and non-profits that need our help, located all over the world, but we want to focus on some based here in Los Angeles.
We hope you’ll take the time to learn about the important work each of these organizations does in our community and support them however you can. Whether you can make a monetary donation, volunteer your time, or make a donation of clothing, household items, or even holiday gifts, it’s all helpful.
Los Angeles Charities and Non-Profits
1717 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026
12515 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90066
“826LA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.” 826LA offers workshops, in-school and after-school tutoring, help for English learners, and more. Information on how you can help support these programs is available online.
A Place Called Home (APCH)
2830 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90011
A Place Called Home “provides a safe, nurturing environment with proven programs in arts, education and wellness for the young people in South Central Los Angeles to help them improve their economic conditions and develop healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives.” APCH has been serving young people since 1993 using a holistic approach which address a child’s and their family’s needs (including tutoring, mental health counseling, assistance with rent, and much more). Check the website for donation information.
426 S. Alexandria AVe., Los Angeles, CA 90020
Alexandria House is a transitional home for women and children. Since 1996, they have helped women and children as they move from “emergency shelters to economic stability and permanent housing.” Programs include job readiness, financial literacy, counseling, and much more. There are many ways families can help including volunteering, purchasing from Alexandria House’s wish list, and making a monetary donation. All details are available online.
5830 W. Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90016
“Baby2Baby provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves.” Baby2Baby brings the essentials to where they are needed – whether that means families impacted by covid-19 or families devastated by the destruction of natural disasters. Donations may be made online. (And be sure to check out the new children’s book A Bear to Share written by Baby2Baby co-CEOs Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein as well as Baby2Baby Ambassador Jessica Alba.)
6111 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038
Big Sunday is a special organization that believes “absolutely everyone has some way that they can help someone else.” They organize “over 2000 ways for you to get involved every year – from working on service projects at our headquarters to helping us collect materials for food, book, and school supply drives, to joining us for school beautification projects, and more!” Check the website to learn how you can help.
15701 Sherman Way, #8079, Van Nuys, CA 91409
Boundless Brilliance was founded on a simple, powerful idea: STEM is for everyone! Our mission “is to educate, empower, and engage students in order to close the gender gap in STEM fields”; and we envision a future of STEM leadership that is as diverse as the world in which we live. We partner with elementary schools to deliver our unique hands-on STEM workshops, which are facilitated by relatable role models, at no-cost. We also provide various STEM resources including We Are Brilliant! A STEM Workbook for Future Leaders, our SCIENCE Coloring book, & STEM Boxes; and deliver fun and educational videos through our YouTube channel, and partner with other organizations to host community based engaging STEM activities. We also have an Etsy shop where you will meet our “Boundless Brilliance Girls”.
Downtown Women’s Center
442 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
The Downtown Women’s Center is “the only organization in Los Angeles focused exclusively on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women.” DWC was founded in 1978 and “envisions a Los Angeles with every woman housed and on a path to personal stability.” Donation information is available online.
Friends of the Children – Los Angeles (Friends LA)
672 S. Lafayette Park Place, Suite 33, Los Angeles, CA 90057
539 W Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster, CA 93534
Friends of the Children-Los Angeles (Friends LA) disrupts generational trauma and poverty through the power of relationships with long-term, salaried, professional mentors. We pair children ages 4-6 who have been affected by the foster care and/or child welfare systems to professional mentors – who we call “Friends” – from kindergarten through high school graduation. We commit to our children and their caregivers for 12+ years, no matter what.
Related: Holiday Toy Drives
Friends of the LA River (FoLAR)
570 W. Ave 26 #250, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) has “endeavored for over 30 years to restore community connection and natural ecology as the single largest unifying force on the River – educating, empowering, and mobilizing over 50,000 Angelenos to repair habitat.” FoLAR is active in community events, educational outreach, online education, and more. Donation information is available online.
Happy Trails for Kids
Happy Trails for Kids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing overnight summer camps and other year-round outdoor adventures for youth in the Southern California foster care system. There are over 30,000 children in the Los Angeles foster care system. Happy Trails for Kids strives to provide a sense of family and community to as many children as possible in this system all thanks to our wonderful donors and volunteers.
130 W. Bruno St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
The mission at Homeboy Industries is to “provide hope, training and support to formerly gang-involved and recently incarcerated men and women, by allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of the community.” Since 1988, Homeboy Industries has offered a variety of services including tattoo removal, mental health services, education, legal services, employment services, and much more. Donation information is available online.
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Multiple locations including
8745 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
“Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond.” They offer a variety of programs and services that span four broad categories – Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. All services are available to everyone and are offered free or low-cost. Donations may be made online.
Los Angeles Mission
303 E. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
The sad fact is “there are more people becoming homeless for the first time now than any time in Los Angeles’ history.” Los Angeles Mission provides safe shelter, meals, showers, and life-giving support to our neighbors most in need. Donation information is available online.
Los Angeles Music and Art School (LAMusArt)
3630 E. 3rd Street | Los Angeles, CA 90063
This arts education nonprofit organization serves underrepresented youth and provides pathways to careers through quality arts programs. They’ve recently added student-designed items to their charitable online store for folks who are looking for a more philanthropic way to give this year. All purchases help us achieve our mission to provide equitable access to arts education for the K-12 population of East Los Angeles and beyond. We offer class credit gift cards for music, art, dance, and drama classes for all ages, and we also have student-designed holiday cards that are our favorite to send to loved ones or coworkers!
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
1734 E. 41st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90058
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank distributes “food and other essentials to children, seniors, families and other individuals in need.” The Food Bank serves more than 900,000 people each month, because an “estimated 1 in 5 people in Los Angeles County face food insecurity.” There are a number of ways for families to help including donating funds (on a monthly basis or as a one-time donation).
Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House
4560 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90029
The mission of the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House is to provide comfort, care and support to children and families in Southern California, and their vision is a community where children and their families embrace life and healing with a sense of hope, enthusiasm, courage and joy. Construction for the House began in 1978 on Fountain Avenue across the street from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the third house to be chartered nationally and the first Ronald McDonald House to be built from the ground up. A new 16-room and garage addition was dedicated in 1994, and in 2008, 40 additional rooms, a kitchen and dining area, game room, full service gym, computer room, and other amenities were added. A unique feature of the House is the long-term housing wing that was designed to meet the special needs of bone-marrow transplant patients. Today, the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House can accommodate 75 families each night and continues to serve as a “home away from home” for hundreds each year. Since its chartering, the House has served more than 30,000 families from all states in the U.S. and more than 45 countries across the world.
Related: Do Good This Thanksgiving
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH)
“PATH is dedicated to helping individuals, families and communities end their homelessness.” PATH was originally founded on the Westside of Los Angeles by concerned community members trying to help and support those on the streets. Now, PATH is recognized as one of the “largest homeless service providers in California.” Services include outreach, housing navigation, employment, interim housing, permanent supportive housing, and more.
PLUS ME Project
The PLUS ME Project activates the art of storytelling for LA youth. They are dedicated to building communities filled with courageous voices where stories are heard, valued, and celebrated. PLUS ME is now recruiting volunteers for Giving Tuesday when they will pair relatable role models with virtual classrooms to give back to LA youth by sharing their stories of perseverance. Every volunteer receives training on how to craft a story that will connect with youth, access to drop-in workshops to help fine-tune their story, and an opportunity to build community with other volunteers.
Project Angel Food
922 Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90038
“Project Angel Food prepares and delivers healthy meals to feed people impacted by serious illness, bringing comfort and hope every day.” Their philosophy is “Food is Medicine,” and as such meals are “medically-tailored.” Project Angel Food provides about 21,000 meals each week. Check the website to find out how your family can help this organization which has been preparing and serving meals for more than 30 years.
Red Chair Productions
1812 W. Burbank Blvd, #81, Burbank, CA 91506
Red Chair Productions is a non-profit based in Los Angeles, CA. Its mission is to increase access to the arts through performance opportunities, community engagement, and program support. Each year, Red Chair produces The Nutcracker at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Red Chair’s production not only features the best of Los Angeles’s youth dancers, ages 7-18, in principal and supporting roles. Their open audition format brings together dancers from studios across Los Angeles. This year’s production features dancers from fifteen different dance studios and programs. Committed to increasing access to the arts, Red Chair offers multiple scholarships to encourage participation for dancers who might otherwise not be able to be a part of the production.
School on Wheels
600 E. 7th Street Ste. 109, Los Angeles, CA 90021
The volunteers working with School on Wheels “provide free tutoring and mentoring to children from kindergarten through twelfth grade living in shelters, motels, vehicles, group foster homes, and the streets of Southern California.” The organization was founded in 1993 by a retired teacher. Donation information can be found online.
Related: Volunteer During the Holidays
St. Vincent Meals on Wheels
2303 Miramar St., Los Angeles, CA 90057
St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, founded in 1977, is an organization which prepares and delivers “nutritious meals to homebound seniors and other vulnerable residents across Los Angeles, regardless of age, illness, disability, race, religion, or ability to pay.” Over 100,000 meals are delivered to seniors each month. Check the website to learn how you can help by donating funds.
The Art of Elysium
3278 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010
The Art of Elysium was founded in 1997 and pairs “volunteer artists with communities in Los Angeles to support individuals in the midst of difficult emotional life challenges like illness, hospitalization, displacement, confinement, and/or crisis.” 100 community programs are offered each month which serves over 30,000 individuals a year. Artists then receive support services, “ranging from artist salons and networking events to showcases and distribution opportunities.” Donation information is available online.
Tilly’s Life Center
17 Pasteur, Irvine, CA 92618
Description: Tilly’s Life Center (TLC) is a nonprofit educational program that helps teens overcome the serious obstacles they are met with on a daily basis. Their proactive approach uses experiential learning, journal writing, open discussion, and other activities to guide teens in effectively coping with crisis, adopting healthy habits, and reaching their full potential. The program is available as a high school course via virtual or in-person, an after-school program, or a series of workshops. To find out more, please visit their website.
12601 Mulholland Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210
TreePeople “inspires, engages and supports people to take personal responsibility for the urban environment, making it safe, healthy, fun and sustainable.” They do this in a number of ways including education, community programs, and more. There are a number of ways for families to get involved including volunteering, adopting a tree, making a monetary donation, and more. Check the website for details.
1330 Factory Place, Unit F104, Los Angeles, CA 90013
“WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls.” If you hadn’t heard of WriteGirl before, it might be on your radar now thanks to its famous alum, Amanda Gorman who performed at the Biden-Harris Inauguration in January 2021. Also impressive is that 100% of the teens in WriteGirl’s programs go on to college. Check the website for information on how you can donate.
1434 6th Street, Unit 1, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Writopia Lab is a non-profit creative writing program in Santa Monica whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in children and teens of all backgrounds. Writopia offers year-round, fun and productive multi-genre creative writing, essay writing, and college essay workshops online and in person. Reluctant and enthusiastic writers, as well as writers with learning differences, thrive at Writopia. Our student-centered, strength-based model results each year in real-world success and recognition. Families choose from an honor-based sliding scale fee system or apply for full aid. (We have never turned away a family in need.
Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website WendyKennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).