During this season of revelry and gift-giving, it’s important to turn our thoughts once in a while toward the gifts we give ourselves: a sense of belonging, and the knowledge that we’re doing our part to make our community a place were all are welcome, and all have what they need. The most rewarding thing you do all year may be volunteering and giving to help your neighbors meet their basic needs.
These regional not-for-profit organizations are devoted to helping our neighbors, and to helping Western Pennsylvania be all that it can be. Please consider including them in your year-end charitable giving.
Giving Guide 2023: Traditions of Generosity
Sponsored by GBU Life
For many of us, year-end is a time to gather with friends and family and celebrate. It’s also a moment when many of us want to help others. Far too many people — no matter how hard they work — struggle to meet their family’s basic needs. How do we know? Calls and texts to United Way’s PA 211 Southwest help line more than doubled from 190,000 in 2019, pre-pandemic, to nearly 523,000 in 2022. The greatest needs are affordable housing, jobs and employment, and utility assistance—things that many of us take for granted. As you consider holiday gift exchanges, I urge you to also consider charitable giving and volunteering. Each year, United Way and our partner agencies organize meaningful, hands-on volunteer opportunities that, for many, have become holiday traditions. To learn more and create your own holiday giving traditions, visit https://uwswpa.org/ volunteer to learn how you can help meet basic needs, move people to financial stability and build for success in school and life. It just might be the most rewarding thing you do all year.
BOBBI WATT GEER, PH.D.
President and CEO, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
As a faith-based community, we commit ourselves to the support of those who are most oppressed. The Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh continuing 150 years of seeking God in community, ministry, and prayer.
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. The museum began as the vision of Andrew Carnegie, and his initial concept was to create a museum that would bring the world to the people of Pittsburgh. More than 125 years later, through collecting art via each Carnegie International, the longest-running North American survey of international art, and through our many other creative activities, we continue to expand the imaginative potential of what a museum can be.
The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center, where holistic care meets family empowerment. Our Pediatric Specialty Hospital transitions medically fragile children home safely. Child’s Way Daycare promotes clinicians and educators who support children with health complexities. Our adoption staff works with infants, children in foster care, birthparents, and adoptive families. World-renowned Pediatric VIEW focuses on pediatric cortical visual impairment. Our counseling services address growing mental health needs. Specialized therapy prioritizes cohesive, comprehensive treatment.
After trying dozens of speech and occupational therapists for their son Albert, Rich and Emily Hickman finally found a place at The Children’s Institute. “The Children’s Institute has the best resources to meet his needs.” Now, after two years of therapy, Albert has made amazing progress.
Community Kitchen Pittsburgh uses food as the foundation to change lives and strengthen communities by providing culinary training and opening career pathways to individuals who experience barriers to employment. We provide every one of our participants with opportunities for success and lifelong careers.
The mission of DePaul School for Hearing and Speech is to develop listening skills and spoken language in children who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have spoken language communication challenges and to prepare them to transition to their home school district successfully at the earliest possible age.
For over 100 years, Easterseals has been leading the way to 100% equity, inclusion and access for children and adults with disabilities. Easterseals Western and Central PA provides over 15 programs and services across 47 counties in Pennsylvania, supporting over 12,000 individuals and their families in their local communities.
Familylinks serves individuals and families across Western Pennsylvania through more than 20 integratedcommunity, behavioral, and social programs. The organization is committed to creating thriving communities of healthy and strong people.
First Tee – Pittsburgh is a beacon of hope for youth empowerment. We use golf to instill character, resilience, and self-confidence in children and teenagers. Our unique approach combines engaging experiences with essential life skills, going beyond golf to include healthy habits, self-management, goal setting, communication, and more.
Imagine a world where every child has the opportunity to discover their potential and develop the resilience to overcome life’s challenges.
The Forbes Funds, and the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) as its front door, increase the effectiveness of individuals, groups, human service, and community-based organizations in an inclusive, collaborative, and thoughtful manner for the advancement of our region.
Foster Love Project’s mission is to show love in action to children impacted by foster and kinship care through the provision of goods, services, and support. There are several ways to support our mission. To learn more about how we serve children and families, visit our website at fosterloveproject.org.
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania welcomes girls from all backgrounds and abilities to be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges. Serving nearly 15,000 girls across 27 counties in Western Pennsylvania, Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s mission is to leverage the power of community to achieve lasting solutions to hunger and its root causes. Ending hunger takes us all working together—food pantries and meals programs, schools, volunteers, donors, grocery stores and regional distribution partners. Eliminating hunger is a community initiative. Last year, the Food Bank distributed enough food for 42 million meals, including 12.5 million pounds of fresh produce, through a network of more than 1,000 agencies, partners and programs across an 11-county service area known as the Three Rivers Region.
At the JCC, we shine a light on Community, Wellness and Connection. The JCC, among the largest social service, recreational and educational organizations in the region, is open and accessible to everyone. The JCC strives to meet the needs of the community, providing child care, preschool, after-school, and camping programs, senior adult activities, fitness and wellness, special needs and neurodiverse services, cultural activities, social justice and civic engagement, and scores of programs for the community.
This small innovative team is rethinking workforce development one step at a time. Landforce believes in the importance of urban green spaces, like these North Side city steps we helped maintain and repair this year. True to our mission of investing in people and restoring land, we are always looking for innovative ways to expand our impact.
The Latin American Cultural Center (LACC) is an outreach initiative of the Latin American Studies Association in its headquarters building in Pittsburgh. The mission of the Latin American Cultural Center is to celebrate Latin America through programs dedicated to fostering a heightened understanding and appreciation for Latin American arts, history, and culture. LACC features a permanent exhibit on Latin America and the Caribbean, a beautiful performance center, grand spaces for events, and a spacious special exhibit gallery.
Literacy Pittsburgh creates better lives through learning with free educational programs for adults and families in Allegheny County and Beaver County. Classes and tutoring in GED preparation, reading, writing, math, English language, US citizenship, digital literacy, and workplace skills move students from learning to earning. Help Pittsburghers succeed as workers, parents, and neighbors by becoming a volunteer tutor or making a donation. Find out more at literacypittsburgh.org.
It has been the mission of the Little Sisters to serve the needs of the elderly poor, since 1872. Two primary requirements for admission at any level of care are for the applicant to be over the age of 65 and financially needy. Our love and care of the elderly poor is the heart of our mission, as is our spirit of hospitality. Learn more about our mission and how you can help at littlesistersofthepoorpittsburgh.org.
At The Live Donor Project, we believe no lives should be lost while waiting for a lifesaving transplant. There are many ways you can help us fulfill our mission of saving lives by increasing live donation. Share your story, join us in the community to help educate others or give a financial gift to help fund education efforts, you can be the inspiration for more people to become Live Donors and save lives.
We are an integrated medical, mental health, and dental clinic, located in Swissvale. We serve the neighborhoods of Swissvale, Wilkinsburg, Braddock, the greater Pittsburgh area, and all people who come to us. At Metro, our providers collaborate with each other to treat every aspect of a patient’s health, all under one roof. We offer all of our services to everyone, regardless of identity, income, insurance status, or the ability to pay.
The National Aviary provides daily high-quality, individualized care for more than 500 birds and animals, while also working as leaders of many worldwide conservation efforts. Crucial to the survival of many species, like the endangered African penguin and the extinct in the wild Guam kingfisher, this work cannot be done without your support. By donating to the National Aviary on Giving Tuesday (November 28), you are directly supporting their mission to save species and protect their habitats.
Neighborhood Legal Services, our region’s largest civil legal aid provider, is often the only path to justice for our most vulnerable neighbors facing a civil legal problem impacting life’s most basic needs: personal safety, family, health, shelter, and warmth.
There’s nothing like a good neighbor. Especially when you’re in a tough spot. Our role in the community is to be the place people turn to when they need legal help. That’s where you come in. You can help us ensure that the doors to justice stay open to provide our neighbors with the legal services they so desperately need. With your support, we can always greet them with open doors and ensure access to justice for your neighbors in crisis.
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden offers 65 acres of gardens and woodlands for all to explore. Start your adventure in the Garden of the Five Senses and continue through the Allegheny Plateau Woodlands and Hillside Pollinator Garden.
Located west of Downtown Pittsburgh, a winter visit includes lunch at Canopy Café and shopping for nature inspired home decor at Forage & Finds. The Garden is open Tuesday- Sunday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tickets available at pittsburghbotanicgarden.org/tickets.
Providence Connections, Inc. was founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1994 with the goal of providing comprehensive support services to develop economic and family self-sufficiency. Since then, Providence Connections has grown to host the Northside Family Center, a Keystone STARS 4 child care facility, extended care hours, and summer camp. Providence Connections works to strengthen families and enrich lives through our daily mission-driven work and provides a helping hand to those in need.
Founded on the principles of heritage development, community partnership, and a reverence for the region’s shared resources, Rivers of Steel strengthens the economic and cultural fabric of Western Pennsylvania by fostering dynamic initiatives and transformative experiences.
Rivers of Steel showcases the region’s industrial and cultural heritage — offering unique experiences via tours, workshops, exhibitions, festivals, and more — while working with communities at the grassroots level to enhance economic revitalization.
Support this valued work by donating today.
Sojourner House offers residential in-patient treatment for mothers with substance use disorders and their children, providing a safe and secure environment thanks to community support. Our programs include apartment housing, family and child development, child care, and essential resources for those in need.
Trying Together supports high-quality care and education for young children by providing advocacy, community resources, and professional growth opportunities for the needs and rights of children, their families, and the individuals who interact with them. Trying Together works regionally in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and takes its expertise and models to statewide and national audiences. Donate today at tryingtogether.org.
Give today and join a community of people dedicated to protecting and restoring Western Pennsylvania’s wild places and green spaces.
Together, we are a powerful force for local conservation—for clean water and air, for fish and wildlife, and for everyone who enjoys the beauty and restorative power of the outdoors. It’s our nature.
The Westmoreland Food Bank provides hope for neighbors throughout Westmoreland County facing hunger. Serving the county for over 41 years, the Westmoreland Food Bank’s programs provide nutritious food for children, families, seniors, and veterans. Through food pantries, mobile distributions, and specialty programs, the Westmoreland Food Bank continuously evolves to meet the communities’ ever-changing needs. For people throughout the county, the Westmoreland Food Bank ensures that those in need receive more of what they need.
For 15 years, the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation (WCDC) has worked to spur economic development in Wilkinsburg. The WCDC envisions Wilkinsburg will be a prosperous, healthy, and inclusive community regarded for its strong business district and neighborhoods, historic charm, convenient location, desirable quality of life, and community pride. To achieve this vision, the WCDC creates a collaborative community culture by partnering with residents, business owners, and property owners to address the borough’s most pressing needs.
For nearly 50 years, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (WC&S) has provided help, healing, and hope to survivors of domestic violence and their children. What started with three beds, three couches, three sleeping bags, and one crib has grown into a comprehensive program that serves more than 7,500 survivors and children annually through personalized programs and services designed to keep them safe. More than a shelter, WC&S creates spaces that empower survivors on their journeys forward.
WORK’s mission is to accompany families in Haiti out of poverty through good, dignified jobs. Nearly one in 10 people live in extreme poverty worldwide. We’re here to change that. We stand alongside the families we serve and accompany them with essential needs, training and placement into dignified work. They graduate with a living income, and with opportunities to build generational wealth to end generational poverty.
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh works to eliminate racism and empower women by offering accessible child care, after-school STEM education for girls, basic needs and financial assistance, supportive housing, and direct advocacy that empowers those we serve educationally, socially, and economically. Help Greater Pittsburgh women and families thrive by making a donation today.
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