As you make your list and check it twice, don’t forget to be extra nice to the nonprofits and other groups that support children in need this holiday season! We think it’s so important to give back, and we especially like to help kids at this time of year.
But what are the best ways to help? If you need some ideas, we put together this list of 10 exceptional groups that help kids through present donations, “adopt a family” programs and other outreach opportunities. Whether you want to donate your money or your time, you can’t go wrong with these charities that help kids.
1. Ronald McDonald House
Of course, the charity dearest to our hearts right here in Hershey is the Ronald McDonald House, where families can stay while their children receive medical treatment right across the way at Penn State Children’s Hospital. You can make meals for the families there or donate money or food.
Click here for more information: Regularly updated supply wish list
2. Toys for Tots
Most people are familiar with the Marine Corps-run charity that provides toys for kids in need every year. You can find donation bins around your community (we recently spied one at a Planet Fitness!) for unwrapped, new toys.
Click here for more information: Harrisburg-area Toys for Tots
3. Save the Children
Want to give a gift that gives back this holiday season? Finish up your shopping by supporting Save the Children, a charity that works to protect the most vulnerable children in the United States. You can sponsor things like a Clean Water Kit in honor of a friend or coworker.
Click here for more information: Save the Children gifts
The organization dedicated to making sick kids’ dreams come true receives a $2 donation every time someone sends a letter to Santa at a Macy’s store. You can visit the one in Capital City Mall to help out kids.
Click here for more information: Macy’s letters to Santa
5. Caitlin’s Smiles
The Harrisburg-based nonprofit gives gift bags and cards to sick children in the hospital. While the annual holiday open house where you can decorate cards and make games for kids already took place, you can still drop donations or sign up for volunteer sessions on the website.
6. Dauphin County CASA
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)’s mission is to “recruit, train, educate and supervise dedicated volunteers to become agents of change for the abused and neglected youths of Dauphin County.” The organization has a “giving tree” where people can donate to assist foster children in the community.
Click here for more information: CASA giving tree
7. Orange for Owen
This organization was founded in memory of Owen Cole Brezitski, who was killed by a distracted driver at a crosswalk in Harrisburg. It raises awareness among young people (and older people) of the dire consequences of distracted driving. In addition to raising funds all year long, it has an annual golf tournament (June 23, 2023) — a spot in the tourney would make an excellent Christmas gift.
Email for more information or to sign up: [email protected]
8. Big Brothers Big Sisters
The organization matches youth who can benefit from support with mentors to help children achieve their goals. Now through the end of the year, members of Target Circle can vote to donate funds to BBBS. You can also donate money or become a mentor.
9. Peyton Walker Foundation
The foundation educates parents and students about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) syndrome and how getting an electrocardiogram (EKG) can help avoid death from SCA. It offers multiple ways to get involved with the organization, which sponsors free heart screenings for young people.
Click here for more information: Volunteer and donation opportunities
10. New Hope Ministries
The charity puts together food baskets for families and collects toys for children at this time of year. You can find current needs or donate money or time.
Click here for more information: Ways to give information