10 Ways to Give Locally This Giving Tuesday

Philly Parenting: A blog by Jen Bradley

Giving Tuesday is quickly gaining ground as a charitable response to the consumerism of Black Friday. On Giving Tuesday people, organizations and businesses are urged to take a day to give back. Here are 10 local organizations dedicated working for children and families in Philadelphia and beyond:

Dignity Housing

Dignity Housing is designed to break the cycle of homelessness. Dignity is the first housing program in the nation to be founded and guided by homeless people and activists. Dignity provides quality affordable housing and supportive services primarily to single women and their children, with most clients coming from shelters operated by the city. Dignity works with women to create goals, helps them heal as they grapple with past traumas and supports them in creating new skills and mechanisms to lead their families into more stable environments. Click here to donate.

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance of Greater Philadelphia

The Alliance is touted as the region's leading arts and cultural advocacy, research and marketing organization. Over 400 cultural organizations from museums to zoos comprise the membership of the Alliance. In conjunction with other funders, one of their leading programs benefiting youth in the city is the STAMP program. High school residents from Philadelphia are eligible for a STAMP pass, which grants free admission to 12 cultural institutions around the city. Given funding cuts for the arts in district schools, this type of access is even more critical. The Alliance's goal is to raise $15,000 for the STAMP program. Click here to donate.

Junior Achievement of the Delaware Valley

The Junior Achievement of Delaware Valley works to empower young people to "own their economic success." Their programming includes both after school and in-school programs based on financial literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurship. The organization works in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Bucks counties. In the last year, the Junior Achievement of the Delaware Valley has worked with over 18,000 students and dozens of businesses including Comcast, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, IKEA, and Bimbo Bakeries USA. JA brings corporate and community volunteers to children in grades pre-K to 12 to help students plan for their future and make smart economic and academic choices. Reach out to volunteer, or click here to donate.

Philadelphia Citizens for Children and Youth

PCCY describes their mission this way, "with one hand, PCCY offers direct help to children – one at a time; and with the other hand we apply pressure to government officials to persuade them to do what is necessary to give every child the basic ingredients for a lifetime of success." PCCY is an advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in and around Philadelphia. PCCY develops initiatives and advocates for quality health care, child care, public education and family stability. Current initiatives include Pre-K for PA, the Picasso Project, Campaign for Fair Education Funding, Read by 4th, and Health Insurance for All Kids. Find out how you can help the causes PCCY champions or click here to donate.

Police Athletic League

The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) is a nonprofit youth development organization. PAL's mission of "Cops Helping Kids" is designed to make a positive difference in the lives of
children aged 6 to 18 by providing free educational, athletic, recreational and cultural after school and summer programs in the safe environments of its many centers. PAL programs work to prepare children and teens to become confident, successful and productive citizens. All PAL activities are supervised by full time, specially trained Philadelphia Police officers, providing a unique opportunity for nurturing strong and positive relationships between children, their communities and law enforcement. Click here to donate.

Puentes de Salud

Puentes de Salud (Bridges of Health) works to improve the health and wellness of Philadelphia's rapidly growing Latino population. Puentes de Salud offers health care, innovative educational programs and social service programs to residents of South Philadelphia. Since many of the families the organization serves are undocumented, gaining access to health care presents a steep challenge. From dental care to women's health care to behavioral health, the organization seeks to create high quality care and supportive opportunities for the Latino immigrant community. Click here to donate.

Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia

One organization leading the fight for equity in public schooling is the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia. As recently as Nov. 10, the Law Center filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court on behalf of six school districts, seven parents, the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS) and the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference against legislative leaders, state education officials, and the Governor for failing to uphold the General Assembly's constitutional obligation to provide a system of public education that gives all children in Pennsylvania the resources they need to meet state-imposed academic standards and thrive. The Law Center is conducting this litigation in partnership with the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania and a national, private law firm. Every dollar donated on December 2 will be matched up to $5,000. Click here to donate.

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education inspires children and families to connect with nature. The forests, trails, and fields on the grounds offer a "living laboratory" that "fosters appreciation, deepens understanding, and encourages stewardship of the environment." The Center is used by thousands of people each year to discover, explore, and study nature. Families and children benefit from visits, field trips, and a variety of outdoor educational offerings. Click here to donate.

Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse

If your children haven't already benefited from the joy of exploration and play at Smith Memorial Playground, drop everything and take them there now! Smith Playground and Playhouse has been inviting families to play for over 100 years. With an outdoor playground the size of six football fields and an indoor playspace for birthday parties and cold winter days, Smith truly honors childhood and values play. In conjunction with the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, Smith is currently fundraising for an urban Nature Preschool. Click here to donate.

Urban League of Philadelphia

For almost 100 years, the Urban League of Philadelphia has worked to support African Americans in the Philadelphia region. Aimed at high school students, the Urban League of Philadelphia brought 'Project Ready' to Philadelphia in 2012. Project Ready is a free program aiming to prepare students for college and careers by supporting math and literacy goals, while also developing the requisite social skills needed for those next steps. With under-resourced city schools struggling to counsel district students about opportunities beyond graduation, the Urban League is stepping in. Click here to donate.

Where will you donate this Giving Tuesday? What Philly-based organization aimed at supporting children and families would you add to our list? For more ideas, check out last year's list.

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