The holiday season is a time for giving: to friends, to family, but also to the people who work hard yearlong to help others. Here are our picks for local nonprofits that deserve a financial boost this year.
With abortion rights at risk in North Carolina, and decimated elsewhere in much of the Southeast, consider making a donation to an organization that offers practical help to the people who need it. The Carolina Abortion Fund gives money directly to patients who need help covering medical expenses, childcare, and the costs of traveling (sometimes hundreds of miles) to get an abortion.
2. Democracy NC
You know all those complicated news stories about redistricting, voting rights, and the far-right’s efforts to destabilize democracy? Well, Democracy NC has been there for all of them, advocating for individual rights and educating people on critical political issues. The nonprofit is on the front lines of the fight for meaningful pro-democracy reform, keeping a close eye on election changes, voting rights, and public officials.
El Centro Hispano directly represents the Hispanic/Latino/Latinx community in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties, which is composed of more than 170,000 people, according to U.S. Census data. In the past year, the organization has delivered food boxes to 1,984 people, diapers to 593 people, and COVID-19 tests and information to 28,870 people. They’ve helped teach people English and Spanish, helped them with their utilities and rent payments, and helped many in the process of seeking U.S. citizenship.
Habitat for Humanity doesn’t just build homes, they also advocate for affordable housing. Recently, the Wake County branch of Habitat has partnered with the City of Raleigh to build affordable housing, helped preserve existing affordable apartments and homes, and has drawn attention to critical issues like rising property taxes and laws that disadvantage renters.
Speaking of affordable housing, CASA has been hard at work in the midst of the housing crisis to give people shelter. The nonprofit builds and provides access to stable, affordable housing for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Meals on Wheels is another national organization that is doing impactful work locally in Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill. Entirely volunteer-based, the organization drives meals to seniors who are homebound or have trouble getting around. The non-profit was a critical resource to many during the COVID pandemic and has continued offering resources like meals, pet food, weekly phone calls, gifts, and basic necessities to seniors across the Triangle.
The NC Conservation Network is a statewide environmental nonprofit that fights against climate change, for environmental justice, and to protect natural spaces. In 2021, the organization helped curb toxic discharges of forever chemicals, set carbon reduction requirements for electrical companies, and advocated for state climate and flood resilience funding, among other things. If you’d like your money to be used more directly, consider giving to the Triangle Land Conservancy which buys private land for permanent conservation.
The effort to stop sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking isn’t a single battle—it’s an ongoing war, which advocates have been fighting for decades. The Durham Crisis Response Center is the only organization in Durham “dedicated to providing advocacy, shelter and support services to victims of domestic and sexual violence,” its website states. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure every victim is a survivor.”
Durham entrepreneur and mom Destiny Alexander provides a space for local teens to learn skills and trades that will allow them to start earning money and plan for their financial futures. Young people enrolled in the after-school program are encouraged to envision their short and long-term goals and they receive the resources, encouragement, and moral support that they need to go after them.
10. Designed for Joy
Designed for Joy provides living-wage work for women experiencing various crises, including refugees, domestic abuse and trafficking survivors, women leaving rehab or prison, and women experiencing homelessness or generation poverty. Housed in Raleigh’s Warehouse District, Designed for Joy sells handmade jewelry, bags and purses, and other crafts and accessories, and provides stability, support, and immediate employment for women who need it.
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