By Rachel Jones

For five years, we’ve been highlighting the benevolent nonprofits in the Pittsburgh area and their incredible missions to support our friends and neighbors. As we reach this milestone, we also encourage you to help these groups reach their goals of supporting those who need it most this season. They can’t do it without your help! Read on to learn how you can do your part today.


Photograph from Peggy Watson

Photograph from Peggy Watson

THE MISSION: To support and empower individuals with disabilities and their families

WHAT IT’S DOING: Held at the Westin Convention Center, March 18, 2017, the Pittsburgh Promenade  features a three-course meal, live and silent auctions with over 200 items, and a chance to win a $10,000 raffle — benefitting those receiving support and service from ACHIEVA.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Funds raised at the Pittsburgh Promenade will benefit families who don’t qualify for other assistance, create and expand services, and fund programs in need.

DO YOUR PART: Help ACHIEVA reach its goal of raising $200,000 at The Pittsburgh Promenade by attending the event, purchasing raffle tickets, or making in-kind donations to the live and silent auctions.

+ For more event information, visit

ACHIEVA, 711 Bingham St., South Side. 412.995.5000.

Animal Rescue League + Western Pennsylvania Humane Society

Photograph from ©Pittsburgh Penguins

Photograph from ©Pittsburgh Penguins

THE MISSION OF THE ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE OF WESTERN PA: To provide temporary shelter, food, medical attention, and comfort to all abandoned, neglected, and injured animals brought in by the community; to restore lost animals to their owners or seek new homes for them; and to educate the public about the humane care of animals with a goal of reducing over-population.

THE MISSION OF THE WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA HUMANE SOCIETY: To provide the most comprehensive, compassionate, and humane services to enhance the lives of companion animals for families and the community; to educate; and to prevent the cruelty of all animals in the region.

WHAT IT’S DOING: The 2017 Penguins and Paws calendar
The reigning Stanley Cup Champions posed with adoptable animals from the Animal Rescue League and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to create 12 months of precious photos.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: The animals at the Animal Rescue League and Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.

DO YOUR PART: Purchase a calendar for $20 at, and help the nonprofits reach their goal of $100,000!

+ The Animal Rescue League of Western PA and the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society recently combined to help more animals than ever together. Support both nonprofits by making a monetary donation or donating an item from their online wish lists.

Animal Rescue League of Western PA, Western Pennsylvania Humane Society,

Brother's Brother Foundation

Photograph from Brother’s Brother Foundation

Photograph from Brother’s Brother Foundation

THE MISSION: To promote international health and education through the efficient and effective distribution and provision of donated medical, educational, agricultural, and other resources

WHAT IT’S DOING: Since 1958, Brother’s Brother Foundation has provided over $4 billion worth of medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, textbooks, food, seeds, and other humanitarian supplies to people around the world. The nonprofit is consistently ranked as both one of the largest and most efficient U.S. charities!

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: People in 149 countries
In 2015 alone, the nonprofit garnered supplies for more than 350 medical and humanitarian hand-carry mission trips.

DO YOUR PART: Monetary donations assist with immediate disaster relief and shipping costs.

+ If you’re interested in volunteering at Brother’s Brother Foundation, call 412.321.3160.

Brother’s Brother Foundation, 1200 Galveston Ave., North Side. 412.321.3160.

Care for a Cure

Photograph from Care for a Cure

Photograph from Care for a Cure

THE MISSION: To free the world of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

WHAT IT’S DOING: Care for a Cure funds medical research initiatives; provides support for patients, caregivers, and family members; advocates for resources from government and health care providers; and sponsors events across the country to raise awareness of its mission.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Breast cancer patients, Alzheimer’s patients, and their families

DO YOUR PART: Make a monetary donation, or volunteer to work an event, conduct a fundraiser in your area, or launch an advocacy campaign.

+ Save the date for Care for a Cure’s Annual Gala this January.

Care for a Cure, P.O. Box 90, Burgettstown. 724.947.9900.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Photograph from

Photograph from

THE MISSION: To engage our community in literacy and learning

WHAT IT’S DOING: Since 1895, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has been working to build our community by enabling learning and providing equal access for residents of all abilities, skills, and backgrounds. This is possible through after-school and summer library programs for children and teens, collaborative spaces supported by cutting-edge technology for job seekers and job creators, and activities outside of the library to build civic engagement and social connections.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: 2.9 million people visit the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh every year.

DO YOUR PART: Make a monetary donation to support the library’s three key areas: education, neighborhood vitality and workforce, and economic development.

+ Volunteer to help with the execution of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s programs and events.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412.622.3114.

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Western PA/West Virginia Chapter

Photograph from Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Western PA / West Virginia Chapter

Photograph from Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Western PA / West Virginia Chapter

THE MISSION: To cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases

WHAT IT’S DOING: Opening Night! Movie Premiere
The fundraiser offers guests an exclusive first look at a newly released blockbuster film. A cocktail hour with appetizers, drinks, raffles, and games precedes the screening on November 17 at the AMC Loews Theatre.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: More than 1.6 million children and adults across the nation have Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and another 30,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The research funded by the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) works to find ways to treat the causes of these diseases, not just the symptoms.

DO YOUR PART: Attend Opening Night! Movie Premiere, donate to its silent auction, or look into sponsorship/advertising opportunities
for the event.

+ CCFA’s research has made vast improvements in the last five years. Help this success continue by making a monetary donation today.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, Western PA / West Virginia Chapter, 5001 Baum Blvd., Suite 635, Shadyside. 412.823.8272.

Fern Hollow Nature Center

Photograph from Jennifer Scheib

Photograph from Jennifer Scheib

THE MISSION: To provide a place where individuals, groups, and families can enjoy the outdoors and understand the environment through educational programs and appreciative use of the area

WHAT IT’S DOING: The nonprofit works to provide environmental classes for local schools, family programs, hands-on summer camps, community events, and playdates in the Natural Outdoor Classroom, the first certified Natural Play area in the state.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: More than 8,000 people enjoy Fern Hollow Nature Center’s programs and activities every year. With the support from the community, free and discounted programs can be offered, too, expanding the reach of learning to more children and families.

DO YOUR PART: Help the nonprofit purchase necessary equipment, including microscopes, watershed equipment, and a wooden climbing teepee for the Outdoor Classroom, by making a monetary donation at

+ Stop by Snuggery Farm in Sewickley on November 5 for the Hoedown and Chili Cook-off. The annual fundraiser features a chili cook-off between 10 Sewickley area nonprofits, beer from Reclamation Brewing Company, music by Well Strung, and square dance lessons from Chris Jacobs.

Fern Hollow Nature Center, 1901 Glen Mitchell Road, P.O. Box 8, Sewickley. 412.741.6136.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Photograph from Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Photograph from Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

THE MISSION: To feed people in need and mobilize our community to eliminate hunger

WHAT IT’S DOING: Visit Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank at the People’s Gas Holiday Market, November 19-December 23 in Market Square. Everyone who makes a $5 donation to Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank gets
a photo with Santa Claus!

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Community members facing hunger

DO YOUR PART: Every $5 donation provides 25 meals to those in need.

+ Donate food or volunteer to collect and sort food at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, 1 N. Linden St., Duquesne. 412.460.3663.

Jewish Family & Children's Service of Pittsburgh

Photograph from Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh

Photograph from Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh

Laughlin Children's Center

Photograph from Laughlin Children’s Center

Photograph from Laughlin Children’s Center

THE MISSION: To help children from preschool through high school in Allegheny and the surrounding counties build a bridge to successful learning

WHAT IT’S DOING: Laughlin Children’s Center has provided programs in language arts, math, and study skills; Orton-Gillingham instruction for students with dyslexia; speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and child and family counseling; and an array of evaluations and screenings for 60 years.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: 1,500 children participate in the nonprofit’s programs or services each year.

DO YOUR PART: Help Laughlin Children’s Center celebrate its 60th birthday by making a monetary donation! All birthday contributions will be put toward the awarding of financial aid for children in the 2016-2017 academic year.

+ To make a birthday donation, visit, click “DONATE” in the top right corner, and earmark the gift for the financial aid program.

Laughlin Children’s Center, 424 Frederick Ave., Sewickley. 412.741.4087.

Lending Hearts

Photograph from Dee Paras

Photograph from Dee Paras

THE MISSION: To provide emotional and social support to children and young adults with cancer, and their families, through unique activities and community outreach

WHAT IT’S DOING: The Lending Hearts Gala, the nonprofit’s biggest fundraising effort, showcases the importance of social and emotional support for young cancer patients and their families. This year’s gala, held February 23, 2017, will be honoring University of Pittsburgh Running Back James Conner.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Children and young adults who are battling cancer or are in remission, and their families
Each month’s activities are free of charge and open for the entire family to participate, including special outings to Pirates games, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust events, and more.

DO YOUR PART: Show your support at The Lending Hearts Gala, February 23, 2017.

+ You can also make a monetary donation, volunteer your time, or become an ambassador in the community to raise awareness of everything Lending Hearts does for local families.

Lending Hearts, 412.849.0088.

Light of Life Rescue Mission

Photograph from Michael Ray

Photograph from Michael Ray

THE MISSION: To provide food, shelter, and hope to Pittsburgh’s poor and homeless by meeting critical needs through long-term programs; and to provide Christ-centered case management and programs designed to meet diverse needs, including recovery from substance addiction, help for mental health issues, and educational courses to prepare them for careers and independent living

WHAT IT’S DOING: Light of Life Rescue Mission collects warm coats, winter hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets for those in need during the winter months. Clothing distribution tents will also be set up outside the Mission during the Thanksgiving Banquet and Christmas Banquet, which provide entertainment, church services, and holiday meals through extended hours. The nonprofit is also participating in the ALIVE Outreach Event put on by the Northside Homeless Alliance.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Poor and homeless men, women, and children who are in need of winter accessories, a meal, or help from the nonprofit’s long-term programs. Light of Light Rescue Mission also partners with local churches and nonprofits to support their members’ needs.

DO YOUR PART: Volunteer your time, make a monetary donation, or become a business sponsor to help Light of Life Rescue Mission continue helping those in need.

+ To arrange dropping off winter clothes, contact Emily Rabatin at or 412.258.6128.

Light of Life Rescue Mission, 10 E. North Ave., North Side. 412.258.6100.

The Pittsburgh Foundation

Photograph from The Great Race

Photograph from The Great Race

THE MISSION: To help businesses, organizations, and individuals give back to the community by establishing charitable funds

WHAT IT’S DOING:  One of The Pittsburgh Foundation’s 2,000-plus donors is the family of late Pittsburgh Mayor Richard “Dick” Caliguiri, who died in 1988 of complications from amyloidosis, a form of heart disease. The Richard S. Caliguiri Fund was established to support research that will lead to a cure for the disease. This October, it was announced that a partnership among The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Center for Philanthropy, the Caliguiri family, and the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine/UPMC will fund the Richard S. Caliguiri Endowed Chair in Amyloidosis and Heart Disease.

WHO IT’S HELPING: The $2 million research effort will endow a research chair to oversee one of the most comprehensive efforts to fight amyloidosis. One in four Americans die of heart disease, and researchers now believe 5 percent of those deaths are caused by undiagnosed amyloidosis.

DO YOUR PART: Sign up for the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race, an event originally launched by Caliguiri in 1977 and named after him in 1993. Since the name change, one dollar from each runner’s fee has gone to the Fund and has collected more than $250,000.

+ Monetary donations can be made to support the new research effort, the Richard S. Caliguiri Fund, and the quest to find a cure for amyloidosis.

The Pittsburgh Foundation, 5 PPG Place, Suite 250, Downtown. 412.391.5122.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh

Photograph from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh

Photograph from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh

THE MISSION: To provide a home away from home for seriously ill children receiving medical treatment and their families, and to help children and their families lead happier, healthier, and more productive lives

WHAT IT’S DOING: The Red Shoe Ball will be held November 12 at Heinz Field UPMC Club. The annual fundraiser celebrates the superheroes of the nonprofit.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: The children and families who stay at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh

DO YOUR PART: Support the nonprofit and help raise awareness of its mission by attending the Red Shoe Ball or making a donation to the event’s silent auction.

+ Monetary donations make the lives of children and families traveling to the Pittsburgh area for crucial medical treatments easier.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh, 451 44th St., Bloomfield. 412.362.3400

The Salvation Army, Western PA Division

Photograph from The Salvation Army

Photograph from The Salvation Army

THE MISSION: To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination

WHAT IT’S DOING: The Salvation Army’s Allegheny County Doing The Most Good Dinner
Held at Heinz Field on November 17, the event pays tribute to those who go above and beyond to support The Salvation Army and the community at large, educate the public on the good work of The Salvation Army, and raise funds for Allegheny County residents in need.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: The Salvation Army’s programs and services support those affected by poverty, hunger, and homelessness.

DO YOUR PART: Attend The Salvation Army’s Allegheny County Doing The Most Good Dinner and other upcoming events to support the nonprofit’s mission.

+ Make a monetary donation or volunteer your time to help reach even more people in Allegheny County and beyond.

The Salvation Army, Western PA Division, 700 N. Bell Ave., P.O. Box 742, Carnegie. 412.446.1500.

St. Clair Hospital Foundation

Photograph from St. Clair Hospital Foundation

Photograph from St. Clair Hospital Foundation

THE MISSION: To secure philanthropic support for St. Clair Hospital’s critical work of providing advanced, high-quality healthcare to residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania

WHAT IT’S DOING: The St. Clair Hospital Foundation supports advancements across St. Clair Hospital. Most recent contributions include new and upgraded equipment for the Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab, and Psychiatry and Mental Health programs; post-surgery camisoles and mammography pads for Breast Care Center patients; and free monthly restorative yoga classes for cancer patients.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Patients at St. Clair Hospital and their families

DO YOUR PART: To make a monetary donation, visit or email

+ Support the nonprofit by attending the 20th Annual Summer Swing, held at St. Clair Country Club on July 14, 2017.

St. Clair Hospital Foundation, 1000 Bower Hill Road, Upper St. Clair. 412.942.2465.

Sweetwater Center for the Arts

Photograph from Joyce Werwie Perry

Photograph from Joyce Werwie Perry

THE MISSION: To enrich the lives of children and adults in the communities it serves by providing excellence in arts education and cultural programming

WHAT IT’S DOING: The annual Holiday mART
Shop a variety of beautifully handcrafted gifts, including jewelry, ceramics, and two-dimensional art, created by local and national artists December 2-11. The Holiday mART kicks off with the Heritage Valley Holiday mART Preview Party, December 1, giving you an exclusive first look at the merchandise while you also enjoy hors d’oeuvres and wine.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: 11,000 individuals who annually sign up for Sweetwater Center for the Arts’ programs
Every year, the nonprofit offers 400 educational art classes, awards 135 scholarships to children and adults, and supports local artists.

DO YOUR PART: Get your holiday shopping taken care of and help Sweetwater Center for the Arts reach
its goal of raising $30,000 by visiting the annual Holiday mART.

+ You can also make a monetary donation, become a member of Sweetwater Center for the Arts, register for a class or workshop, or volunteer your time.

Sweetwater Center for the Arts, 200 Broad St., Sewickley. 412.741.4405.

Variety — The Children’s Charity

Photograph from John Altdorfer

Photograph from John Altdorfer

THE MISSION: To enable children with disabilities to live life to the fullest with a focus on mobility, communication, and social interaction/inclusion

WHAT IT’S DOING: Variety’s “My Bike” Program ensures children with disabilities have the opportunity to discover new possibilities and “be kids first” by providing Rifton adaptive bikes that are individually customized to each child.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Since November 2012, more than 1,100 bikes have been given to children in 50 counties across Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

DO YOUR PART: Make a monetary donation to continue the gifting of adaptive bikes, strollers, and devices to children through Variety —The Children’s Charity.

+ Variety’s “My Voice” Program provides communication devices to children, and Variety’s “My Stroller” Program grants adaptive strollers for those in need of “on-the-go” mobility. This past year, 444 pieces of adaptive equipment were given to children in the community!

Variety —The Children’s Charity, 11279 Perry Hwy., Suite 512, Wexford. 724.933.0460.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Photograph from The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Photograph from The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

THE MISSION: To protect and restore exceptional places; to provide our region with clean waters, healthy forests, wildlife, and natural areas for the benefit of present and future generations; to create green spaces and gardens, contributing to the vitality of
our cities and towns; and preserve Fallingwater, a symbol of people living in harmony with nature

WHAT IT’S DOING: The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy works year-round to protect and care for natural areas, restore waterways, bring nature to communities, and keep Fallingwater open to the world. It raises 130 community gardens, which also attract butterflies and bees; plants trees along streams to prevent erosion and stormwater runoff; and provides a variety of educational opportunities and programs.

WHO IT’S SUPPORTING: Everyone benefits from the beautiful surroundings, cleaner water, and fresher air The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy helps provide.

DO YOUR PART: Volunteer to plant gardens and trees, work on the nonprofit’s 12,000-plus acres of natural areas, or simply explore the spaces with your friends and family.

+ Make a monetary donation to support its programs. Those who gift $30 or more will become official members of the Conservancy!

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, 800 Waterfront Drive, Washington’s Landing. 412.288.2777.



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