This Thanksgiving season, we’re giving to our city’s nonprofits and thanking the community members who brighten such worthy causes in our neighborhoods. With our third annual Nonprofit Giving Guide, we’re highlighting the noble causes that need our area’s continued support throughout the holidays. With 45 to choose from, we know you’ll find one dear to your heart and give its beneficiaries the help needed to achieve their goals.
By Rachel Jones
The Mission: To ensure the well-being of companion animals, while ending overpopulation, abuse, and unwarranted euthanasia.
What It’s Doing: Animal Friends’ biggest concern right now is finding homes for more than 250 resident dogs, cats, and rabbits in its care. A summer full of humane confiscations, a flood of unwanted litters of kittens, and potential adopters who were busy with summertime activities have led to this desperate time.
Who It’s Helping: By adopting an animal, you save the life of that shelter animal and the life of the animal that will fill its space in the shelter. Communities benefit, too, as each dog, cat, and rabbit at Animal Friends is spayed or neutered before it can be adopted, which helps to control the pet population.
How to Help: Community members can adopt a pet, spread the word about eligible adoptable pets at Animal Friends, gift someone else’s adoption fees, or make a monetary donation.
Plus: Every year, Animal Friends adopts out 2,500 homeless pets, rescues 2,400 pets from abusive or neglectful situations, provides 10,000 low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, and touches the lives of 21,000 pet-assisted therapy patients.
Animal Friends, 562 Camp Horne Road, North Hills. 412.847.7000. ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org
The Mission: To engage the community in literacy and learning.
What It’s Doing: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh provides innovative, after-school learning experiences for youth; cutting-edge technology and collaborative spaces for job creators and seekers; and programs and services that foster civic engagement and cultural awareness, and build a community of readers.
Who It’s Helping: The library welcomes more than 2.2 million visitors every year. Every person in our community has access to ideas and information that support individual achievement and strengthen the power of the community.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation online, by phone, in person, or through your workplace; or share your time as a volunteer.
Plus: Headquartered in Oakland, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh boasts 19 library locations throughout the city.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412.622.3114. carnegielibrary.org
The Mission: To improve the quality of life for children, young people, and their families by providing a specialized continuum of services that enable them to reach their potential.
What It’s Doing: The Children’s Institute launches its Make an Amazing Difference Campaign on November 14. With $6 million received to date, the goal is to raise an additional $6 million in support of program expansion, capital improvements, and research.
Who It’s Helping: More than 6,400 children who face major health challenges come to The Children’s Institute annually from across the region and around the world.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation to the Make an Amazing Difference Campaign or the Amazing Kids Fund; participate in the Project STAR gift drive; volunteer; or help plan fundraising activities and events.
Plus: Don’t miss the annual Bright Spot on Shady community light-up event on November 14. Held in The Nimick Family Therapeutic Garden on The Children’s Institute Squirrel Hill campus, the free event features family-friendly entertainment and light refreshments.
The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh, 1405 Shady Ave., Squirrel Hill. 412.420.2400. amazingkids.org
The Mission: To feed people in need and mobilize our community to end hunger.
What It’s Doing: The Peoples Natural Gas Holiday Market, held November 21-December 23 in Market Square, will allow shoppers the opportunity to exchange monetary or food donations to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for a photo with Santa.
Who It’s Helping: The hungry families of Southwestern Pennsylvania benefit from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s collections. Food banking is a community-driven initiative, so our neighbors need to come together to make a difference, especially during this holiday season.
How to Help: More than 500 volunteers are needed to collect the food and funds, hand out photo vouchers, and thank donors at the Peoples Natural Gas Holiday Market. Or, make a donation yourself while perusing the event.
Plus: Every $5 donation can provide 25 meals for children of struggling families throughout the region.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, 1 N. Linden St., Duquesne. 412.460.3663. pittsburghfoodbank.org
The Mission: To stop seizures, find a cure, and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.
What It’s Doing: November is Epilepsy Awareness Month. To spread the word, the nonprofit is launching a variety of programs, including a new respite care program. Its goal is to provide help for 150 families with children who have seizures and need short term or intermittent care.
Who It’s Helping: Every year, approximately 2,500 families across Western and Central PA who are affected by epilepsy/seizure disorders rely on the foundation. And, with one in 26 adults experiencing seizures in their lifetime, the group’s community education programs are crucial.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation online, volunteer at a special event, or attend a social event. The 21st Annual Mardi Gras Gala takes place February 17 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel.
Plus: The nonprofit’s other programs include Project School Alert, which provides free training for students and faculty members in schools; Camp Frog, a fully integrated, one-week camp for kids with epilepsy; and the Oscar Project, which provides help for those who want a seizure response dog.
Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central PA, The Cardello Building, 1501 Reedsdale St., Suite 3002. North Shore. 412.322.5880. efwp.org
The Mission: To provide comprehensive services to people with intellectual and physical disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, that may also include complex medical conditions, and to additionally offer support services to their families and caregivers.
What It’s Doing: Hosted by Larry Richert and Sister Mary Thaddeus, the 23rd Annual McGuire Memorial’s “Special Auction for Special People” takes place February 28 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel.
Who It’s Helping: Each year, 300 children and adults with complex physical and intellectual disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum, benefit from the event. Last year, guests raised more than $500,000 for the Entrusted Treasures, who are assisted daily by the caring McGuire Memorial staff.
How to Help: To surpass last year’s success, the nonprofit hopes to raise $550,000 at the event. Make a monetary donation by texting “McGuire” to 41444, donate prizes to the event’s auction, or attend the event as a guest or corporate sponsor to lend your support.
Plus: A co-sponsored ministry of the Felician Sisters of North America and the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the nonprofit relies on events and community donations to continue to meet its members’ needs.
McGuire Memorial Foundation, 2119 Mercer Road, New Brighton. 724.843.3400. mcguirememorial.org
The Mission: To build a thriving, vibrant, and engaged Jewish community by raising and allocating funds and building communities locally, in Israel, and around the world.
What It’s Doing: Mitzvah Day, held on December 25, is the Jewish Federation Volunteer Center’s annual event. More than 700 volunteers will support a variety of human service institutions, allowing regular staff members to celebrate the holidays with their families.
Who It’s Helping: At last year’s event, volunteers worked at 60 sites across the city, doing everything from serving dinner to the homeless to making toys for hospitalized children. The nonprofit hopes to reach a larger community this year, offering a helping hand on a day that volunteers are greatly needed.
How to Help: Volunteer at Mitzvah Day! Many of the sites visited are family-friendly, so bring your children to share in the experience and learn the important value of volunteerism.
Plus: If you are connected with a social service agency that needs help on Christmas Day or you want to donate goods for activities, contact Matt Cohen at 412.992.5229 or
Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, 234 McKee Place, Oakland. 412.681.8000. jfedpgh.org
The Mission: To enrich the lives of children and adults in the community by providing excellence in arts education and cultural programming.
What It’s Doing: Every year, more than 1,500 people attend the annual Holiday mART fundraiser. Filled with handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, and two-dimensional works by local and national artisans, the nonprofit will celebrate the event’s 20th year on November 30-December 7 at the Sweetwater Center for the Arts.
Who It’s Helping: Proceeds from Holiday mART support Sweetwater Center for the Arts’ 400 art classes for children and adults throughout the year, and the artists participating in the event. The funds also support scholarships that allow those with financial barriers to still enjoy the center’s programs.
How to Help: Volunteer to help the fundraiser run smoothly; or donate food or grocery store gift certificates to provide hors d’oeuvres for guests. Monetary donations can also be made to the nonprofit at any time.
Plus: As part of the Holiday mART fun, enjoy a Champagne & Shopping Preview Party on November 29; Happy Hours on December 1-4; and Let the Men Cook, a dinner provided by an all-male volunteer team, on December 5.
Sweetwater Center for the Arts, 200 Broad St., Sewickley. 412.741.4405. sweetwaterartcenter.org
The Mission: To support the mission of the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) in alignment with the goals of the president and College Board of Trustees.
What It’s Doing: The CCAC Educational Foundation creates awareness of CCAC; advocates on behalf of the institute; and raises, manages, and distributes funds in accordance with the board’s initiatives. The constant goal is to keep education affordable for all CCAC students.
Who It’s Helping: Working to raise unrestricted funds to support the school’s programs and projects directly benefits CCAC students. It’s also beneficial to the Allegheny County employers who will work with them in the future.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation, attend the Legends in Leadership event this spring, or donate silent auction and raffle prizes for the event.
Plus: Legends in Leadership honors individuals in the community who have made an impact on our region. Visit ccac.edu for updated event details.
CCAC Educational Foundation, 808 Ridge Ave., Byers Hall, Room 102, North Side. 412.237.6510. ccac.edu
The Mission: Glass Art: We teach it. We create it. We promote it. We support those who make it.
What It’s Doing: The annual Art on Fire Celebration and Auction is the city’s only contemporary glass auction that benefits the Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC). Held in September, the event raises 10 percent of PGC’s annual operating funds.
Who It’s Helping: Art on Fire and the Holiday Glass Sale both contribute to the Center’s educational programs, so people of all ages and skill levels can learn the craft. As one of the top public access glass art facilities in the U.S., PGC connects Pittsburgh’s glass making history to its creative, innovative future.
How to Help: By supporting PGC, you’re nurturing the growth of the community’s glass artists and appreciators. Take a glass class, become a PGC member, purchase handmade glass art, or make a donation online.
Plus: Visit the Holiday Glass Sale, December 5-7, for handmade creations by local artists and your chance to make a blown or fused glass ornament yourself!
The Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave., Garfield. 412.365.2145. pittsburghglasscenter.org
The Mission: To bring people together to build and rehabilitate homes, support communities, and spread hope.
What It’s Doing: The nonprofit’s biggest project this fall will be moving its 76th partner family into a new home. Betty Smith, a single mother of four who moved to Pittsburgh to escape an abusive relationship, will open the door to her family’s new home this month!
Who It’s Helping: Since 1986, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh has transformed the lives of more than 100 local families.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation, or volunteer at one of the group’s job sites to do your part. Donating, shopping, and volunteering at the Habitat ReStore in Edgewood Towne Centre supports the mission, too.
Plus: Be on the lookout for this year’s annual fundraisers, including the Kids Triathlon, Night at the Fights, and the Legends of Past & Present Event.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh, 212 Yost Blvd., Braddock. 412.351.0512. pittsburghhabitat.org
The Mission: To create caring communities where Pennsylvanians support each other’s mental, physical, spiritual, and social well-being.
What It’s Doing: The nonprofit supports communities in Southwestern Pennsylvania through three programs: All of Us Care, an after-school and summer program that prevents crime and substance abuse among at-risk youth; Pittsburgh Disability Employment Project for Freedom, a competitive employment training program for people with disabilities; and Working Order, a small business incubator that serves people with disabilities, disadvantages, and other obstacles to traditional employment.
Who It’s Helping: More than 28,000 people rely on Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania to maintain or return to self-sufficiency.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation, or volunteer at one of the nonprofit’s three local programs.
Plus: The National Business Incubator Association named Working Order the Business Incubator of the Year for 2014!
Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania, 1650 Main St., Sharpsburg. 412.782.5344 x209. voapa.org
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: In the midst of one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in history, the foundation remains dedicated to helping those in Liberia and Sierra Leone — the two countries experiencing the highest burden of suspected and confirmed cases. The nonprofit is constantly sending supplies to their hospitals and clinics to keep up with the medical demands.
Who It’s Helping: The people of Western Africa who are affected by Ebola or risking infection to aid others are in dire need of the nonprofit’s support.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation to Brother’s Brother Foundation’s Ebola Response Fund at brothersbrother.org.
Plus: Brother’s Brother Foundation has committed $100,000 of its financial resources to helping its international partners, in addition to the donations of medical supplies.
Brother’s Brother Foundation, 1200 Galvestone Ave., North Shore. 412.321.3160. brothersbrother.org
The Mission: To reach preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary-aged children in the Pittsburgh region with solutions that begin to prepare them to confront bullying behavior.
What It’s Doing: To keep up with the alarmingly high rates of bullying at schools, The Marcus L. Ruscitto Charitable Foundation established the “Know What’s Right, Do What’s Right” campaign. The Foundation funds bullying prevention curriculum and assemblies for schools with financial need.
Who It’s Helping: Through the nonprofit’s programs, the youngest children in our region are encouraged to be positive upstanders and to recognize and interrupt harmful behaviors.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation, attend the annual fundraiser event, or suggest a school in need.
Plus: Watch for the nonprofit’s on-air announcements that reflect the “Know What’s Right, Do What’s Right” campaign on WQED Television during age-appropriate programming through May 2015.
The Marcus L. Ruscitto Charitable Foundation, 350 Arona Road, New Stanton. 724.925.2034. ruscitto.org
The Mission: To create welcoming communities of support for everyone living with cancer — men, women, teens, and children — along with their families and friends.
What It’s Doing: Our Clubhouse provides free social and emotional support programs to everybody, including families and youth impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Parents receive the tools to keep their children appropriately informed and the resources to support the family’s psychosocial needs.
Who It’s Helping: In addition to programs for individuals, the nonprofit provides family-based workshops, individual family consultations, and educational sessions for professionals on how to talk to families impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Through the work of Our Clubhouse, cancer patients, their families, and their caregivers can all benefit.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation to support its free programs at ourclubhouse.org/donate.
Plus: Approximately 1.58 million U.S. cancer survivors live with a child under the age of 18, showing us how crucial Our Clubhouse’s family program is to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Our Clubhouse, 2816 Smallman St., Strip District. 412.338.1919. ourclubhouse.org
The Mission: To create awareness that women under 40 can get breast cancer and to offer support.
What It’s Doing: The Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation (YWBCAF) is sponsoring the Holiday Mingle Jingle at Robinson Mall on November 23. The festive, fun-filled event grants the opportunity to get great deals and tackle your holiday shopping. There’s even a special meet and greet with Spencer Boldman from Disney’s “Lab Rats.”
Who It’s Helping: By raising funds for the YWBCAF, the event supports young women in the Pittsburgh area, the Cancer Caring Center, and other programs run by YWBCAF.
How to Help: Community members can purchase tickets at ShopRobinsonMall.com and attend the event, or make a direct monetary donation.
Plus: YWBCAF is an exclusively Pittsburgh organization. All funds raised stay in the community to help women in Pittsburgh under 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, 412.490.9808. youngwomensbreastcancerfoundation.com
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 funds initiatives, such as the patient Courtesy Transportation program, the Patient Assistance fund, and programs at the Family Birth Center and Breast Care Center, to name a few.
Who It’s Helping: St. Clair Hospital cares for more than 500,000 residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Supporting the St. Clair Hospital Foundation allows the hospital to continuously enhance its services, programs, and technologies to meet the community’s health needs.
How to Help: St. Clair is one of the few independent hospitals in the region. Its history is distinctive, having been founded by the philanthropic work of the community 60 years ago. Please help continue this legacy and make a monetary donation to support St. Clair at stclair.org/giving.
Plus: Summer Swing, the signature fundraising event, will be held on July 17 at St. Clair Country Club.
St. Clair Hospital Foundation, 1000 Bower Hill Road, Mt. Lebanon. 412.942.2465. stclair.org
The Mission: 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 overpopulation.
What It’s Doing: Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center (ARL) will be hosting the B*tches Ball, celebrating World Spay Day, in late February.
Who It’s Helping: The event will benefit animals in the care of ARL and raise community awareness of the importance of overpopulation control.
How to Help: Community members can volunteer at ARL, give monetary donations, donate items from ARL’s wish list, or attend future events.
Plus: ARL is the official shelter of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the sole beneficiary of the Penguins and Paws calendars.
Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center, 6620 Hamilton Ave., East End. 412.345.7300. animalrescue.org
The Mission: To provide birthday celebrations to homeless children living in shelters/group homes in the Pittsburgh region.
What It’s Doing: Most homeless children’s birthdays are overlooked, due to personal or financial circumstances. To spread birthday cheer 365 days a year, the nonprofit throws birthday parties for these children. Its goal for 2014 is to celebrate 600 homeless children.
Who It’s Helping: The nonprofit partners with 22 agencies across four counties in the Pittsburgh region. There are more than 3,000 school-aged homeless children in our area that could greatly benefit from the gift of a birthday smile.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation or purchase a gift card to Giant Eagle or Five Below to fund supplies for these birthday parties.
Plus: Volunteers are always needed to plan the parties, bake cakes, purchase party supplies, and fundraise for future parties.
Beverly’s Birthdays, 31 Robbins Station Road, North Huntingdon. 412.720.9737. beverlysbirthdays.org
The Mission: To perpetuate excellence in the art of ballet through performances, superior training of student dancers, and community engagement initiatives.
What It’s Doing: The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) is advancing key accessibility initiatives geared toward both audience members and aspiring artists. Last year, PBT became the first professional ballet company in the country to present a sensory-friendly performance of “The Nutcracker” for patrons with autism and other special needs. The nonprofit will continue the tradition with sensory-friendly performances of “The Nutcracker” on December 23 and “Beauty and the Beast” on February 13.
Who It’s Helping: Audience members with special needs can now enjoy the ballet, find inspiration in the art, and take away a positive experience.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation at pbt.org/support to elevate the PBT’s repertory with new commissions, fund live orchestra accompaniment, and strengthen educational programs within the community.
Plus: Get tickets for this season’s shows, and celebrate the company’s 45th anniversary!
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, 2900 Liberty Ave., Strip District. 412.281.0360. pbt.org
The Mission: To empower underprivileged girls in Nepal through a program of quality education, mentoring, and health and wellness services.
What It’s Doing: The Rukmini Foundation is currently striving to develop a new arts program for the upcoming school year. Not only will the students be able to stay in school, but they will also be able to explore their creative sides and learn in fun, innovative ways.
Who It’s Helping: This program will not only help the 30-plus young girls in the program, but it will also benefit the entire community from the improved quality of education.
How to Help: For as little as $1 a day, the Rukmini Foundation can keep a girl in school. Foster the cause with a monetary donation.
Plus: Nine of the 10 girls who joined the program during the inaugural year recently graduated from high school. Without the support of the Rukmini Foundation, they would not have such bright futures.
Rukmini Foundation, 305 34th St., Lawrenceville. rukminifoundation.org
The Mission: To catalyze the transformation of public education so that all children have access to high performing public schools.
What It’s Doing: The annual spring event on May 6 at Propel Hazelwood is designed to raise awareness of the nonprofit’s mission and generate financial support for its academic enrichment experiences. Guests will enjoy student performances, children’s artwork, and the opportunity to “be” a Propel student through teacher- and student-led mini-classes.
Who It’s Helping: More than 3,500 children, grades K-12, attend the 10 Propel schools in Allegheny County.
How to Help: Attend the spring event, donate a prize to the silent auction, or make a monetary donation on an individual or corporate level.
Plus: About 75 percent of Propel students are eligible for free/reduced lunches, 73 percent are members of a minority group, and 14 percent have special needs. Supporting The Propel Schools Foundation ensures that Propel students receive the best education possible.
The Propel Schools Foundation, 3447 E. Carson St., Suite 200, South Side. 412.325.7305. propelschools.org
The Mission: To promote the health and well-being of infants and children through services, which establish and strengthen the family.
What It’s Doing: Adoption Program provides domestic infant adoption placements and a range of support services; Child’s Way® provides specialized day care to medically fragile children; and Pediatric Specialty Hospital offers a transitional setting between the hospital and home for infants, children, and families.
Who It’s Helping: The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center serves infants, children, and their families in the Pittsburgh area and across the region.
How to Help: Organize a special event to support the nonprofit, become a “Patient Care” volunteer, or make a monetary donation.
Plus: The nonprofit’s signature gala, Shake Your Booties, celebrates its 14th year on March 21 at Stage AE.
The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center, 5324 Penn Ave., Friendship. 412.441.4884. childrenshomepgh.org
The Mission: To provide a voice in the courts on behalf of abused and neglected children in Westmoreland County and ensure the child is placed in a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.
What It’s Doing: The Annual Fund Membership Drive is taking place now through December. Membership gifts can be made in one lump sum or in monthly, automatic installments. These gifts can be made in memory or honor of someone, or as a holiday gift.
Who It’s Helping: The children CASA advocates for are victims of abuse and/or neglect by their parents and were removed from their homes. Donations and fundraising endeavors give these children a better life.
How to Help: Donations go a long way, but so do volunteer work, internships, and fundraiser/event attendance.
Plus: The next volunteer training session begins in March. Get your application in soon, so you can be an advocate for a child who needs a superhero to fight for them!
CASA of Westmoreland, Inc., 2 North Main St., Greensburg. 724.850.6874. westmorelandcasa.org
The Mission: To improve the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy, and connecting donors to the critical needs of the community.
What It’s Doing: The Pittsburgh Foundation will conduct a three-week public campaign to address the issue of homelessness in our community, starting December 8.
Who It’s Helping: Organizations that serve Pittsburgh’s homeless population will benefit from all donations and be better able to reach out to those in need.
How to Help: Community members can help by making donations at PittsburghGives.org
Plus: Online donations of $25 or more will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $100,000, by the Foundation, then distributed to area nonprofit organizations that serve Pittsburgh’s homeless population.
The Pittsburgh Foundation, 5 PPG Place, Suite 250, Downtown. 412.391.5122. pittsburghfoundation.org
The Mission: To provide care to those in need and make life better for patients at St. Barnabas.
What It’s Doing: The Presents for Patients® holiday campaign touches the lives of nursing home patients in the Greater Pittsburgh region by creating smiles during what can be a lonely time of year.
Who It’s Helping: Every year, St. Barnabas Charities and the Free Care Fund provide more than $6 million in medical care and rehabilitation therapy to patients at St. Barnabas.
How to Help: Contribute a monetary donation, in-kind gift, planned gift, or corporate sponsorship; volunteer; or attend an annual fundraising event.
Plus: Dr. Charles Krauthammer will be the guest speaker and Hance Award recipient at the 115th Annual St. Barnabas Founder’s Day Fundraising Gala, held April 30 at the Marriott Pittsburgh North.
St. Barnabas Charities, 5850 Meridian Road, Gibsonia. 724.625.3770. StBarnabasCharities.com. @stbfreecarefund
The Mission: To provide educational services — including tutoring in language arts, math and study skills, small group programs, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and child and family counseling — as well as an array of evaluations, screenings and assessments for children ages 2-18.
What It’s Doing: Laughlin Children’s Center is launching a major expansion that will contain new therapeutic spaces for occupational therapy, counseling, and parent-child interaction therapy sessions.
Who It’s Helping: The added therapeutic space will allow Laughlin to help more children become successful learners, and will also house state-of-the-art amenities for those in need of occupational therapy.
How to Help: Monetary donations can be made to help the Center meet the $50,000 challenge grant issued by the Laughlin Board of Trustees.
Plus: Laughlin needs to raise $450,000 to fully fund the project with the hope of having the new spaces available for use in late spring 2015.
Laughlin Children’s Center, 424 Frederick Ave., Sewickley. 412.741.4087. laughlincenter.org
The Mission: To serve Pittsburgh’s North Side by investing in the lives of at-risk children, youth, and their families, in order to develop productive and responsible members of society and the community.
What It’s Doing: Urban Impact is partnering with Allegheny Center Alliance Church for “Light the Night,” a free concert and Christmas celebration. The event features several performing arts groups, student choirs, and the story of Christ’s birth.
Who It’s Helping: “Light the Night” benefits the children and youth of Urban Impact — up to 1,400 each year.
How to Help: Donate musical instruments or sports equipment; make a monetary donation; or attend an event to support Urban Impact.
Plus: Community members are also invited to become charity runners for Urban Impact in the DICK’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Visit crowdrise.com/urbanimpact for
Urban Impact, 801 Union Ave., North Side. 412.321.3811. uifpgh.org
The Mission: To deliver support with compassion for the educational, financial, and health needs of our diverse communities.
What It’s Doing: LHAS fundraises to create and support programs that respond to the evolving needs of the community. LHAS significantly contributes to the following programs: the Orchid Fund, which provides funding and resources for non-surgical hair replacement for individuals experiencing hair loss; Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Program, educating students and parents regarding the warning signs of dating violence/abuse through weekly middle and high school assemblies; and Pups with Purpose, which works to increase the number of certified therapy dogs and medical service dogs for those in need.
Who It’s Helping: In addition to supporting the programs’ targeted groups, the nonprofit works to benefit individuals and families needing an extra helping hand throughout Western Pennsylvania.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation or volunteer for one of their social service initiatives by assembling bags containing items that provide diversion to the families of a dying patient, or packing clothing and footwear for discharged trauma patients.
Plus: Since its inception in 1898, LHAS has contributed more than $16 million to the Western Pennsylvania community.
Ladies Hospital Aid Society, 3459 Fifth Ave., Suite N709, Oakland. 412.648.6106. lhas.net
The Mission: To provide programs that serve the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder, neurological impairments, or serious emotional challenges.
What It’s Doing: The Watson Institute developed Watson LIFE Resources, an online resource to complement their services to teachers, trainers, and caregivers who teach and support children with autism and other needs. Ask about a concern for your child, and it will provide an accurate answer with strategies, based on data Watson consultants have collected over 15 years.
Who It’s Helping: Caregivers and educators rely on Watson LIFE Resources to provide the best solutions for children with special needs.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation to The Watson Institute to support the maintenance of Watson LIFE Resources.
Plus: Don’t miss the 35th Annual Watson Institute/First National Bank Pro-Am Golf Tournament at the Allegheny Country Club on June 5.
The Watson Institute, 301 Camp Meeting Road, Sewickley. 412.741.1800. thewatsoninstitute.org
The Mission: To work for the public and inform people in ways that engage and inspire them to create dialogue about community issues and stories.
What It’s Doing: The station provides informative content and profiles local standouts through a variety of programs. For example, 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference highlights local community leaders, and Art from the Ground Up features small arts organizations.
Who It’s Helping: WESA’s local listeners use the programs to learn more about community issues and how they can work to improve the region.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation, attend an event, or simply send support over the airwaves.
Plus: In its three years on air, the station’s journalists have won 15 Pennsylvania Associated Press News Awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and 11 Western Pennsylvania Press Association “Golden Quill” Awards!
90.5 WESA, 67 Bedford St., South Side. 412.381.9131. wesa.fm
The Mission: To promote the reproductive health and overall well-being of women of all ages, their families, and their communities by providing healthcare services and educational programs that are responsive and creative
What It’s Doing: Adagio Health’s annual appeal takes place in November and benefits all of its programs. The nonprofit provides healthcare, preventative health education, and nutrition programs to more than 150,000 people in Western Pennsylvania every year.
Who It’s Helping: The organization plays a vital role in educating teens about a healthy future, offers nutrition advice to new mothers, screens uninsured women for breast cancer, and more.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation or attend an upcoming event.
Plus: The Trés Chic event, held February 28 at Macy’s Downtown, will be filled with fashion, flavor, and fun. Ticket sales directly assist the group’s dietetic internship students in developing their skills and knowledge of nutrition science through practical experience.
Adagio Health, 960 Penn Ave., Suite 600, Downtown. 412.253.8163. adagiohealth.org
The Mission: To inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident through a fun and experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.
What It’s Doing: Half of Girls on the Run participants rely on scholarships to participate in the program. Your donation will help inspire lower-income girls to be to be joyful, healthy, and confident!
Who It’s Helping: More than half of the 1,500 participating girls and their families will benefit from financial donations to the scholarship program.
How to Help: Follow the “Support” link on the program’s website for details on volunteering and making monetary donations.
Plus: The 2nd Annual Fall Girls on the Run 5K takes off December 7 at North Park.
Girls on the Run at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, 3380 Blvd. of the Allies, Suite 315, Oakland. 412.641.5353. gotrmagee.org
The Mission: To cure cystic fibrosis and to provide all people with the disease the opportunity to lead full, productive lives by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatments, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.
What It’s Doing: The next foundation event is the 65 Roses Sports Auction on December 9 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh in Station Square. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation partners with the Pittsburgh Steelers to host a one of a kind sports extravaganza. Steelers Brett Keisel and Cameron Heyward bring their fellow teammates out for an autograph session. Visit wpa.cff.org/sportsauction for more information.
Who It’s Helping: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s proceeds benefit Cystic Fibrosis patients by funding research and drug development, promoting individualized treatment, and ensuring access to high-quality, specialized care.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation or attend one of many events throughout the year. Follow @CFF_WP on Twitter for up-to-date event information.
Plus: The Western PA Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recently broke national records with its Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest program, netting proceeds in excess of $360,000.
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 810 River Ave., North Shore. 412.321.4422. cff.org
The Mission: To provide life-changing programs, food, and shelter to Pittsburgh’s poor and homeless.
What It’s Doing: During the winter season, the nonprofit collects warm coats, winter hats, gloves, scarves, and blankets for those in need. Volunteers distribute the winter clothing from tents outside the Mission to those who attend the Great Thanksgiving Banquet and the Christmas Banquet.
Who It’s Helping: Poor and homeless men, women, and children who come to the Mission for meals or long-term programs will receive the comforting donations. Light of Life Rescue Mission also partners with local churches and nonprofits to give to their members, too.
How to Help: Its primary source of funding comes from individuals, businesses, and private grants throughout the year. To make a monetary donation, follow the “Donate Now” tab at lightoflife.org.
Plus: To arrange dropping off winter coats, contact Bri Feindt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.803.4160.
Light of Life Rescue, P.O. Box 6823, 10 E. North Ave., North Side. 412.258.6100. lightoflife.org
The Mission: To foster each child’s capacity to become an independent-thinking, compassionate, and purposeful human being.
What It’s Doing: The school provides the capacities required for a successful, purposeful, and joyful life; ingrates an intrinsic passion for learning; and inspires responsibility for self, community, and the world.
Who It’s Helping: Students at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh receive an education that’s joyful, creative, thorough, and advanced. The curriculum prepares children to graduate with a love of learning; reverence for the beauty and wonder of the world; and an ability to think flexibly, analytically, and creatively. The school truly educates head, heart, and hands.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation or attend the annual gala on March 7. Community members are invited to celebrate, raise funds for the nonprofit, and become a corporate sponsor, if able.
Plus: Every year, 100 percent of the Annual Fund supports the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh’s students.
Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, 201 S. Winebiddle St., Bloomfield. 412.441.5792. waldorfpittsburgh.org
The Mission: To serve all, regardless of religious affiliation, at their time of great need.
What It’s Doing: As the primary social service agency of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Catholic Charities assists neighbors who need help with housing, health, hunger, training and employment, and economic security and stability. Through 25 programs, the nonprofit strives to provide direct assistance, as well as a path to greater stability.
Who It’s Helping: Neighbors and families across six counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania benefit from the nonprofit’s good works.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation, volunteer to increase the impact of the nonprofit’s mission, or attend an event.
Plus: Don’t miss the Vintage Christmas Experience at Stage AE on December 13 (12.13.14!) The holiday bash includes dancing to the grooves of the 60s, 70s, and 80s; a 12 Days of Christmas auction; Christmas fare; and a Christmas Giving Tree.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, 212 Ninth St., Downtown. 412.456.6950. ccpgh.org
The Mission: To support and empower individuals with disabilities and their families.
What It’s Doing: ACHIEVA is implementing innovative programming to better serve adults and children with disabilities and/or development delays. Its current projects include reducing the waiting lists for services for individuals with disabilities, providing job training and employment opportunities, enhancing the opportunities for families to secure their financial futures, and increasing energy efficiency throughout the organizations’ more than 100 facilities.
Who It’s Helping: More than 14,500 individuals with disabilities and their families benefit from ACHIEVA’s services.
How to Help: ACHIEVA is able to provide some support services to families free of charge. Make a monetary donation to directly fund those services.
Plus: Support the nonprofit at ACHIEVA’s Pittsburgh Promenade Auction on March 21 and ACHIEVA’s 17th Million Dollar Golf Outing on August 17.
ACHIEVA, 711 Bingham St., South Side. 412.995.5000. achieva.info
The Mission: Compelled by the love of Christ, Vincentian Collaborative System nurtures and sustains a ministry of compassionate care that preserves the human dignity of persons within a diverse and changing society.
What It’s Doing: Vincentian Collaborative System’s annual fundraiser, Affair of the Heart, takes place February 21 at LeMont on Mt. Washington. The signature event raised more than $120,000 last year, as attendees enjoyed entertainment, fine dining, and breathtaking views of Pittsburgh — all for a good cause!
Who It’s Helping: All funds raised at the event directly benefit residents of Vincentian de Marillac in Pittsburgh and Marian Manor in the South Hills, two of Vincentian’s senior communities.
How to Help: Registration and corporate sponsorship opportunities for Affair of the Heart opens in early 2015. Please call 412.548.4056 for more information.
Plus: Vincentian Collaborative System is part of the worldwide Sisters of Charity of Nazareth congregation.
Vincentian Collaborative System, 412.630.9980. vcs.org
The Mission: To serve as a catalyst and source of growth and knowledge; offer a home to thinking and inquisitive children and adults; act as a collector, guardian, and interactive presenter of cultural and scientific treasures and ideas; and support the community by attracting visitors and promoting economic development.
What It’s Doing: As the region’s largest and most far-reaching cultural organization, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh offers more than 130 special exhibitions, films, theater shows, and live performances; 341 kids’ classes and camps, attended by 19,000 children; and 100 adults’ classes, attended by 4,300 people.
Who It’s Helping: In 2013, the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh reached 1.3 million people through onsite visits, educational programming, community outreach, and special events.
How to Help: Become a Carnegie Museums Member, give a gift membership, make a donation to Carnegie Museums’ Annual Fund; or volunteer your talents at one of the four museums.
Plus: Don’t miss the world-renowned Miniature Railroad & Village®’s reopening at Carnegie Science Center on November 28; Neapolitan presepio at Carnegie Museum of Art from November 28-January 15 (closed December 1-3); Carnegie Trees at Carnegie Museum of Art from December 5-January 5; and MessFest at Carnegie Science Center on January 1.
Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412.622.3131. cmoa.org / carnegiemnh.org
Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave., North Shore. 412.237.3400. carnegiesciencecenter.org
The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Shore. 412.237.8300. warhol.org
The Mission: To support people through life changes and challenges in the Greater Pittsburgh community by providing psychological, employment, and social services.
What It’s Doing: The Squirrel Hill Community Food Pantry (SHCFP) is a division of Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh (JF&CS) that provides food assistance to all qualified families without discrimination, as well as those in need of emergency food in surrounding communities.
Who It’s Helping: More than 1,700 clients who struggle with food insecurity and hunger in the 15217 zip code and those outside of the area who keep kosher homes benefit from its programs.
How to Help: Make a monetary donation, or volunteer at the SHCFP. Volunteers can sort donations, deliver groceries to homebound clients, or assist clients in shopping.
Plus: The nonprofit as a whole supports more than 8,000 people who experience a crisis or serious life challenge annually.
Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh, 5743 Bartlett St., Squirrel Hill.412.422.7200. jfcspgh.org
The Mission: To make meaningful grants to charities that are creating tangible positivity in the communities they serve.
What It’s Doing: The foundation’s biggest event is the Polamalu’s Polynesian Luau. Held November 14 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel, the high-energy event features live performances, traditional fare, and specialty cocktails.
Who It’s Helping: Supporting the Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund and the Harry Pans Fund for Veterans, the event benefits groups like Operation Once in a Lifetime, which grants wishes to members of the U.S. military, and The Fa’a Samoa Initiative, which implements sports and academic programs and scholarships.
How to Help: Visit polamalufoundation.org to learn how to make a monetary donation and support the nonprofit’s goals.
Plus: The Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund and the Harry Panos Fund for Veterans are held at the Pittsburgh Foundation, allowing the freedom to support a variety of charities through the grants made by their funds.
The Troy & Theodora Polamalu Foundation Fund, polamalufoundation.org
The Mission: To enrich the community through musical discovery, expression, and education.
What It’s Doing: WYEP is hosting its annual Holiday Hootenanny on December 11. Held at Stage AE, the festive concert begins at 7 p.m. with a family-friendly Yule Kids sing-along and Pajama Jam. At 8 p.m., an all-star lineup of local musicians — including Mark Dignam, Billy Price, Chet Vincent, and more — will perform classic and contemporary holiday hits.
Who It’s Helping: The event benefits WYEP’s programs and The Pajama Project, an organization that’s dedicated to providing “a million good nights” to children and families in need.
How to Help: Attend the Holiday Hootenanny, and bring a new pair of pajamas or a book to donate to The Pajama Project. Monetary donations can be made to WYEP at any time.
Plus: Tickets go on sale November 10 for $15 and are $20 at the door.
91.3 WYEP, 67 Bedford Square, South Side. 412.381.9900. wyep.org
The Mission: To raise the standard and promote the appreciation of bagpipe music in the U.S. by providing world-class instruction, cultivating excellence in youth, presenting innovative musical events, and fostering tradition.
What It’s Doing: The Balmoral Classic, one of the nonprofit’s biggest fundraisers, will be held November 21-22. Attend The Gathering, a fundraiser with a live auction and Scottish entertainment and food, at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association on Friday. On Saturday, The U.S. Junior Solo Piping and Snare Drumming Championship competition, and an evening concert by Battlefield Band, will take place at Oakland Catholic’s McGonigle Theatre.
Who It’s Helping: Proceeds from The Balmoral Classic will go toward scholarships and programs for students at The Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming.
How to Help: Make a monetary or in-kind donation, or attend an upcoming concert.
Plus: The nonprofit works to establish itself as the national leader in the support and training of young American pipers and drummers. In fact, the only Americans to win major solo bagpiping competitions in Scotland have been students of The Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming!
The Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming, 1414 Pennsylvania Ave., North Side. 412.323.2707. bagpiping.org
The Mission: To enable children with disabilities to live life to the fullest with a focus on mobility, communication, and social inclusion/interaction.
What It’s Doing: Celebrating the two-year anniversary of Variety’s “My Bike” program, the nonprofit will launch a “My Bike” Christmas Campaign. More than 650 adaptive bikes for disabled children have been sponsored since the program launched. Its goal is to have 1,000 total by this Christmas.
Who It’s Helping: The nonprofit benefits children with disabilities, ages 4 to 21, throughout 26 counties in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
How to Help: Sponsor a bike for the “My Bike” Christmas Campaign for $1,800, and give a child a greater sense of independence and the joy of riding a bike.
Plus: If you know a child who is eligible to receive a bike from the program, please call 724.933.0460 or apply at varietypittsburgh.org/bikeapplication.asp.