‘Tis the season for shopping, and between Black Friday to Cyber Monday, we’ve scooped up amazing deals on toys, kitchen goods, fashions, and more. But there’s more to the season than just buying presents. That’s the idea behind Giving Tuesday, a holiday that falls on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a chance to give back to charities that have a big impact, and spending money this way can have a much more positive effect on the world than buying another pair of discount sweatpants would (luckily, there’s room for both!).

Giving Tuesday is also a fun way to introduce charitable giving to your kids. By making this holiday as much a part of your family’s traditions as the other winter holidays, you’re sending a message to your loved ones that giving back to those in need is an essential act of compassion that shouldn’t fall to the wayside when you get caught up in the online shopping frenzy.

Are you ready to celebrate Giving Tuesday this year? If so, here are some great charities you can consider donating to this year.

Ronald McDonald House

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Nothing is worse for a family than a child becoming seriously ill, and no family should have to struggle to be with their child when they’re going through essential medical treatments. That’s why Ronald McDonald House Charities focuses on helping families around the world stay together as their children undergo lifesaving care. Ronald McDonald Houses offer free accomodations near hospitals for families in need, so adult caretakers have a convenient place to stay when their child has to travel for medical treatment. Learn more about Ronald McDonald House and how to donate here.

Doctors Without Borders

Started in France, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is an organization that sends medical aid to locations in need globally, from countries torn apart by war and violence to areas stricken by natural disasters and disease. Their emergency medical care saves lives every year, and the organization was recognized for its efforts in 1999 when it recieved the Nobel Peace Prize. Learn more about how Doctors Without Borders works, and how you can donate, here.

United Farm Workers Foundation

During the holidays we feast on roasted turkeys, sumptuous vegetable sides, and pumpkin and apple pies. But it takes hard labor to bring these ingredients to your kitchen table. The truth is that being a farm worker is incredibly hard work, especially in an era of escalating climate change, inaccessible health care, and antagonism toward immigrant workers. The United Farm Workers Foundation works with immigrant farm workers to provide financial assitance to families in need; to distribute essential safety equipment like masks to those in the fields; to provide safety information; and to inform farm workers of their rights. Farm workers toil through wild fires, torrential downpours, the pandemic, and record-breaking heat to bring food to our tables – this holiday season, consider a donation to UFWF to give back to them.

Black Mamas Matter Alliance

Did you know that, according to the United Nations, Black moms in the United states face gender and racial discrimination from the health care system that has lead to a Black maternal health care crisis? It’s sad, but true. The Black Mamas Matter Alliance seeks to educate health care providers about these disparities so that Black moms and their babies get the health care they deserve, for healthy pregnancies, childhoods, and beyond. You can donate and learn more about their work to address maternal health disparities and inequities in reproductive justice and birth justice here.

No Kid Hungry

For many families, the holidays are a time of abundance, but in some homes, children are going hungry. 11 million kids in the US are “food insecure,” meaning they don’t have enough food for their nutritional needs to be met, and thanks to coronavirus, that number is projected to increase to 18 million this year. No Kid Hungry is a non-profit that seeks to end child hunger by campaigning for free school breakfasts, afterschool meals, and summer meals. They also do advocacy work with elected officials and governmental offices to make ending child hunger a priority at all levels of our society. Read more about their work and donate here.

Go Super Local

Donating to a non-profit organization is a wonderful thing to do, but this year, consider going super-local, and helping out your neighbors. Whether that means donating to your local food pantry, handing out warm-weather essentials and masks to unhoused people in your community, organizing a winter coat drive at your workplace or among your friends, or running errands for the elderly and immuno-compromised, there are a lot of ways in which you can address the immediate needs of the people in your community without going through a non-profit first. Learn more about mutual aid and how you can support your community all year long here.

Before you go, check out our top foolproof holiday gifts for absolutely everyone on your list:

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