For some people, giving back is part of the winter holiday experience. Donations are a great way to do this, especially for those who are pressed for time. Not everyone can spend time volunteering, much as they would like to. Boston has numerous organizations that can use extra funds or goods during the holiday season. Those who want to donate to worthy causes will not have to look hard to find one.
Cradles to Crayons
155 N Beacon St.
Brighton, MA 02135
Cradles to Crayons is a local organization that helps young kids get the most out of school by having the right supplies. Kids from 0 to 12 can benefit from the giving mission of this group. The idea is that children who are well equipped for school get a better experience overall. This includes having shoes that are the right size, warm coats and backpacks full of supplies. Donations of new and nearly new children’s items and school supplies are welcome all year.
New England Center For Homeless Veterans
17 Court St.
Boston, MA 02108
No one has the winter months harder than the homeless. The bitter cold makes it difficult to survive, let alone stay comfortable and well fed. New England Center for Homeless Veterans targets one of the most at-risk homeless populations – veterans. The organization provides a range of services to former service members who need help. Everything from volunteer time to online donations are accepted by this organization. Help a veteran find a home, a job or even just something warm to wear this holiday season.
25 Kingston St., 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
While peace on Earth is a concept that people should embrace all year long, it is more commonly espoused during the holiday season. Peace First is an organization that empowers young people to think outside of the box, work together and organize realistically with the aim of limiting conflict and, in short, bettering the world. This organization has job openings, ways to volunteer time and ways to donate. Help is used to bring children together and use tools like games to get them thinking in new and cooperative ways.
P.O. Box 336
Hopedale, MA 01747
Project Smile is a Massachusetts organization that helps rescue workers, including paramedics, police and firefighters, make one small gesture to children in traumatic situations that makes a big difference. Begun when the founder read a story about a starving child who was given a stuffed animal by a rescue worker that the child subsequently clung to, Project Smile collects gifts for kids being rescued. Stuffed animals, books and other small toys are collected by Project Smile and dispersed to rescue workers who then give them to traumatized children, giving them something to connect to in their time of need.
USS Constitution Museum
Charlestown Navy Yard
Charlestown, MA 02129
The USS Constitution Museum is one of the coolest museums in Boston to offer free admission, all the time. The museum has interactive nautical exhibits for children and adults to play with. These include hammocks that give kids a feel of just how hard it is to climb in and out of bed at sea. The museum runs completely on donations and guests are asked to give whatever they can when they visit. Often, this is not enough. Give back to a Boston institution that shares knowledge of the oldest commissioned warship still afloat in the world.
Shelly Barclay is a professional freelance writer and amateur author. She writes on a variety of topics from food to mysteries. She loves to share the culture and rich history of her birthplace and home, Boston, with the rest of the world. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.