It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the holiday hoopla of gifts, shopping and parties for your family. Yet the holiday season is often one of the hardest times for many families who struggle to put food on the table, let alone presents under the tree. Make giving back as a family a priority this year and teach your kids the value of giving rather than receiving. Decide your cause as a family and how you want to contribute.
Here are some fantastic local organizations in Des Moines where you can give back this holiday season:
Children’s Cancer Connection provides support services and programs to children with cancer and their families. The organization sponsors two week-long summer camps for children with cancer and their siblings. Approximately 300 children attend the annual camp programs designed to help them escape cancer’s effects. Children’s Cancer Connection also provides support groups, outings to events such as Disney on Ice, and weekend retreats for an additional 400 family members throughout the year.
Children’s Cancer Connection provides these services for all children diagnosed, living in and/or treated in Iowa. To donate you can visit their Fundraising Page or you can start your own social fundraising campaign.
The mission of the Child and Family Policy Center is to better link research and policy on issues vital to children and families and advocate for evidence-based practices that improve child and family outcomes. Over the last 20 years, CFPC has successfully promoted initiatives expanding access to quality child care, preschool and comprehensive health care, improving the tax treatment of low- and moderate-income working families, boosting family economic success and supporting child safety and welfare.
CFPC’s rigorous research base around child policy is a trusted resource for policymakers, advocates and the general public. You can donate on-line or by mailing a check to Child and Family Policy Center; 505 5th Avenue, Suite 404; Des Moines, IA 50309.
The mission of CFUM is to create a community that supports the potential of children, youth, and families through educational success, healthy living, and community engagement. To address the challenges and build on the strengths of those living on or near the north side of Des Moines they provide a myriad of programs like their Breakfast Club, after school programming, summer camps and more.
A “newish” non-profit organization, Clive Community Services was established to provide support to families and individuals in need by aiding and linking them with resources that will enable them to become healthier in mind, body, and spirit. To meet the growing needs of Clive residents, Clive Community Services operates a food pantry, clothing closet and free clinic. They also provide ELL classes and help with the Walnut Hills Garden of Faith, Food, and Learning.
You can make a big difference even with a small monetary donation to Clive Community Services. You can donate on-line or check out their List of Ongoing Client Needs if you’d prefer to donate items, like non-perishable food, baby items, toiletries, clothing, office or household supplies.
DMARC is an interfaith organization with a core membership of over 125 congregations from four faith traditions. DMARC manages a Food Pantry Network consisting of 13 separate partnering food pantry sites, a centralized food warehouse, and numerous community supporters. The DMARC Food Pantry Network is health-based and is the largest food pantry network in Iowa. Food pantry sites are located in Des Moines, Ankeny, Clive, Johnston, Urbandale and West Des Moines.
With families struggling to put on the table, helping out local food pantries is a great cause. You can donate to DMARC on-line. The organization is always in search of volunteers to help make their programs successful.
AHeinz57 Pet Rescue & Transport is a foster-based animal rescue organization, headquartered in De Soto, IA. They are a unique rescue organization in that they bridge the gap between traditional animal shelters and no-kill rescues in two different ways: 1) By providing free transportation for dogs from traditional shelters to no-kill rescues all over the Midwest and Canada. They also provide overnight rest stops for their furry travelers and temporary housing for those whose time has run out at the shelters, but must wait for a foster spot to open up in one of the rescues.
AHeinz57 pulls dogs off of death row and places them in foster homes and forever homes. You can donate to the organization on-line. The organization also has several volunteer opportunities for your animal loving family.
For the past 20 years the Johnston Partnership has been providing programs and services that address the needs of children, families, and seniors throughout Johnston with issues of food insecurity and who need empowerment and mentoring. Their programs include a school based mentoring program, food pantry, clothing closet and a weekend food program where kids take home a backpack of food from school each Friday.
We’d love to hear where your family plans to give back to your community this holiday season in Des Moines!