The holidays are already upon us, and we can hardly believe it! Even though we’re super excited to browse through downtown shops in the coming weeks, as Thanksgiving approaches, it’s also important to keep in mind that the holidays are a time for gratitude and giving. At the end of the season, after all the presents are unwrapped, U.S. shoppers are expected to spend more than $1.1 trillion on family and friends. If you want to spread some of that wealth—and plenty of good cheer—to those in need in your community, Southwest Michigan is home to some unbelievable philanthropic organizations. Keep reading to see just a few of the possible ways you can have a big impact on your community this holiday season.
- Over 600 people rely on YWCA Kalamazoo to make the holidays special. Believing every family should have something to celebrate, it organizes an Assist-A-Family program, delivers holiday presents to both children and adults, covers everyday necessities, and hosts a huge holiday party complete with gifts, treats, and more. Donate or get involved today!
- Every year, The Salvation Army donates toys to more than 5,000 children in the Kalamazoo area alone. To make a family’s holiday truly special, you can give gifts through its Angel Tree program. Check out how you can make the holiday season even brighter.
- The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo are dedicated to giving young ones in our community a safe place to go after school, free of charge. In December, it invites boys and girls to stay for the holidays, becoming a warm, festive, and fun home for kids and teens. Your donation will go a long way in allowing children to participate in activities throughout the new year.
- Since the Great Depression, Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries has been here to help those in need of food, shelter, and safety. Since the winter months can be an especially trying and uncertain time for those experiencing homelessness or financial crisis, your support is especially important.
- During the holiday season, the Portage Community Center fills Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets for hundreds of families. It also throws a holiday celebration for children and coordinates an adopt-a-family program to spread cheer across the Portage community. Click here to find out how you can help.
- Ministry with Community is collecting winter clothing and outerwear to keep the community warm as the temperature dips. This service organization will also hold its annual Underwear Party on December 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center to raise awareness and collect garments for those in need.
- Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes is more than a food bank. It distributes food to those in need at 77 distribution sites throughout Kalamazoo County. An average of 700 people receive groceries from the organization each day. Learn how you can fight back against hunger by donating a special holiday meal or even throwing your own party.