As we wrap up our shopping and get closer to the holidays, we at Homeworks would like to keep in mind those who could use a little extra help this season. Whether it has to do with housing, food insecurity, or the simple need for a small boost at this particularly stressful time of year, the reality is, there are so many good people (and good animals) who could benefit from even the smallest acts of kindness. We know that big, monetary donations aren’t always possible, and that’s perfectly okay—there are plenty of ways to give back. Below are a few places doing good things in the name of others.
If you’ve got the ability to donate, volunteer, or simply help spread the word, we think these causes are well worth your time and energy.
This non-profit organization is comprised of 4 homes (SLC, Provo, St. George, and Heber) that offer a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, young adults, and families. They provide essential mental health services, resources, and tools throughout the year, and during the holiday season, you can contribute to their holiday wish list. Each home has an Amazon list, as well as a selection of items that include food, snacks, and cleaning supplies. Encircle Holiday Wish List
Canines with a Cause
This is a 501c3 nonprofit that does good for both people and pups. CWAC rescues shelter dogs, then places them with disabled military veterans to become psychiatric service or assistance dogs. They offer classes (UT, ID, NV) that enable veterans to develop the skills to train their own dogs and provide much needed companionship on the path toward healing. You can foster, adopt, donate, or give at canineswithacause.org/.
The idea here is to pool resources in order to do good in your own backyard. Our Glass is a Salt Lake-based giving circle that meets quarterly to listen, vote, and donate to a local non-profit nominated by a member of the group. It’s just $100 per member, per quarter—but as the group grows, so too will the impact. All are welcome to join! Learn more at https://www.ourglassutah.com/.
This mostly-volunteer based non-profit provides services to those experiencing crises, such as a loss of housing, domestic violence, substance abuse, etc. By providing food, support, and temporary boarding, they help to keep pets with their people and decrease the number of animals entering the shelter system. You can donate directly or help with some items (such as leashes, blankets, litter box scoops, etc.) on their Ruff Haven Wish List.
The Road Home
Established in 1923 (and currently celebrating 100 years), the Road Home exists to help individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. Their focus is on “short-term solutions that lead to long-term stability” and they utilize nationally recognized best practices, such as housing-first, progressive engagement, rapid re-housing, and housing navigation to help people move back into a home of their own. Help them raise vital funds to provide lifesaving programs that enable others to overcome homelessness during their 2023 Mediathon on December 21st and 22nd. Road Home 2023 Mediathon
Salt Lake County Animal Services / CAWS / Ruff Patch / Best Friends Animal Society
No matter where you decide to help, donations and volunteers are always in high demand at these no-kill shelters. Moreover, they’re desperate for some holiday foster homes. Even if it’s just for a short holiday break, living in a shelter can be a very stressful environment for dogs and cats. Fostering prepares them for adoption and lessens the burden on crowded shelters, and all vet care and supplies are provided. And for those looking to add a permanent member to their family, the holidays is kind of a perfect time to do it—so, so, so many animals are in need of a good home (and BFAS is doing $25 adoptions in December!).
Utah Food Bank
Founded in 1904, the Utah Food Bank was able to distribute 60.2 million pounds of food (roughly 50 million meals) to people facing hunger across Utah last year. Through food drives and other events, as well as food box programs and mobile pantries that benefit Utahans of all ages dealing with food insecurity, they’re working to fight hunger, and they could always use a little help. Whether you choose to donate food, time, or money, it’s going to a good cause that benefits those in need. Check the following link for drop-off locations, volunteer opportunities, and donation links: Utah Food Bank.