As the Holiday Season approaches, we know many of us are looking for ways to give back. The year-end holidays are a time of reflection that inspire many people to reach out to those who are in need, and many feel encouraged to give more generously than during the rest of the year. To qualify for a tax deduction in the current calendar year, donors also must make their yearly giving decisions by December 31st. As a result, a tremendous amount of charitable giving occurs between Giving Tuesday, which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and the end of the year.
If you choose to participate in the year-end charitable giving season, most likely you are wanting your donations to do the most good for the causes you care about. Although you may already have certain charities you regularly donate to, we thought we would create a list of local charities in the Tacoma area that are in need of donations as well. Giving right back to the community you live in is one of the best ways to help. There are so many in need right here in our neighborhoods, if you are struggling to decide which charity to give to this holiday season, maybe consider one of these local non-profits!
Nourish Pierce County
Causes: Emergency Assistance, Family Services, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Human Service Organizations, Human Services
Mission: Nourish’s mission is to provide nutritious food for people in need with compassion, dignity, and respect. Our goal is to provide each individual and family with enough food to make at least three meals a day for three days. No one in need is ever turned away.
Results: Nourish impacts the community by helping provide the most basic need-balanced, nutritious food for families and individuals. Nourish serves the underemployed, unemployed, children, seniors, active-duty military, veterans, individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals with disabilities, and many hard-working families who are often just a paycheck away from losing everything.
In 2016 NOURISH served over 69,199 unduplicated people in Pierce County during 500,000 food bank visits and distributed 6.5 (+) million pounds of food for a total of more than 4.5 million nourishing meals. 700 volunteers donated 96,151 hours.
Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2016 NOURISH served over 69,199 unduplicated people in Pierce County during 500,000 food bank visits and distributed 6.5 (+) million pounds of food for a total of more than 4.5 million nourishing meals.
Programs: Incorporated in 1982, Nourish Pierce County is the oldest and largest food bank network in Pierce County, with seven food banks and an innovative mobile food bank that visits ten unique locations each week. Food bank locations are spread throughout the county and chosen strategically based on community need and areas lacking food access. Nourish’s mission is to provide nutritious food for people in need with compassion, dignity and respect. No one must travel far for food and no one is turned away.
Washington Women’s Employment & Education
Causes: Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training, Vocational Counseling
Mission: The mission of Washington Women's Employment & Education is to assist low-income individuals gain the skills, the knowledge and the courage to be self-supporting. WWEE envisions a robust community that empowers all its members to achieve meaningful careers that are both self-sustaining and self-actualizing. WWEE furthers this vision by providing job-readiness and computer training, by administering individualized follow-up support with employment consultants and by offering basic support services. Combined, these programs are designed to help our participants, the majority of whom are mothers receiving welfare, gain a career at a wage sufficient to support a single-parent family. The agency has program locations in both King and Pierce counties and over its 25-year history has assisted 12,000 families in their quest to successfully gain independence from welfare.
Programs: Reach plus TM: enhances the employability of low-income and welfare dependent individuals through focused job training, including computer skills, work habits and attitudes, financial literacy training, consultation on barriers to employment, and wrap-around supportive services. These services combine to form a holistic program which empowers clients to gain permanent self-reliance through living wage employment.
Clients served last year: 354
housing: the goal of courage360's housing program is to assist low-income families in achieving stable housing, employment and economic self-sufficiency. Working with homeless families, courage360 provides rental assistance, training and support to help stabilize their home and life circumstances. Clients served last year: 89
community jobs: program participants receive training in job skills, work habits and ethics in addition to gaining valuable work experience and access to support services. Courage360 staff has established collaborative relationships with many local employers, offering CJ interns a wide variety of positions and worksites. Participation in the CJ program qualifies participating individuals for the advanced earned income tax credit.
Clients served last year: 62
Causes: Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ
Mission: The Rainbow Center's Mission is to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by providing education, resources, advocacy, information, and opportunities for empowerment to individuals and organizations in the South Puget Sound area. We find our activities falling into three categories: Educate, Advocate, and Celebrate.
Target demographics: People who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, 2-Spiritied, or Allies in Tacoma, Pierce County, and Western Washington.
Geographic areas served: Tacoma, Pierce County, Western Washington
Programs: Victims of crimes advocacy, all ages karaoke and open mic nights, public computers, pool table, free wifi, lending library, space for group meetings, cultural competency sessions, and much more.
Northwest Spay and Neuter Center
Northwest Spay and Neuter Center
Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal-Related, Animals
Mission: To promote and provide affordable, high-quality spay and neuter services for cats, dogs, and rabbits in an effort to stop the killing of animals due to overpopulation.
Results: As of August 2013, Northwest Spay & Neuter Center has performed over 43,000 spay and neuter surgeries for cats, dogs, and rabbits. Since we opened our first clinic in Tacoma in 2008, the rate of euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals in Pierce County shelters has dropped by 40%.
Target demographics: animals and the people who care for them
Direct beneficiaries per year: 11,700 cats, dogs and rabbits
Geographic areas served: Washington State
Programs: affordable, high-quality spay and neuter services for cats, dogs, and rabbits in an effort to stop the killing of animals due to overpopulation. Northwest Spay & Neuter Center (NWSNC) is the highest volume spay/neuter clinic in Washington State, and has served over 60,000 animals in just over six years. There are no geographic restrictions for utilizing our services and the center is open to anyone who wants to help decrease animal overpopulation in Washington State (or beyond). We have a special discounted program for volume clients such as shelters and rescues. We also offer invoicing for 501(c)(3) nonprofits. In April of 2014, we launched an animal shuttle that transports dogs and cats from under-served and remote communities, ensuring distance and cost are no longer barriers for many pet owners and animal caretakers in our state.
Causes: Community Mental Health Centers, Eating Disorders & Addictions, Education, Family Counseling, Mental Health, Special Education
Mission: “We strengthen families by inspiring courage and confidence to make a lasting change.” We accomplish this through consistent, dedicated programs that address the true needs of children and families."
Target demographics: families in Pierce County who face trauma, abuse and overwhelming life challenges
Direct beneficiaries per year: 3,500 children and families, providing more than 24,000 family sessions and home visits agency-wide
Geographic areas served: Pierce County, Washington
Programs: HEALING HEARTS COUNSELING: Specialized trauma-informed care for abuse survivors from age two and across life span utilizing evidence-based practices CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES: Early intervention services and education for children with developmental delays age birth to three FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES: Home visiting services that maintain the stability of at-risk families by providing positive parenting programs in the home RELATIVES RAISING CHILDREN: Kinship care program that provides information, resources and advocacy to strengthen caregivers and keep families intact EATING RECOVERY: Counseling, education and dietitian support for anyone with life-threatening eating disorders including those who have experienced trauma HOPESCLOSET: Dignified shopping experience for any HopeSparks family who is in need of basic needs or clothing.
We wish you nothing but the best in all of your charitable endeavors this holiday season. Happy Holidays from Jeff Jensen Homes!
I am a 3rd generation Tacoma Pierce County native. After 26 years as a realtor in the community I grew up in, my name is synonymous with Quality Real Estate Representation and Service. I work professionally and tirelessly for my clients to achieve success and an outcome that benefits all involved. I love to participate in community events and represent my city. I have been here my whole life and I love Tacoma!