This year more than ever, New England nonprofits need your support.
If you want to do something to help make the world a kinder, greener place this holiday season, think about donating your time, talent, or money to a New England charity. Consider some of these local organizations dedicated to a variety of causes, from saving open space and helping mistreated animals to providing services to homeless and at-risk adults, children, and families.
DOMESTIC ANIMALS & PETS
PAWS New England
Founded in 2005 in Tennessee, PAWS New England rescues abandoned, neglected, and abused dogs from southern states, including Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, and Louisiana, which have large populations of unwanted pets in high-kill shelters. PAWS places the dogs it rescues in caring foster homes and provides them with veterinary care. Rehabilitated dogs are transported to New England where they are matched with loving families.
PAWS needs volunteers to work as adoption coordinators, conduct home visits, coordinate fundraisers, and help with social media marketing. They are also seeking financial donations to help defer the costs of veterinary care and transportation. All profits made from items sold in the online store are used to support the organization.
Winslow Farm Animal Awareness
Located in Norton, Massachusetts, Winslow Farm provides a home for abused and abandoned animals of all kinds, including horses, goats, chickens, ponies, ostrich- es, pigs, rabbits, donkeys, alpacas, dogs, and cats.
The farm, which is open to the public, also offers educational programs and tours, and hosts special events. (A holiday-themed candlelight barn tour is planned for December 13 and 14.)
Winslow Farm needs donations of cat and dog food, pigeon food, bird- seed, and fresh greens. The organization also maintains a wish list on Amazon. Volunteers are also needed to help with a variety of tasks. Monetary donations can be made via a link on the website: winslowfarm.com
CONSERVATION & OPEN SPACE
New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance
Made up entirely of volunteers, New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA) is
based in Carver, Massachusetts, and works to protect marine wildlife native to the Gulf of Maine, including whales, sharks, seabirds, rays, and turtles. They offer educational programs, facilitate scientific research, collect essential data, and provide student internship opportunities. NECWA also manages a rescue program for ocean sunfish, which often become stranded during the fall and winter.
Donations and volunteers are always needed. You might also consider making a purchase in NECWA’s online store. All profits go to support the organization’s mission.
Northeast Wilderness Trust
Based in Montpelier, Vermont, Northeast Wilderness Trust (NEWT) “rewilds” land and permanently protects wild landscapes across New England that are in danger of development. Wilderness areas are essential for fostering plant and wildlife biodiversity and promoting species resilience, and they help mitigate climate change by storing carbon. Spending time in natural settings has also been shown to improve human health.
NEWT needs volunteers to help with tasks like cleaning up trash, planting trees, and creating videos to promote its projects. The organization is also in need of financial donations.
According to Feeding America, a Chicago-based nonprofit that supports nearly 60,000 food pantries nationwide, food insecurity among New Englanders has increased nearly 60 percent over the course of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic downturn.
As the largest food bank in New England, it serves eastern Massachusetts communities from Amesbury to Nantucket. They are seeking volunteers to work in food pantries and host fundraisers, as well as monetary donations.
Wayside Food Programs
Serving the hungry in southern Maine since 1986, Wayside Food Programs serves community meals in several locations each week, operates mobile food pantries throughout Portland, and delivers food boxes to area seniors. The organization also manages an extensive food rescue program, preventing perfectly good produce, bread, and other food from being thrown away by restaurants and grocery stores. Wayside Food Programs is seeking volunteers to donate time, food, and funds.
New England Innocence Project
Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, this nonprofit works in all six New England states
to overturn and prevent wrongful criminal convictions. New England Innocence Project (NEIP) also advocates for policy reforms and provides educational programs to individuals and organizations. Made up of a small staff of attorneys and fundraising and communications professionals, NEIP provides free legal services, forensic testing, and subject matter experts to individuals convicted of crimes they didn’t commit, efforts that have helped exonerate dozens of innocent people in New England since the organization was founded in 2000.
NEIP is always in need of donations and volunteers willing to share their skills in areas such as fundraising and graphic design.
Pine Street Inn
For more than 50 years Pine Street Inn in Boston has provided essential services and programs to women and men experiencing homelessness in the
city. Pine Street assists up to 2,000 people a day by offering emergency shelter, medical care, and job train- ing. It also works to move individuals into permanent supportive housing.
Pine Street Inn needs volunteers to provide lunches to guests, send greeting cards and notes to permanent housing res- idents, donate snacks, and host fundraisers. Monetary donations as well as donations of food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper goods, and first-aid kits are also needed.
WOMEN, CHILDREN & FAMILIES
Friends of Forgotten Children
Friends of Forgotten Children (FFC) provides meals, nonperishable food items, holiday
gifts, and clothing to low-income and at-risk children, families, and seniors. It also offers free educational self-help workshops on subjects such as personal finance, cooking healthy meals, growing your own produce, and how to adopt more sustainable living practices.
Based in Concord, New Hampshire, FFC needs donations of new clothing, furniture, toys, nonperishable food, and holiday wish list items. The group is also seeking professionals and experienced hobbyists to teach self-help work- shops. Fee-free monetary donations can be made via FFC’s PayPal Giving Fund page.
The first women’s shelter in the US, Rosie’s Place was founded in Boston in 1974. It provides emergency housing, medical care, meals, legal services, and educational opportunities to more than 12,000 at-risk, poor, and homeless women each year. The organization also conducts home visits for women who are iso- lated, suffer from mental health issues, or who have been recently settled into new housing. Rosie’s Place needs volunteers to serve meals, teach classes, and connect with women outside the shelter.
The group is currently seeking donations of face masks, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and bath and body gift sets. For the holiday season, Rosie’s Place is asking for gift cards in $25 denominations from CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Old Navy. Monetary donations are always welcome.