GiveMN helps organizations raise millions of dollars each year on Give to the Max Day. To celebrate, we put together a list of some of our favorite local (and national) organizations to keep in mind when giving this Thursday, Nov. 17. We’re honored to serve our community through our work each and every day. Starting with a few current and past clients, we hope you’ll consider supporting these phenomenal organizations:
- Second Harvest Heartland must provide more than 20 million meals for the one in 10 Minnesotans who otherwise might not be able to put food on the table this Thanksgiving. During Give to the Max Day this year, your donations work twice as hard, thanks to matching funds from The Mosaic Company Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and a group of generous private donors.
- ThreeSixty Journalism, a nonprofit program of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas, uses the principles of strong writing and reporting to help diverse Minnesota youth tell the stories of their lives and communities. Our president, Brian Bellmont, is on the board of advisors for the organization.
- Global Rights for Women envisions a world where women’s human rights to equality and freedom from violence are fully realized.
- Minnesota Fire Service Foundation’s mission is to preserve the memory of the Minnesota firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
- MHTA Foundation is looking to strengthen Minnesota’s economic environment by promoting interest in STEM careers.
- Bolder Options teaches youth to succeed in ALL of life’s races. The Bolder Options Youth Mentoring program prevents young people, ages 10-14, from going down the wrong path by providing positive opportunities, guidance and support that empowers them to make the right turn.
And we asked our team for some of the nonprofit organizations they feel strongly about and support on a personal level:
Smile Network International. For several years we’ve supported this incredible organization, which changes the lives of impoverished children with cleft lips and palates by providing them with free operations. And especially over the past year, we’ve helped client John Sweeney of the Brave New Workshop leverage his role as internet sensation “Jiggly Boy” to raise more than $100,000 for the organization, and share the gift of smiles all over the world.
Brave New Workshop Student Union. And speaking of the Brave New Workshop, its nonprofit school of improvisation delivers engaging learning experiences in a supportive environment so humans of all ages can become their best selves, make authentic connections, and bring more laughter into their lives.
Angel Foundation. We’ve worked with Angel Foundation on and off over the years, and continue to believe strongly in its mission: to provide help to adults and families facing the financial and emotional burdens of cancer.
Lyric Arts. This local theater’s bursting with energy, talent and heart thanks to its amazing founders and staff. It’s a perfect, inviting place to go see a polished local theater production and their education programming routinely has our kiddos struggling to pick just one favorite class (based in Anoka, MN, it’s a looooong way from our house!). I’m secretly hoping that someday they’ll open an outpost in the southern suburbs so they’ll be able to reach more of the Twin Cities community with their brilliance.
Gilda’s Club Twin Cities. Gilda’s Club provides free support to anyone who’s impacted by cancer in some way. Whether it’s a friendly ear, a lifestyle class or a weekly support group, they’re connecting cancer patients and their families with resources to help with the journey through a horrible disease.
Children’s Cancer Research Fund. CCRF provides grants to researchers who’re working tirelessly to find cures for many types of childhood cancers and related disorders. To reach more donors, they spread the word about their efforts through innovative events and promotions around the country throughout the year – all in the name of saving future generations from struggling with incurable diseases.
The Center for Girls’ Leadership. I currently serve on the board of this small, but mighty, nonprofit working to inspire girls today to lead tomorrow. The CGL believes any girl can be a leader at home, at school and in her community.
Project DIVA. Since 2008, Project DIVA has worked with more than 200 girls in North Minneapolis, empowering them to make informed and responsible life decisions. The girls meet weekly for eight months with coaches focusing on six key areas of development: academic, social, emotional, financial, health/wellness and career skills. I’m honored to volunteer with Project DIVA.
Girls on the Run-Twin Cities. A former client and a cause I truly believe in: inspiring girls to reach their full and limitless potential. This curriculum-based program inspires 3rd through 8th grade girls to become independent thinkers, enhance her problem solving skills and make healthy decisions. Now, more than ever, ALL girls need to be empowered. And a bonus: all donations up to $7,000 will be matched! Please consider helping GOTR-TC reach its goal of raising $20,000 as it prepares to grow by 100 percent from now until spring to meet the growing needs and interests of communities wanting GOTR programs.
John A. Johnson Achievement Plus Elementary School. A school with the very best principal in the Saint Paul Public School system (full disclosure: she’s my amazing mom!). Its “achievement plus” status means volunteers and community partners provide dental/medical, mental health, legal, tutoring, and housing/employment assistance services right at the school. With all its onsite services, the ultimate goal is to eliminate barriers that get in the way of the scholars reaching his or her full potential. This east side community needs our support.
Megan S.’s pick
Sharing and Caring Hands. This organization provides food, clothing, shelter, transportation assistance, medical and dental help for those in need. My grandma was very involved in this charity until she died last year, and I’ll be making a donation in her honor.
Washburn Center for Children. They are diminishing the stigma of children’s mental health issues.
Preserve Minneapolis. They preserve our city’s cultural and architectural history.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. They give grieving families the gift of remembrance.
Minnesota State Fair Foundation. They celebrate and champion our state’s agricultural heritage.
Spare Key. Spare Key provides assistance to families in crisis with critically ill or seriously injured children through housing grant payment assistance, resource referral and advocacy. I support this organization because I have had friends and family members who have had a sick or injured child and have seen the struggles and inner torment they face when it comes to deciding if they should go to work in order to have the money to pay their bills, or be with their child. As the mother of two healthy girls, I couldn’t imagine having to make that choice if something should happen to one of them and don’t believe any other family should have to choose either. I love that Spare Key steps in to help pay a family’s mortgage so that it is one less thing they have to worry about and they can focus on what’s most important—their child.
Art Buddies. Art Buddies pairs creative mentors with underprivileged kids to help them discover their creative gifts, believe in themselves and dream of a brighter future. I have supported this organization for years, both financially and by serving as a volunteer mentor. I love this program because it helps children take pride in who they are, builds confidence in what they can do, and opens their minds to who they can become through the power of creativity.
Megan D.’s pick
Feed My Starving Children. I’ve enjoyed packing meals with friends and family, and I’ve also delivered and served the meals during a trip to Nicaragua. Seeing the full circle of volunteer-packed foods reaching impoverished children in another country has been incredible. I love that it’s an easy charity to be involved with on many levels, and it’s accessible to anyone who wants to lend a hand. Kids can pack food with their parents, organizations can pack as a group, and colleagues can bond while making meals for those that need them. And beyond the fellowship of packing and volunteering locally, FMSC is making a huge difference in the lives of so many in nearly 70 countries. I’ve kept in touch with my friends in Nicaragua, and personally get to witness the difference the meals are making there. It’s so great that such a stellar organization is making such a global difference from our own backyard.
Faith’s Lodge. This organization supports parents and families coping with the death or medically complex condition of a child in a peaceful environment. I support Faith’s Lodge because they provided a safe, healing place for my husband and I to grieve after our son died and I want them to be able to continue do the same for others.
MinnPost. Quality journalism from quality journalists on local topics that I care about deeply. I read the MinnPost e-newsletter every day, so it’s a cause well worth my support.
College of St. Benedict. My alma mater (and a Bellmont Partners client), which has allowed thousands of strong, confident women to earn an education and do amazing things.
Ramsey County Library. When I was a kid, I would check out literally hundreds of books at a time – prompting my mom to make me get my own library card to pay my own late fees – and to this day, the local library is my home base for finding every book, movie or class I could imagine.
Girls on the Run-Twin Cities. They empower girls through activity, community service and supporting each other.
Feed My Starving Children. They save children’s lives through providing nourishment to children in the most poverty-stricken areas around the world. My family also loves to volunteer to do meal packing with FMSC – it’s such a great way to get kids involved in serving others because it’s so hands-on.
Farmington Faith Club. My oldest daughter, Grace, has become very involved in Farmington Faith Club and I’m proud of her service locally and her efforts to encourage her peers and others to serve. They help other students within the school, in the Farmington community and greater Twin Cities.
Wishes & More. WAM is Minnesota’s own children’s charity that enhances the life of a child fighting a terminal or life-threatening condition by providing extraordinary experiences and more. Wishes & More makes a huge difference in children’s lives and I am honored to have been a part of their mission through an internship in college.
Girl Scouts River Valleys. I had the pleasure of consulting on digital marketing initiatives for the local Girl Scouts council in 2011, and I was thrilled to learn about the organization’s modern take on helping to instill “courage, confidence and character” in girls, especially in the areas of STEM.
American Red Cross – Minnesota Region. From disaster relief to aquatic safety to blood drives, the Red Cross is a staple in our community and across the country. The local Red Cross chapter provided me with one of my earliest volunteer experiences in middle school (I even served on the Junior Board!).
And we could go on and on! We encourage you to get involved in your community – join a board of directors, volunteer, donate. The sky’s the limit. Who will you help this Give to the Max Day?