Sometimes the best gift is…

Recently, I asked some of my friends and colleagues to generate a list of their favorite local charities.  I particularly wanted organizations that were lesser known and perhaps overshadowed by the larger non-profits that get much more press and recognition.  Please take a moment to read the list and consider opening your hearts and wallets to one or more of these charitable organizations. Thank you.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to these very worthy causes:

The first organizations listed provide services to those who are homeless or are in need of safe harbor.

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 Eddy House in Reno

The mission of the Eddy House is to promote self- sufficiency and empowerment to homeless youth in the Reno, Nevada area.  At risk youth can find safety, attention to their basic needs and community supportive services. Focused on helping those who are homeless, run away and a history of foster care, this facility is amazing and worth our help.   

A Sense of Home   

All volunteer and donation driven – they provide a ‘home’ for  kids coming out of the system that get dropped in the cracks. Thank you Joy Daunis for sharing with us this organization dedicated to helping youth who are so very vulnerable.

From their website:

A SENSE OF HOME (ASOH) began very organically. From a random act of kindness into a community movement. A young man who had just aged out of the foster-care system asked me for help with his first-ever permanent living space. In responding to his request and in turning his barren, doleful space into a functioning home, I came to understand that he had never felt at home – anywhere – in his entire life. And that that very fundamental feeling I know so well – the feeling of home that had anchored and guided me – was something he was bereft of. This caused him to feel adrift in the world; without a sense of home, we do not have a sense of belonging in the world; without it, we do not have a foundation from which we can build a future that reflects our hopes and dreams.


Downtown Women’s Rescue of Los Angeles

Melissa Tilman,  introduced me to the Downtown Women’s Rescue of Los Angeles.  She had helped with outreach for another favorite organization of mine  the AVIVA CENTER.   The DWC is dedicated to helping women who have severe financial struggles and/or are homeless. Their program provides wrap around services to help women feel safe, valued, supported and educated.  (Thanks to Rebecca and DL for this recommendation, too.)


Rich Cruse has an annual birthday request – to help him provide blankets for the homeless. I gave and I hope you do, too.




My friend, Heather Miller offered the Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles at their monthly clinics and they are always looking for more attorney volunteers and clients. Clients qualify based on income, no requirement they be Christian.

Let’s not forget the animals, too


The Peter Zippi Memorial Fund is a local South Bay organization that cares for cats in all manner – take in strays, spay/neuter, adoption, amazing care.   My friend, Lynette Vandeveer from BCBC , who is a huge cat lover recommends this tribute organization and so do I!  They also have a great group on Facebook. 

Do you really need another _________?

“There are things you want and things you need.”  I heard that phrase a lot growing up.  But, being born in to a family of “shoppers”, I often bought things I wanted – over and over again.  Now I am more “mature” and I see my world through a different lens.  I now recognize that the best gift is not for me to receive…. but to give.

Comments are open for other referrals for  charitable organizations that you support. And, given changes in tax laws – there are even more reasons to give before the calendar checks to 2018.

Thank you for reading and Happy Holidays!



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