Giving Tuesday: 9 Wellness and Fitness Charities to Consider for Your 2021 Donations
I’m sure that I’m not the only one who thinks that 2021 has somehow passed by in a flash, but at the same time has the feeling that it was five years ago. Halloween was a slip up which means the holidays are around the corner and the end of the year is super real.
No matter what holidays you celebrate, for many it is a time to share and give. And one of my favorite days at this time is Giving Tuesday. The Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday was created to bring the focus to generosity, specifically aimed at nonprofits. While I advocate giving back every day of the year that you are able to do, Giving Tuesday has become a real phenomenon since its inception in 2012, and as a result, there are now often ways to donate Gather even greater benefits for nonprofits this time of year. The past two years with the pandemic have been particularly tough for nonprofits, which are often struggling to raise enough funds, so every little bit helps! (Of course, 2020 and 2021 have been financially tough for many of us individually, so if you’re unable to donate money for Giving Tuesday, that’s more than okay. You can always give something back with goods, time, or work if you can, or you can even just get the word out about an organization and everything it does for its community.)
Since this time of year can be overwhelming enough as it is, browsing and choosing which organizations to donate to can be especially daunting. So I thought I’d share some of the ones I’ve chosen to include in my donations this year. Exercise and public health are very important to me, both personally and professionally, so I have selected 501c3 organizations (a name that offers tax exemption) that focus specifically on some aspects of wellbeing, with a major focus on BIPOC. LGBTQ + and disabled communities. These include mental health, fitness, nutrition and food security, housing security, reproductive health, social justice, and so on. These are certainly just a handful of organizations; there are many, many great ones out there! I’m always on the lookout for new ones, so please message me with everyone you care about!
This foundation, set up by Rachel Cargle, began with the aim of providing financial support to black women and girls seeking therapy at the national level. Additionally, the Loveland Foundation is now also supporting healing and opportunities for colored communities by also offering scholarships, residency programs, listening tours, and more. How to donate.
This global organization currently operates in 18 countries (with 28 chapters in the US and 42 internationally) and was founded to “transform the lives of people with disabilities through sports programs and social connections”. Their primary focus is running, and they have a one-of-a-kind Hope & Possibility race, as well as special programs that cater to wounded service members and veterans (Achilles Freedom Team), school children (Achilles Kids), and the expansion to include cycling and swimming (TriAchilles.) focus team). Donation options include money and races as a charity participant. How to donate.
As a national non-profit organization, AFHK is committed to making schools healthier places for children to thrive. It focuses on helping schools in underserved areas by providing grants and resources in their three key areas: food access and nutrition education, physical activity and active play, and social emotional behavior and risk behavior prevention. How to donate.
This organization advocates equal access to reproductive health for Latina / x communities. According to their values, they strive to “build power in Latina / x communities to exercise autonomy over our bodies and ensure equal access to reproductive health as a human right”. This ranges from the representation of political interests, cultural change through storytelling and transformation of the narrative to the organization and mobilization of the community. How to donate.
The National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network is an organization at the center of social justice and mental health. NQTTCN is a healing justice organization advocating mental health transformation for queer and transgender people with color (QTPoC). [and to] Social Justice Movement organizations provide technical assistance to incorporate healing justice into their work. ”How to Donate.
Developed by Ayesha and Steph Curry, ELP focuses on these three pillars for a healthy childhood: diet, education and physical activity. The organization started in Oakland (which is also very close to my heart!), But they also work nationwide with their advocacy around hunger. Just one of your initiatives? You are piloting a bus with a free bookstore and pantry that will serve as a mobile resource for the Oakland community. How to donate.
Girls on the Run is an international, movement-based youth development program with a research-based curriculum for girls in third to eighth grades that teaches life skills through “dynamic, interactive lessons and running games”. (In fact, the program culminates with the conclusion of a celebratory 5K!) They have worked with over two million girls, and there is peer-reviewed evidence of program impact (still be my heart!) To back their programming. There are opportunities for donations and volunteer work. How to donate.
This is a national organization – now in 14 major cities – that “wants to revolutionize the way society deals with homelessness” by harnessing the power of fitness and community. BOMF recruits people from animal shelters and treatment centers, and these members commit to an ongoing program three days a week. From there, the members earn their way to various milestones that help them on their way to self-employment. These include financial literacy workshops, professional skills training, and financial assistance. The organization provides hands-on training and employment resources, an environment of accountability, and a community of compassion and hope. In addition to donating money, there are other ways to get involved, such as volunteering, a shoebox recycling event, and running charity miles. How to donate.
The Special Olympics, founded in 1968, is a global organization that provides year-round sports and athletic training for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Through its pillars of sport, including health, uniform schools and leadership, the Special Olympics combat inactivity, isolation, stigma and injustice that people with intellectual disabilities face. They aim to “harness the transformative power of sport to instill confidence, improve health and instill a sense of competition”. You can donate here.
There are so many great organizations out there so I hope this is just a starting point for those who may not be sure where to start helping wellness oriented organizations. Whether you choose to volunteer or donate to any of the above organizations or others you currently support this Giving Tuesday, I hope you can join in or spread the word of one of my favorite days of the year!