If you need to atone for the elbows you threw on Black Friday, then why not take advantage of Giving Tuesday -- a chance to give back to local nonprofits helping out those in need this holiday season? And unlike recent holidays of conspicuous consumption, the bargains you get on karma points by helping out local nonprofits can be taken advantage of all through this month and oftentimes beyond.
Here's a short list of some local do-gooders you can help out with donations and volunteer time:
The Sharing Place
For nearly two decades, the Sharing Place has provided a safe haven for children, teens and their families to come together for grief counseling and support in learning to live with the loss of loved ones. They teach art classes for kids to express their feelings and, among other vital services, help explain tragedies such as family suicides to children.
1695 E. 3300 South, 801-466-0422, TheSharingPlace.org
International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City has no easy task, helping refugees from around the world feel like Salt Lake City is their new home. Every year, the IRC asks for donations to help refugee families adjust to the weather, and this year, the IRC's Light One Candle donation drive is looking for folks to “adopt” a refugee family to be paired with who you can then buy some holiday gifts for. The drive runs from now until Dec. 18.
221 S. 400 West, 801-883-8457, click here for more info on the Light One Candle Donation Drive
Crossroads Urban Center
The Crossroads Urban Center has long been defenders of the rights of the homeless and low-income, as well as allies to the less fortunate. This month, the center is looking for donations of canned fruit to its pantry, and pants for men and boys in the thrift store, as well as shaving razors.
347 S. 400 East, 801-364-7765, CrossroadsUrbanCenter.org
Dinner at Vinny's
Did you know that for a $50 share you can help provide 57 dinners over a year's time to Salt Lake City's homeless at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall? For decades, this institution has been bringing hundreds of warm lunches and dinners to the homeless, and will continue doing so thanks to the generosity of others. You can buy a share, or simply gather up some friends out of your church group, bowling team, GTA V crew, political-action committee or whatever and volunteer to serve meals, as well.
437 W. 200 South, 801-363-7710, DinnerAtVinnys.org
Utah Food Bank
Roughly 472,000 Utahns are at risk of missing a meal every day, and that’s why the Utah Food Bank is constantly gathering, sorting and delivering canned goods and other food items to hungry Utah men, women and children. There are lots of ways to give to the Utah Food Bank, from dropping off food and/or cash to dropping by the warehouse to help get food boxes packed and on their way to Utahns in need.
3150 S. 900 West, 801-978-2452, UtahFoodBank.org
Ogden Breakfast Exchange Club, Shoes for Tots
For decades, the Ogden Breakfast Exchange has manned a hot-chocolate booth at the Ogden Christmas Village, where proceeds have gone to help buy shoes for needy children. The club is a nonprofit that uses no donations for administrative costs, meaning all donations go to buy shoes for tots.
Visit the hot-chocolate booth at the Christmas Village, 2549 Washington Blvd., or donations can be mailed to Ogden Breakfast Exchange Foundation, P.O. Box 150482, Ogden, UT, 84415, OgdenBreakfastExchange.com
Utah Foster Care Foundation
Every year, thousands of Utah children are removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. The Utah Foster Care foundation has built a network of support and seeks to educate Utahns on the blessings of becoming foster parents. Now, that may sound like more than you might be willing to give back on the whim this Tuesda,y but the Utah Foster Care Foundation needs help in other ways. Volunteers are needed to help work office shifts at locations across the state, and you can always schedule to have representatives from the nonprofit come speak to your office or community group about what they do. You can also call and have a Giving Tree set up your office, allowing co-workers to donate gifts for children in foster care.
Multiple locations across the state, 1-877-505-5437, UtahFosterCare.org
The Work Activity Center
For decades, the Work Activity Center has been providing job training, recreation and other services to developmentally disabled adults. Its jobs program allows clients to earn money and often live semi-independently despite their disabilities. The center is always in need of cash donations or volunteers looking to help change lives.
1275 W 2320 South, West Valley City, 801-977-9779; 683 W. Center St., Midvale, 801-565-8047, WorkActivityCenter.org