Merry and Bright: Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

November 28th, 2023
Reading time: 10 minutes

The Brightmark editorial team focuses on providing insightful and valuable information to impact the planet positively and create a world without waste. Learn more about our methodology here.

It’s that time of year to give thanks and look for ways to help those less fortunate and give back—whether through food donations or helping make the holidays more magical.

If you’re feeling called to give back and want to spread holiday cheer, we’ve compiled a thoughtful list of local organizations that may align with your charitable values.



Kids To Love

Kids To Love serves children living in foster care, putting clothes on their backs, and getting Christmas presents under the tree.

Learn more and donate here.



The Alaska Community Foundation

The ACF connects people to causes that can make a difference based on what matters most. The foundation provides donors with flexible giving options that are strategic to their philanthropic objectives.

Learn more and donate here.



Children’s Care Arizona

A nonprofit organization that visualizes children as the key to the future—with a team of dedicated volunteers ensuring children get the support and care they need.

Learn more and donate here.



Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas

This organization secures donations from the food and grocery industries, government agencies, individuals, and other organizations. The donated food is then distributed to partner agencies and programs throughout the state.

Learn more and donate here.



Exceptional Children’s Foundation

This foundation is on a mission to provide the highest quality services for children and adults with special needs.

Learn more and donate here.  



Community Resource Center

This center envisions a strong and sustainable nonprofit sector—supporting change-makers across the nonprofit ecosystem to create a more equitable Colorado.

Learn more and donate here.



Connecticut Food Bank

This organization aims to deliver an informed and equitable response to hunger to support individuals and families through local partner programs to alleviate hunger.

Learn more and donate here.



Food Bank of Delaware

Their mission is to inspire hope in their communities by providing food to nourish Delawareans while collaborating on long-term solutions to hunger and poverty.

Learn more and donate here.



Give Kids The World Village

This organization is an 89-acre nonprofit resort in Central Florida where children with critical illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong, cost-free vacations.

Learn more and donate here.



Next Generation Focus

This community-based organization’s mission is to equip the next generation of leaders by providing educational, relational, and financial resources. The vision is to foster a community where children and youth can reach their full potential.

Learn more and donate here.



Women’s Fund of Hawaii

This organization maintains a vision where every woman and girl is safe, healthy, financially secure, and empowered to reach her fullest potential.

Learn more and donate here.



The Idaho Foodbank

This organization’s mission is to help feed, educate, and advocate for Idaho’s hungry through collaborative partnerships to develop efficient solutions that strengthen individuals, families, and communities.

Learn more and donate here.



Dreams For Kids

Through real-world learning experiences, Dreams For Kids promotes equity, sustainability, and social entrepreneurship to educate tomorrow’s global citizens.

Learn more and donate here.



Indiana Holiday Heroes

This organization provides gifts to local children and families participating in Youth Villages’ programs. Donors and shoppers enable the organization to fulfill the wish lists of Indiana youth and children.

Learn more and donate here. 



Children & Families of Iowa

This organization, one of Iowa’s largest, most well-respected family service providers, has been operational for 135 years, helping children and families find safe homes.

Learn more and donate here.



KVC Kansas

This private, nonprofit organization serves over 15,000 children and adults each year. Their Holiday Heroes Program is a way for individuals, families, and businesses to work together by committing to give gifts children and teens have their hearts set on.

Learn more and donate here.


Welcome House

This organization’s mission is to provide a continuum of services to end homelessness and promote stability for each person they serve, guiding clients from housing uncertainty to housing stability. You can sign up to adopt a family this holiday season or view their giving tree wish list.

Learn more and view the holiday needs here.



Louisiana Food Bank Association

The Louisiana Food Bank Association and Feeding Louisiana support the collaborative efforts of the state’s five regional food banks to reduce hunger and increase the resources needed for Louisiana communities to live healthy lives.

Learn more and donate here.



Maine Children’s Home

This organization seeks to build and strengthen families and their children by instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life. The organization’s Christmas program provides brand-new clothes, toys, books, and games to more than 1,000 Maine children whose families are facing financial hardship.

Learn more and donate items here.



Maryland Food Bank

This organization, the East Coast’s first food bank, leads the fight against hunger in Maryland. The organization maintains an extensive network of community and organizational partners across the state to distribute food to those who need it.

Learn more and donate here.




This private nonprofit serves kids in the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. Their holiday gift drive helps to create magical holiday moments for these children throughout the state.

Learn more and donate here.



Forgotten Harvest

This organization seeks to relieve hunger in Metro Detroit by preventing nutritious food from going to waste. They deliver 144,000 pounds of surplus food to local charities five days per week.

Learn more and donate here.



Hunger Solutions

This organization works to end hunger in the state of Minnesota. They work with food banks and state and federal government to tackle hunger on both a small and large scale—the goal of food security for all Minnesotans.

Learn more and donate here.



Mississippi Food Network

This organization has been feeding Mississippians since 1984. The organization distributes more than 1.5 million pounds of food annually, reaching more than 1.8 million people.

Learn more and donate here.



Feeding Missouri

This coalition of six Missouri food banks provides hunger relief to every part of Missouri. The organization distributes over 120 million pounds of food each year through its network of community feeding programs.

Learn more and donate here.



Hope & The Holidays

A Marine veteran and local realtor organized this organization to provide toys and Christmas food baskets to children through the age of 18.

Learn more and donate here.



Share Omaha

This organization aims to help nonprofits fulfill their mission by inspiring more support and service. This means offering public opportunities to connect with local nonprofits through donations, volunteering, and shopping wish lists.

Learn more and donate here.



HELP of Southern Nevada

This organization assists families and individuals throughout Southern Nevada to overcome barriers and attain self-sufficiency. Their holiday program provides toys or gift cards to children up to 18.

Learn more and donate here.    


New Hampshire

Friends of Forgotten Children

This organization is a 100 percent volunteer-run provider of food, clothing, and holiday gifts for low-income and at-risk individuals and families.

Learn more and donate here.


New Jersey

Greater Newark Holiday Fund

This organization believes everyone deserves a bright future. Started in 1937, it has positively affected millions of lives and supports relief efforts during the holiday season for those in the community who struggle.

Learn more and donate here.


New York

City Harvest

This organization aims to keep the food rescue movement humming by rescuing food and delivering it to food pantries and soup kitchens across the five boroughs.

Learn more and donate here.


North Carolina

Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

This nonprofit has provided food for hungry people for over 40 years. They work daily to end hunger in the communities they serve.

Learn more and donate here.


North Dakota

Santa Claus Girls

This organization has been serving Grand Forks since 1916. Their mission is to provide toys, food, and outerwear to children aged 12 and below from low-income families.

Learn more and donate here.



Mid-Ohio Food Collective

The largest food bank in Ohio provides more than 170,000 meals daily for hungry people in central and eastern Ohio.

Learn more and donate here.




This organization provides Christmas gifts to Oklahoma children living in foster care. They filled over 1,800 Christmas gift lists last year and want to repeat that effort this year.

Learn more and donate here.



Oregon Food Bank

This organization believes food is a fundamental human right and that ending hunger requires a clear vision and bold action. Their goal is to eliminate hunger and its root causes.

Learn more and donate here.



Hunger-Free Pennsylvania

More than 35 years ago, Hunger-Free Pennsylvania was created in response to the families’ incredible needs shortly after the 1983 national recession. Now, it’s the state’s largest nonprofit provider of food resources for hungry families.

Learn more and donate here.


Rhode Island

Child & Family

A private, nonprofit organization works daily to help the most vulnerable children, families, and seniors across Rhode Island. The 2023 holiday giving program collects toys, gifts, and clothing for children in need.

Learn more and donate here.


South Carolina

Harvest Hope Food Bank

This organization is South Carolina’s largest food bank, providing more than 20 million meals to people nationwide. Their mission is to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in South Carolina.

Learn more and donate here.


South Dakota

Feeding South Dakota

This hunger relief organization distributes food to thousands of families in South Dakota annually. Their mission is to end hunger in the state.

Learn more and donate here.



Christmas for the Children

This local, not-for-profit organization provides children and families in Middle Tennessee the opportunity to have a Christmas that might not be possible due to circumstances. The goal here is to create a magical Christmas experience for all.

Learn more and donate here.



Houston Food Bank

This is America’s largest food bank. It distributes more than 100 million meals to the communities it serves, giving people the nutritious food they need to fuel a healthy life.

Learn more and donate here.



Utah Food Bank

The Utah Food Bank distributes food throughout the state to reach 1 in 10 Utah children facing hunger. Whether hosting a food drive or donating food, you can help contribute to the cause.

Learn more and donate here.



Vermont Foodbank

The Vermont Foodbank gathers food—via harvesting, purchasing food, or through donations—to share with those in the state who need it.

Learn more and donate.



Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

This organization and its partners serve people with hunger across 25 counties and eight cities on either side of the Blue Ridge. They serve food to more than 100,000 people each month.

Learn more and donate here.



Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest believes an equitable society is fundamental to ending hunger. This will allow everyone to access the resources they require to reach their full potential. The organization provides millions of pounds of free food each year to its network of 375 food programs.

Learn more and donate here.


West Virginia

Secret Santa Foundation

The Secret Santa Foundation of Charleston was founded to ensure children don’t go without presents on Christmas morning. Since 1984, the program has fulfilled this promise, serving the needs of 1400 local children each year.

Learn more and donate here.



Feeding Wisconsin

This organization is a statewide network of food banks that sources, warehouses, and provides food to more than 750 affiliated agencies and 1,000 local food programs throughout the state.

Learn more and donate here.



Wyoming Hunger Initiative

The mission of the Wyoming Hunger Initiative is simple: end hunger in Wyoming. The organization works to prevent food insecurity by increasing awareness and support for the work of anti-hunger organizations statewide.

Learn more and donate here.

Whatever way you decide to give back makes a difference. Remember, it’s the thought that counts, and a small gesture can go a long way. Give back. Make Your Mark. And find ways to make the holidays merry and bright.

Man posing for professional headshot
Brad Marley

Brad is a lifelong storyteller who helps companies find their single source of truth. He works with brands in tech and sustainability to identify their most impactful narratives and ensure that messaging is weaved throughout their storytelling efforts. Brad brings more than 20 years of storytelling experience to bear as he helps Brightmark make its mark.

At Brightmark, we respect your right to privacy and value our relationship with you as a user.

Like most companies today, we use cookies to enhance your user experience and better understand the goals and aspirations of our visitors. To understand our Privacy Policy and use of cookies better, you can visit our Privacy Policy page here.