Given Houston’s burgeoning population of young people — and its charitable reputation — it comes as little surprise that the city boasts a multitude of children’s charities. These organizations assist the public by providing adoption services, helping sick children, and creating safe places for kids to go after school — plus a host of other programs.
Whether you simply want a great group to donate to, or you’d like to get more involved, we’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of Houston’s children’s charities that are making a difference in the Bayou City.
Amigos de las Americas
Mission: Amigos believes in the power of young people to change the world, and provides opportunities for youth to design and lead projects in collaboration with the U.S. and Latin American peers and partner organizations. Their strong partner network, built over 50 years, enables authentic engagement with communities across the region.
Membership: Join here.
Arms Wide Adoption Services
Mission: Arms Wide Adoption Services' mission is to transform the lives of children in need of safe and nurturing adoptive families. They have a 40-year history of personalized, honest adoption-competent programming for children and families.
Major Fundraiser: Fulfilling Families Luncheon
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston
Mission: The mission of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston (BGCGH) is to inspire and enable all youth — especially those who need it most — to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. BGCGH is a safe haven for kids who commonly live in the midst of chaotic, dangerous neighborhoods and have limited positive relationships.
Membership: Become a Distinguished Donor (annual gift of $1,000 or more) or a Jeremiah Milbank Society member (annual gift of $10,000 or more). Head here to lean more.
Major Fundraiser: Great Futures Dinner
Get Involved: Sign up here to become a volunteer.
Camp For All
Mission: Camp For All is a unique, barrier-free camp that works in partnership with other not-for-profit organizations to enrich the lives of children and adults with challenging illnesses or special needs and their families by providing unique camping and retreat experiences throughout the year.
Membership: Become a member of Camp Friends, ($50 for individuals, $75 per couple). YPs can join Camp For All Young Professionals, ($50 per individual, $85 per couple).
Major Fundraiser: Gala in Brenham, Gala in Houston, YP event in Houston. Click here for information.
Get Involved: The best way to get involved is to volunteer. Head here for more info.
Dec My Room
Mission: Dec My Room enhances the lives of children who are being admitted into a hospital for a prolonged amount of time. Dec My Room volunteers personalize the hospital room upon their arrival with items that complement the special likes and interests of the individual patient.
Major Fundraiser: Ladies Lunch
Get Involved: To learn about volunteering, head here.
Mission: Freedom Place is a care and recovery center for underage female victims of domestic child sex trafficking. Its mission is to offer a successful path to freedom for American children who have suffered as victims of commercial sexual exploitation.
Get Involved: Donations of time, money, and goods are always appreciated, but most important thing a person can do to help stop minor sex trafficking is to acknowledge it.
Mission: Friday Harbour is dedicated to healing cancer one night at a time by providing housing to patients and families at cancer centers located in the Texas Medical Center. To date, they have provided over 1,200 nights of free housing, impacting over 350 families from around the world.
Major Fundraiser: Friday Harbour Field Day
Get Involved: Join the Friday Beacons Program and donate.
Friends of DePelchin
Mission: DePelchin is an accredited foster care and adoption agency that serves the most vulnerable children and families in Texas and works to break the cycles of abuse and neglect. Friends of DePelchin is a group of young professionals who are committed to supporting DePelchin's mission.
Membership: Members pay an annual fee of $35 for an individual membership or $45 for a dual membership. Click here to become a member.
Major Fundraiser: Families for Kids Luncheon
Heroes for Children
Mission: Heroes for Children provides assistance to families with a child battling cancer through two primary ways: financial assistance, which helps with day-to-day needs through grants, and social assistance programs, which help meet the needs of families who fall outside the scope of Heroes for Children's financial assistance programs with special events.
Major Fundraiser: Heroes & Handbags
Get Involved: You can donate through corporate or monthly giving, auxiliary membership, or special events. Teens can also become a member of the Teen Board. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mission: Homemade Hope provides hands-on cooking classes and holiday celebrations in homeless and transitional living shelters where children experience the joy of family meals, the nurturing power of creating healthy dishes, and the stability of developing traditions centered around food.
Big Event: Home is Where the Heart Is Gala
Houston Children’s Charity
Mission: Houston Children’s Charity (HCC) is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Houston's underprivileged, abused, and disabled children who have been otherwise left behind. Programs include Chariots for Children, which is dedicated to providing safe and efficient transportation to families of disabled, wheelchair-bound children through handicapped accessible vans.
Major Fundraiser: Houston Children's Charity Annual Gala
Get Involved: Fill out a volunteer registration form here.
Mission: ILEAD, a program of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, cultivates confident, respectful and engaged leaders who embrace their own faith traditions and embody effective multicultural leadership skills in their personal and professional lives.
Get Involved: To learn about upcoming events sign up here.
JJ Watt Foundation
Mission: The JJ Watt Foundation serves middle schools that have insufficient funding for after-school athletic programs or that have no after-school athletics whatsoever. The goal of the JJ Watt Foundation is to give them a safe, supervised, and structured setting in which to spend time after school, and also to teach the children how to work together within the context of a team, how to persevere in the face of adversity, and that hard work is the best path to success.
Major Fundraiser: JJ Watt's Annual Charity Classic
Get Involved: Donations can be made to the JJ Watt Foundation
Mission: KNOWAutism was founded in 2013 with the goal of helping families of children with autism better navigate the process of diagnosis, treatment, intervention, and education.
Major Fundraiser: Reach for the Stars Gala
Get Involved: Gifts can be made to KNOWAutism
Mission: Love146 is working to end child trafficking and exploitation through survivor care and prevention. The goal of its prevention education is to reach children before traffickers do, equipping them to recognize vulnerabilities and protect themselves and their peers from exploitation. In 2015, Love146 completed and began implementing a youth curriculum, called “Not A #Number."
Major Fundraiser: Hope is Brewing
Get Involved: To find a Love146 volunteer team near you, head here.
Mission: Project 88's mission is to connect underserved students to leadership development and educational opportunities by creating outlets and strategic collaborations. The group is committed to helping high school students become competitive college applicants and leaders in their communities.
Major Fundraiser: Game Day Gala
Get Involved: Head here for information about donating.
Ronald McDonald House Houston
Mission: Ronald McDonald House Houston offers a home away from home, providing care, compassion, and hope to families with seriously ill children being treated in Texas Medical Center member institutions.
Major Fundraiser: Boo Ball
Get Involved: Head here to learn about volunteering with Ronald McDonald House Houston.
The Monarch School and Institute
Mission: The Monarch School is dedicated to providing an innovative, therapeutic education for individuals with neurological differences, such as those associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, learning disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury, and seizure disorders.
Get Involved: Head here to become a volunteer.
The Thread Alliance
Mission: The Thread Alliance is dedicated to ending child abuse in our community. For those seeking child abuse prevention, intervention, or treatment information and services, The Thread Alliance provides a central registry of local, state, and national resources, promoting individual and community participation to create a safety net of "threads of love" to end child abuse.
Get Involved: The Thread Alliance appreciates all donations received.