If giving back is on your New Year's to-do list, then consider donating to one of Houston's many social service-oriented nonprofits. These organizations may differ in their missions, but they are all working hard to create safer, healthier, more inclusive city for all.
Throughout the year, CultureMap has been highlighting organizations that make our communities a better place as part of our new Houston Charity Guide, presented in partnership with Frost's Opt for Optimism campaign. The guide is a handy resource for anyone looking to give back.
As you embark on a new year, you might consider supporting one of the many charities and nonprofits that work within the Houston community. Know of one we missed? Tell us here.
Amigos de las Americas
Founded in 1965, this is the safest, most authentic volunteer and immersion program in Latin America for young people ages 13 to 22. Volunteers get the opportunity to explore a new country, learn Spanish, bond with their host family and make a positive impact by working on a community service project side by side with local peers and community partners.
This place enhances the lives of those who have experienced the death of a loved one. A non-profit, free-of-charge bereavement center, it offers multiple grief support services for adults, children and families and provides education and resources for those who assist people in grief.
This is a young professionals group for Houstonians in their 20s and 30s who are dedicated to Buffalo Bayou Partnership's mission to transform and revitalize Buffalo Bayou, Houston's greatest natural resource. Check out the group's volunteer opportunities or make an online donation to Buffalo Bayou Partnership.
This crew provides technology access and education to underserved youth through programs that serve to eliminate limited access to computers, facilitate growth in technical and digital literacy skills, and support the future of youth in Houston communities. Donations of computers, monitors, keyboards, mice and other electronic equipment are also accepted.
Dec My Room
This outfit enhances the lives of children who are being admitted into a hospital for a prolonged amount of time. Volunteers personalize the hospital room upon their arrival with items that complement the special likes and interests of the individual patient. These items are for them to enjoy during their stay, and take home when they leave.
Dress for Success Houston
Since 1998, this organization has provided business attire, a much-needed boost of confidence and job retention and career advancement services to more than 40,000 women in the Houston community. Its mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing support, professional attire, and tools to help women thrive in work and life.
This 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. Donations are appreciated, but the single most important thing a person can do to help stop minor sex trafficking is to acknowledge it.
The Get Together, Inc.
This outfit connects business people to 18 local nonprofits so that they can use their business expertise, skills and network to make a collective impact, all over a 90-minute lunch. The monthly Network with Purpose Lunches are designed to connect like-minded business people to local, vetted nonprofits so that collaboration can occur over lunch.
Great Age Movement
This nonprofit is committed to mobilizing the senior population through sustainable community projects in Houston and surrounding areas. The organization aims to build senior playgrounds in green spaces and develop programs lead by volunteers that promote health learning and socialization.
Houston Furniture Bank
The bank's mission is to furnish hope by making empty houses into homes. The vital organization has the potential to make Houston a city where a child will never have to sleep on a cold hard floor — ever. The bank hosts furniture drives and other collection events to gather donations of furniture from the community.
Jimisu and Her Beauties
Formed in 2009 by Jimisu Balko, who decided to use her acting and modeling experience and her love for animals to make a difference, this nonprofit raises funds to help private families spay and neuter their pets. Originally donating to shelters, they now concentrate on the spay and neuter program, and have prevented tens of thousands of unwanted births.
This organization was founded in 2013 with the goal of helping families of children with autism better navigate the process of diagnosis, treatment, intervention, and education. Each year, its annual Reach for the Stars Gala helps put a spotlight on the issue of autism in the Houston community, and brings in vital funding for the organization's growing programs.
Magpies and Peacocks
This nonprofit design house creates an environment for positive change by nurturing arts education, keeping fashion out of landfills, and giving back to the Houston community. They build creative connections between local leaders, businesses, donors, artists, designers, educators, and Houston-area nonprofits.
Single Moms United
This organization is designed to empower single moms to success by equipping them to be self-sufficient and financially independent. They are driven to "educate, equip, and empower" women through life skills, mentoring, leadership, and community development in the Greater Houston area. Its Annual Empowerment Brunch, "Still I Rise," is in July.
Undies for Everyone
This group is committed to the self-esteem, dignity and success of disadvantaged students in North America by providing them with new underwear. It also provides underwear to people affected by natural disasters in the United States. There are many opportunities to help out, including participating in packings to help sort, bag, label, and box underwear.
Visionary Heights, Inc.
Started in 2014 as Creative Heights Houston, this nonprofit serves the creative arts, launching creative expression through inspiration, education and participation. They are committed to creating a new artistic culture where success is readily attainable, by providing events, programs and services designed to have artists take their love of the arts to the next level.
Young Audiences, Inc. of Houston
This collective educates and inspires children through the arts. It makes the arts an integral part of the school curriculum, and advances the field of arts in education through teacher development training and community partnerships. They host a gala in early April, along with a National Arts-In-Education Week Performance Series at Miller Outdoor Theatre in the fall.
f.r.e.s.h. Young Professionals
This service organization consists of socially conscious young professionals who are motivated to take action and bring awareness to the issue of hunger through fundraising, advocacy, social, and volunteer efforts. The committees assists the board with planning, implementation and execution of events and programs through the areas of fundraising and membership.
We're constantly updating our Charity Guide, so if you have new information or current details about an organization's big event, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org