8 Days of Giving

Eight Days of Giving: How to Support Our Community This Holiday Season
by Ross Weisman, Tribe 12

It feels like a cliche at this point to mention how turbulent this year has been for all of us. As we set our hopes for the new year, let’s keep in mind that the holiday season is for helping our neighbors and loved ones. As part of the Center City Kehillah’s Chanukah celebration, we’ve compiled ideas for organizations in need of donations and ways you can make an impact in the final days of 2020.

  1. Mitzvah Food Pantry distributes nutritious food to folks in need within our community. Regardless of race, age, religion, or income. They work with area food banks, grocery stores, and generous donations to ensure the people who depend on them for sustenance get what they need. If you’d like to get involved, email mitzvahfoodprogram@jewishphilly.org.
  2. Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia brings the local Jewish community together through investment, engagement, and education. They mobilize financial and volunteer resources to address the community’s most critical priorities in Philadelphia, Israel and overseas. To learn more about their programming and donate, click here.
  3. Our Closet provides clothing to vulnerable people and their families in the region. The operation is volunteer-driven with pop-up shops and emergency package deliveries. While their pop-up shops are currently closed due to COVID-19, they are still providing clothes to those in need. If you or someone you know is in need of clothes, you can call 866-532-7669 about their emergency services. To learn how to donate clothes, time, or money, click here.
  4. Jewish Relief Agency makes monthly food package deliveries to 6,000+ people in need throughout Greater Philadelphia. Following guidelines from the CDC, JRA is still packaging and delivering food with the help of volunteers. Visit their website for information on how you can pack boxes or deliver them.
  5. ACCT Philly shelters animals and provides care for them. From dogs and cats to reptiles and wildlife, they help over 18,000 animals each year. They aim to help animals in harm’s way and protect the health of Philadelphians. Whether you can foster an animal, adopt, or give money through donations or shopping on their behalf, there’s plenty you can do to make sure every animal is treated with respect. Click here to learn more.
  6. While not a formal organization, we encourage you to join your local community’s Facebook group! Whether you want to connect with Jews in Center City or the secular community through a page like Being Neighborly, read through listings to find out about people in need of resources, GoFundMe campaigns like this one, and hyper-local opportunities to donate.
  7. American Red Cross helps distribute medical supplies and relief to communities impacted by natural disasters while being one of the most impactful organizations in the world with blood donation drives. There are still active blood drives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need is just as high as ever. Click here to see if there’s a blood donation event happening near you.
  8. Broad Street Ministry brings awareness and aid to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. They distribute meals, work with former incarcerated individuals, and provide shelter and human services. To sponsor a meal or get involved, click here to learn more.

The above organizations are some of our favorites, but there isn’t a wrong way to help out your fellow Philadelphian during an especially difficult holiday season. We hope that you’re able to support your loved ones and further extend that support to your neighbors. We’re all in this together, and every small act of kindness can mean a world of difference.