Ready to give back?
There are many, many local organizations that are working to provide vulnerable communities throughout Philadelphia with the necessities they need. There are groups that provide shelter to those experiencing homelessness, organizations that collect clothing for people who need it, groups that serve meals to the food insecure, groups that provide support to school-aged children, and more.
And, there are many ways you can support these groups by donating your time, your money, and new or gently used items. Organizations that give back to the community are always looking for help, whether that means donating or volunteering, or both.
Here are some groups to get you started. Find one that you’re passionate about, and find ways to help them year round.
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Homeless shelters and local organizations need volunteers, clothing and monetary donations all year round to support Philadelphia’s unhoused community. Most shelters and organizations have lists of items they accept and don’t accept (you can find a list in our guide on winter donations here). Here are some groups to get you started:
People’s Emergency Center supports families and youths experiencing homelessness, the People’s Emergency Center offers housing, social services, access to early childhood education, and educational programs in career training, parenting, financial literacy, life skills, and technology.📍 325 N. 39th St., 📞 267-777-5800, ✉️ email@example.com, 🌐 pec-cares.org
Potter’s House Mission is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides transitional housing for homeless women with children and social services to the communities in West and Southwest Philadelphia and parts of North Philadelphia.📍 524-26 South 52nd St., 📞 215-747-7477, ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org 🌐 pottershousemission.org
Saint John’s Hospice is a Catholic Social Services shelter for men in Center City. Services include providing meals, showers, mail room services, case management, medical assistance, counseling, and emergency shelter. 📍 1221 Race St., 📞 215-563-7763, ✉️ email@example.com, 🌐 saintjohnshospice.org
Many organizations throughout Philadelphia will happily accept your unwanted items — everything from furniture and appliances to books and electronics — so they don’t just end up going to waste in a landfill. In fact, we have a full guide that details what groups will accept and what work those donations help fund. Local organizations have specific instructions regarding what they accept and don’t accept, but you’ll likely be able to find a local place to donate your unwanted clutter. These donations support some of the most vulnerable communities in Philadelphia, including Afghan evacuees, people escaping domestic violence, people who cannot afford gender-affirming clothes, and people who have were recently incarcerated. Read our full guide here.
» READ MORE: Where to donate furniture in Philadelphia
Moms Bonded By Grief helps support kids who have lost parents due to gun violence. The group accepts donations at 1920 S. 20th St., Phila, PA 19145 or cash app $MBBG2017
The Donte Wylie Foundation works to provide “a safe space for survivors of violence, individuals who caused harm, and community members to collectively heal and explore workable solutions to reduce gun violence.” Donate via the group’s website or through The Donte Wylie Foundation, P.O. Box 20130, Philadelphia PA, 19145 📞 267-329-9338, ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org, 🌐 thedontewyliefoundation.com
YSI Philly “provides immediate shelter and support services to children, youth and families, YSI offers unique programs and niche services throughout the city, including Philadelphia’s only Crisis Nursery program and the longest standing shelter for runaway and homeless teens.”📍 Multiple locations, 📞 215-222-3262, 🌐 ysiphilly.org
Institute for the Development of African American Youth supports local teens and children by providing them with educational, cultural, intervention, and intervention programs to help reduce violence in communities.📍P.O. Box 2061, 📞 215-235-9110, ✉️ email@example.com, 🌐 idaay.org
Uhuru supports the African People’s Education & Defense Fund (APEDF), a national nonprofit, through sales at its N. Broad St. shop, flea markets, volunteer events, and more. It’s locations and flea markets “build African economic and cultural marketplaces [that] contribute to community commerce and African economic self-reliance.“📍832 N. Broad St., 📞 215-546-9616, ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org, 🌐 uhurufurniturephilly.blogspot.com
Galaei “is a Queer and Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (QTBIPOC) radical social justice organization” who’s mission is to fight systemic oppression and racism while creating opportunities, access, sexual empowerment, and economic development for its community. 📍118 Fontain St., 📞 215-398-5003, 🌐 galaeiqtbipoc.org
The following organizations welcome monetary donations that go toward programs and items that help benefit refugees and newcomers arriving to Philadelphia.
Donate your time to organizations that serve food to the hungry, prepare meals for those fighting life-threatening diseases, and more.
Food insecurity throughout the country significantly increased during the pandemic. To help feed food insecure neighbors, mutual aid organizations throughout Philadelphia (and the country) have established community fridges — refrigerators that are free to fill and free to take from with no registration required. We have a guide with more than 30 community fridges throughout the city where you can donate common pantry and fridge items, but keep in mind that each fridge has its own set of rules regarding what it accepts. Be sure to check the fridge’s accepted items list before donating.
The Philadelphia Corporation for Aging is the Philadelphia area’s official agency on aging and is working to assist elderly Philadelphians during the coronavirus pandemic through efforts such as the Rodney D. Williams Philadelphia Fund for Seniors and the Emergency Fund for Older Philadelphians. 📍642 N. Broad St., 📞 215-765-9000, ✉️ email@example.com, 🌐 pcacares.org