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Top LA Charities To Donate To

volunteers joining hands in a circle with hands in center

It’s that time of year — the holidays — where you might start thinking long and hard about the world outside those cozy apartments for rent in Los Angeles and what you can do to help out the needy. There are plenty of ways to help out, but one of the most direct and impactful is by donating to a charity that will put your money to good use in carrying out a worthy cause. They have the skills and the know how to make the biggest difference, and, thankfully, there are plenty such local organizations around LA that know the area well and could always use some extra funds. Here are a few to watch for if you’re feeling the need to donate this holiday season.

Homeboy Industries

Headquartered on West Bruno Street, Homeboy Industries is dedicated to support and opportunities to ex-gang and formerly incarcerated men and women throughout Los Angeles. They have a number of services and programs aimed at helping said individuals, such as tattoo removal (to help improve employment and educational opportunities, workforce development, educational services, case management services, mental health services, and legal services.

Homeboy Industries believes that programs such as theirs can help curtail recidivism among younger offenders, and touts the fact that “each year over 10,000 former gang members from across Los Angeles come through Homeboy Industries’ doors in an effort to make a positive change.” The multi-faceted approach of Homeboy Industries has done wonders in repairing many a life already, and with your support, can continue to do so well into the future.

Financial donations are always appreciated, and you can do this by making Homeboy Industries a beneficiary of a will or trust, donating stock, giving monthly, or donating one time through check or other means. Money isn’t the only thing that helps, however, you could also donate clothing or volunteer at Homeboy Industries (particularly if you are a teacher/tutor, lawyer, mental health professional, or tattoo removal specialist).

Perhaps one of the most impactful things you can do, however, is hire from Homeboy (if you have a business). One of the main goals of the organization is to find employment for those they serve; if you’re in a position to assist, be sure to learn more from their website and see how you can best help the cause.

The Midnight Mission

Since 1914, The Midnight Mission has been offering “paths to self-sufficiency to men, women and children who have lost direction.” Their main aim is to aid the homeless through compassion, education, job training, and by “removing obstacles and providing the accountability and structure that people who are experiencing homelessness need to be productive in their communities.”

The services offered by Midnight Mission center around recreating the “safety net” for homeless individuals so that they can enact positive change within their own lives:

“The safety net is a network that we as members of society access every day—not only legal and medical care, but friends and family who we can rely on for problems large and small. People experiencing homelessness and suffering from lifestyle disorders that keep them out of society need The Midnight to help them rebuild that safety net.”

In doing so, those in need can help re-establish their independence and self-sufficiency. You can become involved in helping the homeless through Midnight Mission by donating direct cash gifts, through workplace giving, matching gifts, planned giving, and many other financial and material means. If you have skills to share and want to get hands on, you can even consider volunteering time to the Midnight Mission, and helping make a difference in a more personal fashion.

Create Now

Just about everyone knows a kid who’s at risk — Those who have been abused, abandoned, incarcerated, or alternatively, are runaways, addicts, or potential gang affiliates. Create Now aims to steer them away from destructive lifestyles through the power of art and creativity, and focuses on mentoring, classes, and art projects throughout poverty-stricken Southern California neighborhoods. They even have enrichment programs to expose children to arts and culture:

“Through Cultural Journeys, Create Now brings thousands of challenged youth each year to concerts, plays, museums, film studios, circuses and much more at premiere venues, like the Hollywood Bowl, Cirque du Soleil, Disney Hall and LACMA.”

Tax deductible monetary donations are greatly appreciated, and according to Create Now, 85 cents on every dollar donated goes directly to financing their programs for children. You can make non-cash donations in the form of vehicles, stocks or mutual funds, retirement gifts, holiday gifts, and others. You can even volunteer your time with Create Now, if you’re so inclined, as an arts mentor, life skills mentor, or helping out with Create Now’s Strategic Projects and Marketing tasks.

Children of the Night

Children of the Night was created in 1979 “with the specific purpose to provide intervention in the lives of children who are sexually exploited and vulnerable to or involved in prostitution and pornography.” Since then, they have rescued more than 10,000 children from prostitution in the US, “more children than child sex trafficking programs in America combined.”

It’s definitely a worthy cause, and you can donate to Children of the Night to help join their fight against child exploitation. The organization is also constantly on the lookout for volunteers, particularly, dentists, therapists, lawyers, and other professionals whose skills can help children across the nation.

You Can Make a Difference Around the Apartments for Rent in Los Angeles

Take a look. Communities like Eighth & Grand are indeed stunning and a blast to live in, but there are also those out in the city in need. Thankfully, in addition to being a “grand” place to live, the residents at Eighth & Grand have grand hearts, and are all about helping out when it matters most. Sound like your kind of place to be? Make sure you check out what Eighth & Grand is all about, then drop us a line to learn about our availability, and making this your new DTLA home.