Places to donate for the holidays

With the pandemic still raging on and the holidays coming up, this time can be especially hard for people. This is also a time when nonprofit organizations will ask people to donate for the season. This year many nonprofits are struggling to provide the services that the community needs. With how many people have lost jobs, Anchorage is preparing for a record-breaking homeless population this year. Here are some nonprofit organizations you can donate to if you are feeling in the giving spirit this holiday season.

There are many places people could donate or volunteer their time to help those in need. Photo courtesy of Alaska’s news source.

Beans Cafe is a nonprofit organization that gives hot meals and emergency services to homeless people in Anchorage. Since its opening in 1978, they have always focused on helping the homeless in any way possible. They also give meals to children through their program called “The Children’s Lunchbox.”\ This year, they have made the Sullivan Arena a new center for the homeless to get services. Beans Cafe is asking for donations for their Christmas dinner as well as their “Beanie Boxes” which is a gift-giving program.

“We are certainly one of the largest, if not the largest in the country right now and that has been in response to covid.” Lisa Lauder, the CEO of Beans Cafe said.

Beans Cafe isn’t able to take any direct volunteers right now due to the pandemic, but is accepting volunteers through their other program, “The Children’s lunch box.” Lauder prides herself on not having a big spread of the virus due to daily testing for everyone who enters, as well as sanitizing the Sullivan Arena and requiring social distancing.

The Covenant House of Alaska is another nonprofit organization that specifically helps homeless youth. This organization helps at-risk youth ages 13-20.

Their mission statement is as follows: “The Covenant House of Alaska is to be the leader, through collaboration with the community, to provide compassionate, sustainable services and shelter to the homeless.”

The Covenant House of Alaska cares for the homeless youth of Alaska and hopes to help them in any way they can. They also provide a safe place for youth when their homes may not be.

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The Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center is one of the biggest nonprofit organizations in Anchorage.

Their mission statement is as follows: “We offer those in need support, shelter, sustenance and skills to transform their lives.”

This center provides hot meals and shower houses for the homeless. They also have a women’s shelter and train the homeless and formerly incarcerated in the culinary arts and assist them in finding jobs. They have a fully operational bakery that gives homeless women the opportunity to gain job experiences as well as help them apply and search for jobs.

The Food Bank of Alaska is the primary food bank people have gone to for COVID-19 relief. They distribute food to organizations that are tax exempt which in turn distributes food to needy, elderly and young people.

Great Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to conserving the lands of South Central Alaska. Their mission is to identify lands that should be conserved because of their ecological and community value. They use state of the art technology to locate these lands as well as find ways to help conserve it.

If you are not able to help out with funds, you could always find times to volunteer at your local food bank or homeless shelter.