8 Critical Causes to Donate to This Holiday Season
Oakland-based Access Reproductive Justice provides funding for women where Roe v. Wade has been overturned to access care and abortion services. (Courtesy of @abortionfunds)

8 Critical Causes to Donate to This Holiday Season


‘Tis the season of giving and every little bit helps. But with so many nonprofits to support, it can be hard to decide who is most deserving of your donated money and time.

We’ve curated a list of organizations who are working on some of the most critical issues of the year, from providing reproductive access to women in states with abortion bans and food security to those most vulnerable to inflation to supporting women-led protests in Iran and the Bay Area’s alarmingly large unhoused population.

Kick off your do-gooding on Giving Tuesday, when many organizations have matching grants to double or triple individual contributions, and keep it going all the way through the holiday season.

Support womens' rights in Iran through the Center for Human Rights in Iran.(Courtesy of Taymaz Valley/CC)

Support women’s life, liberty, and freedom in Iran.

Ever since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini lost her life to Iran’s morality police in September, protests over religious extremism and its impacts on women’s liberty have rocked the country and the world. Help keep their momentum going by supporting human rights organizations like the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Iran Human Rights, which are working to amplify the voices of the Iranian people and document the government’s ongoing abuses and repressive crackdowns. // iranhumanrights.org and iranhr.net

Provide reproductive healthcare to women in restricted states.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer, it immediately triggered abortion bans in 13 states and set 13 others on the path towards eliminating access. While women can still travel to another state for reproductive care, many can’t afford the financial burden it poses. By providing funding not just for abortion procedures but for out-of-state travel, transportation, childcare, and other essentials, Oakland-based Access Reproductive Justice and the National Network of Abortion Funds are making sure women with fewer resources don’t fall through the cracks. // accessrj.org and abortionfunds.org

Provide aid to war-torn Ukraine.

After more than nine months under siege, the people of Ukraine are still holding strong against Russia. But life in the now war-torn country is far from easy. Along with ongoing fighting and evacuations, everything from the electrical grid to education has been interrupted, and the wellbeing of all Ukranians critically endangered. There are a variety of ways to support their efforts. Through the GlobalGiving Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund, you can donate not just to local organizations providing essential aid, health care, and psychological support, but to specific projects that do things like transport rescued pets to safety or secure care for Ukrainian children with cancer. // globalgiving.org

Fight the homelessness crisis.

Homelessness is perhaps the single most pressing issue facing the Bay Area today. San Francisco officials estimate that up to 20,000 people will have been unhoused at some point during 2022; and numbers are just as devastating in the East Bay, the Peninsula, and Silicon Valley. A number of local organizations including Homeless Action Center, Coalition on Homelessness, and Compass Family Services take not just cash donations and volunteers, but items like computers, toiletries and clothing, linens and bedding, and cookware to help put those that are unhoused on a better path forward. // homelessactioncenter.org, cohsf.org, and compass-sf.org

Get food on the table of a family in need.

No matter the season, donating to (or volunteering for) your local food bank is important, but it’s especially meaningful around the holidays. This year, soaring inflation and the cost-of-living expenses mean that, despite the fact that there are more food-insecure Bay Areans than ever, food banks have fewer resources to meet their needs. Help local families get good, healthy food on the table by supporting pantries like the SF-Marin Food Bank, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. // sfmfoodbank.org, shfb.org, and accfb.org

TransFamily Support Services helps youth access gender-affirming care.(Courtesy of CC)

Help Trans youth access gender-affirming care.

San Diego–based TransFamily Support Services is helping families navigate the gender transition process. Their services are especially important now, when four states (Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, and Arizona) have already limited gender-affirming care for minors and 15 others are considering following suit. TransFamily SOS works to protect their rights by providing those both in and outside of California with assistance navigating healthcare, insurance, school, legal issues, and more. // transfamilysos.org

Build the Bay’s climate resilience.

California was spared a horrific wildfire season in 2022 but the impacts of our changing climate are just ramping up. While global powers work to establish a fund for the world’s most vulnerable, ending fossil fuel dependency, promoting clean transportation, and decreasing the use of natural gas can help to build resilience in the Bay Area. 350BayArea is at the helm of a local grassroots movement for racial, economic, and environmental justice. Get involved in their civic action and advocacy and/or donate to help them continue their efforts to educate the public and lobby policy makers. // 350bayarea.org

Support equity and accountability in California politics.

The midterms may be in the rearview but with the 2024 elections just around the corner, now is the time to support those focused on building equity and transparency in our democratic system. California Common Cause does just that. Their work on issues like voting rights, redistricting reform, and accountability is aimed at transforming national, state, and local governments into those that serve and reflect we the people, not the 1%. // commoncause.org

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