For many, December is a season of giving. If you’re searching for organizations that could use your help (whether it be your money, time, or social media likes), we’ve rounded up 16 Valley-based organizations that are working to make their communities a better place. From helping animals to funding mental health research, learn more about these stellar nonprofits.
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation
1130 E. McDowell Road in Phoenix
Since 1992, the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation has provided services, classes, and workshops to teach self-confidence, life skills, and career development. Sisters Pat Petznick and Beverly Stewart founded the nonprofit after watching their grandmother become the sole supporter of her family. The organization is celebrating its 30-year anniversary and serves 3,000 or more women annually.
6730 N. Scottsdale Road, Ste. 150, in Scottsdale
Childhelp is a national organization that helps children who are victims of abuse and neglect. The organization runs the national child abuse hotline, foster care services, and Speak Up Be Safe, an education program for kids ages pre-K to 12th grade intended to help prevent all types of child abuse, among other programming.
Better Piggies Rescue
Better Piggies Rescue is one of the only pig-dedicated sanctuaries in Arizona. Better Piggies Rescue rescues about 10 to 15 pigs per month and also spays and neuters pigs. Spaying and neutering pigs is thought to reduce the chances of aggressive behavior.
The CARE Organization
The CARE (that stands for children’s aid and relief efforts) Organization seeks to help children by providing food, clothing, shelter, supplies, and education for children facing sex trafficking, abuse, and poverty in Arizona. Since 2019, CARE has partnered with local group homes to provide direct assistance to the children living there. This holiday season CARE is fulfilling Christmas list wishes.
Kid in the Corner
Following Zach Sumner’s death by suicide in 2017, his family and friends started the nonprofit Kid in the Corner to honor his legacy of reaching out to those who felt like they were isolated or the “kid in the corner.” The organization works to raise awareness of mental illness via education, awareness, and what it calls contagious kindness.
The Arizona Humane Society
The Phoenix-based Arizona Humane Society is an animal welfare organization that seeks to save vulnerable animals. The Humane Society takes in homeless pets and finds loving homes for them, fosters animals, employs animal cruelty officers, and provides medical care to injured and sick animals.
The Institute for Mental Health Research
Since 2001, the Institute for Mental Health Research has funded studies that research mental health in Arizona. The organization has helped more than 50 projects and scientists at 10 institutions like Arizona State University, Mayo Clinic, and Banner Health. Since 2020, the nonprofit has honed in on identifying and funding research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic.
Headquartered in Phoenix, the Make-a-Wish Foundation fulfills “wishes” of children who are battling critical illnesses across the country.
Project Roots AZ
Projects Roots’ mission is to supply the community with nutritious food via its two gardens in the Valley. Project Roots also educates the community about how to grow their own food. The nonprofit supports individuals struggling with food insecurity by feeding them from those community gardens and a mobile kitchen service.
Mutual Aid Phoenix
Mutual Aid is an entirely volunteer group that seeks to help vulnerable populations including the homeless, sick, disabled, senior citizens, and people of color by sharing resources. Here’s one example: The organization has fridges in both Garfield and Encanto Phoenix neighborhoods where visitors can take what they need and leave what they don’t. The organization also lists free Wi-Fi sites, places where visitors can find heat relief in the summer, and a long list of resources on its website.
Mutual Aid Tempe
Mutual Aid Tempe distributes personal care items like shampoo, cleaning supplies, shelf-stable foods, and baby products to those in need. Items can be donated at a handful of locations in Tempe.
Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona
352 Camelback Road, Ste. 100 in Phoenix
The name of this organization says it all. Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona provides art activities to children who have experienced abuse, neglect, and homelessness. Free Arts uses a trauma-informed approach to care to better support the children it serves.
Tranquility Trail Animal Sanctuary
7741 E. Gray Road, #2, in Scottsdale
Tranquility Trail is an animal sanctuary dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and finding homes for rabbits. The Scottsdale sanctuary specializes in caring for senior and special needs rabbits. The sanctuary also educates the public on how to properly care for rabbits.
Veteran Tickets Foundation
1255 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Ste. 209 in Tempe
The Tempe-based Vet Tix Foundation provides free tickets to sporting events, educational programming, concerts, and other events for active military, immediate family of those killed in action, and veterans to help them stay engaged with their communities.
Lost Our Home Pet Rescue
2323 S. Hardy Drive in Tempe
Tempe-based Lost Our Home Pet Rescue helps those who are experiencing hardships like homelessness, illness, or financial hardships and need assistance caring for their pets. The organization provides a temporary home for animals, low-cost boarding, and a pet food bank, and it takes in animals whose owners are unable to care for them. Lost Our Home also operates a pet companion shelter at the Sojourner Center—one of the largest domestic violence shelters in the United States—so women in unsafe situations can live at the shelter with their pets.
Since 1977, the Sojourner Center has helped women and children escape domestic violence by providing them with a safe shelter. The organization has helped more than 60,000 women and children.