Community Groups, Social Causes

The joy of giving: NOLA Giving Guide 2018

No act of kindness is ever wasted!

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It’s finally the holidays! Next thing you know, it’ll be Christmas.

It’s also the time of year to remember those less fortunate, so we gathered up a growing list of charities in the area you can donate to and make the most of spreading cheer and joy this year.

Second Harvest Food Bank’s Brunch Bake Sale

Everyone loves a good bake sale! This one on Saturday, Nov. 1 is for local food bake Second Harvest, and features local staple shops, as well as pop ups. They include Gracious Bakery, Bywater Bakery, Beth Biendo Sweets and Tartine, as well as treats from the Second Harvest Community Kitchen. It’s being held at Simone’s Market from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Click here for more information.

Made Grocery
Getting there
8201 Oak St #2, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
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Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation

Lt. Gen. Rex C. McMillian, commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces, North observes volunteers with the Krewe of Zulu give out toys during their Toys for Tots toys distribution event at the New Orleans city hall, Dec. 16,2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Ian Ferro)

Since 1947, the United States Marine Corps has been collecting toys to giveaway to children on Christmas Day. There are lots of drop off locations throughout the city, and you can click here to find your nearest one.

The New Orleans Mission

(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Founded in 1989, the New Orleans Mission is described as the largest faith-based provider to the homeless population of the greater New Orleans area. You can easily donate online, where $29 can go towards ten meals for those in need. Click here to visit the New Orleans Missions Website.

Second Harvest Food Bank’s Give Hope for the Holidays

CAMBRIDGE, MA – NOVEMBER 2: Roasted turkey breast with cornbread and candied pecan stuffing, creamed onions, gratine of acorn squash, green beans alamadine and cranberry chutney is served during Thanksgiving at the Harvest in Cambridge, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

With every dollar donated, donors can help provide four meals for a family in need. You can get an office group together to fundraise as a team, or you can fundraise on your own. Click here for more information.

Catholic Charities Holiday Food Basket and Gift Drive

In 2017 Catholic Charities provided more than 1,311 food baskets for the holidays. You can fill out a family adoption form by clicking here.

Bridge House/Grace House Tree of Recovery

Ornaments on the tree are made in memory or honor of someone, and their name is written on the ornament. Donations go to help provide substance abuse treatment services for local residents, regardless of their ability to pay. Click here to purchase an ornament.

Ronald McDonald House

Hundreds of families with sick kids are sent to New Orleans for medical treatment each year. Ronald McDonald House Charities® of South Louisiana keeps these families together and near the care their children need. Donations help provide families staying at the Ronald McDonald House a comforting home environment, meals, transportation, and the opportunity for parents to find comfort from others going through similar difficult situations. During the holidays, toys and gift cards are especially appreciated! Click here for more information.

Galatoire Foundation’s Annual Christmas Auction

TOP CHEF — “Padma’s Picks- Grand Dame Rivalry” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) City Amabassador chef John Folse host Padma Lakshmi at Galatoire’s restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana– (Photo by: David Moir/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Each year, the auctions at the restaurant helps raise money for local non-profits, including the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. Over the years, the auctions have raised millions for local charities including The Edible Schoolyard, The Good Shepard School, Lighthouse Louisiana, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Café Reconcile and The NOCCA Institute. It also gives people the rare opportunity to buck Galatoire’s strict “no reservation” policy for the first floor dining room. Reservations for the Christmas auction are open now, with a $50 donation required per couple. Click here for more information.

Do you know of any other charities to give to for the holidays? Give us a shout at or on social media @VeryLocalNola.