Do you want to help nonprofits around Waco while also having some fun with your friends? Well, we have the perfect thing for you! Whether you like supporting the arts, kids, animals, or anything in between, we have some great ways that you can give back listed below!
To make giving back easy and fun, we have put together a virtual bingo card that includes ways to help out local nonprofits. Make sure to post a picture of however you decide to give back on social media and tag both us @Wacoan and whichever nonprofit you decide to help.
Also use the tag #WacoanBINGO and challenge three of your friends to join you! If you get a “Bingo,” email firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered into a drawing for a prize. The deadline is July 31, so let’s get to work!
The nonprofits included in our Bingo are centered around six categories: Arts & Humanities, Education, Human Services, Animal Welfare, Healthcare, and Public & Societal Benefits. Below, I’ll give a brief description of some of the organizations listed for each category and how you can help them out. For any items you wish to donate, feel free to drop them by the Wacoan office if that’s easier for you!
If you want to support Waco’s arts and humanities, here are some ways that you can contribute
- Get a membership at the Bosque Arts Center, an organization that provides various kinds of artists with some of the resources they need in order to create.
- Want to give back to some fellow readers at your local library? Get a gift card or two to Walmart, Office Depot or Barnes and Noble for the Hewitt Public Library to fund books and school supplies for kids.
- Donate to the Waco Symphony Orchestra.
- Creative Waco, an organization dedicated to supporting Waco’s creative community, has recently created a new online marketplace called makeitinwaco.com. Similar to Etsy (but 100% local), you can buy a variety of products from Waco artists. Also, 15% of each purchase is donated to the “Make it through Corona Fund,” which supports all of the artists and performers currently in need. You can also donate to this fund directly through Creative Waco’s website.
Want to support organizations that benefit education? Here are several
- Want to support some Midway ISD students? You can donate money through their website to support classroom grants, gift cards to local restaurants/venues for staff drawing prizes, Amazon gift cards for classroom supplies, bags of wrapped candy to use in promoting the staff drive or 9 x 12 manila envelopes.
- Become a Robinson Education Foundation Sponsor.
- Contribute to the Waco ISD Education Foundation and either donate directly through their website or shop via Amazon Smile!
- Donate to the Baylor Line Foundation.
- Donate to the TSTC Foundation.
There are a ton of ways to support human services in Waco. Below are just a few
- The Cove, a local organization committed to ending youth homelessness through providing resources for high schoolers experiencing homelessness, has just moved into a new building! In order to create the safe and empowering atmosphere these students need to succeed, they are hiring former Cove Scholars to paint a mural inside their new building through their new collaboration with Creative Waco’s ARTPrenticeship program. This mural is more than a painting for the artists behind it; it’s an opportunity to learn the work readiness skills that will prepare them for successful futures. To support The Cove’s ARTPrentices, you can donate through their website, text “cove” to 254/221-7200, or mail a check to P.O Box 1956, Waco, TX 76703.
- The Advocacy Center, which is dedicated to helping victims of crimes and violence, had to cancel their big fundraiser due to COVID concerns. Help fund their cause directly through the donation page on their website! The children at the Advocacy Center really enjoy arts and crafts, so you can also drop some supplies from their Target wish list by the Wacoan or contact them to arrange a contactless pickup. You can also purchase one of the Advocacy Center’s Pinwheels for Prevention through their website to put in your yard!
- Donate to Talitha Koum, which is a mental health and therapeutic center to help prepare young children for successful futures. They also need any girls and boys’ clothes from 8weeks to 5 months, diapers, Clorox wipes and cleaning supplies.
- The Boys and Girls Club of Waco, which is an organization that provides a safe place for children to learn and grow, is looking to cover some of the remote learning expenses of their kids, so donate through their website. They also need some general items for health and safety, including any cleaning supplies and disposable masks.
- Donate to the Family Abuse Center, which is an organization that aims to eliminate domestic violence in Central Texas by sheltering victims and preventing abuse through intervention and education. Aside from monetary donations, they also need cleaning supplies, deodorant/other personal hygiene items, gloves and face masks.
- Educating yourself is one of the most important ways you can give back to your community. To learn more about how to fight human trafficking through prevention and awareness, professional training and survivor advocacy, look into the programs at Unbound Waco. If you want to donate, you can either donate an HEB gift card for a survivor or donate directly through Unbound’s website.
- Friends for Life is an organization dedicated to supporting seniors and people with disabilities. If you would like to volunteer for grocery delivery, apply through their website. You can also donate any of the items listed on their wish list.
- Donate used clothing to Caritas, which is an organization that works to combat the hunger and poverty crisis in Waco.
- Invest in a life through a monthly pledge at the Christian Women’s or Men’s Job Corps, which provide men and women with free GED and job training classes. Right now, they are looking to update their technology, so you can donate through their websites here or here.
- Compassion Ministries is an organization that provides homeless families in Waco with the resources they need to break the cycle of homelessness. You can either donate money through their website to fund these resources or donate size 2 and 3 diapers, baby wipes, toiletries and paper towels.
- Meals on Wheels, a meal and grocery delivery service for those who are elderly or disabled, has become especially crucial during the pandemic. Any monetary donations for groceries are much appreciated and can be fulfilled through the donation page on their website. They also could always use some more delivery drivers, so check out the volunteer section of their website if you’re interested.
- Salvation Army, which provides year-round practical assistance and spiritual support for those in need, has volunteer and donation opportunities. If you’d like to volunteer, you can help package to-go meals (if interested, email salarmywaco@gmailcom). If you want to donate, you can get fans, water/soda (no glass bottles), spare change for Salvation Army’s coin collection, non-perishable foods, sunscreen, school supplies, cleaning supplies and travel-sized hand sanitizers. You can also donate money directly through their website.
- Donate to Lutheran Sunset Ministries, an inspired retirement living service. You can donate through the Spirit of Giving section on their website.
- Donate to the Methodist Children’s Home, a child care organization that helps children in need reach their full potential. You can donate in a variety of ways through their website!
- Nightlight Christian Adoptions is an adoption service that offers adoption, foster and home study services. You can donate to their cause through their website.
- The Junior League is an organization committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community. If you would like to support them, you can either purchase their cookbook, become a Friend of the League with a $100 donation or contribute to their endowment fund at the Waco Foundation.
If you’re an animal lover, here are some ways to support Waco’s animals that are in need
- Donate to the Animal Birth Control Clinic, which works to provide affordable spay/neuter procedures for dogs and cats. For specific items that they need, check the wish list on their website.
- Social distancing can get lonely, so why not get an animal to keep you company? Foster a puppy or kitten from Waco Pets Alive, which provides the resources needed to eliminate the killing of at-risk animals in animal shelters. They also are looking for volunteers to assist with more general pet care, so contact them if you’re interested!
- Donate a wish list item to the Humane Society of Central Texas, which provides adoption, foster, and rescue opportunities for homeless animals.
- If you want to support some of Waco’s non-native animals, consider donating to Cameron Park Zoo.
If you want to support healthcare organizations, here are a few ways to contribute
- Donate to the American Cancer Society through their website.
- Spend a weekend volunteering with the American Red Cross.
- Donate to the Family Health Center, which is working especially hard right now to keep everyone safe. Donations will help cover the cost of care for patients, personal protective equipment for the caregivers and the equipment needed for testing.
For some ways to help organizations that are dedicated to public and societal benefits, check below
- Waco Habitat for Humanity ReStore is an organization that aims to bring the community together and build both homes and hope for those in need. They also offer great items for your home and craft projects, so stop in. Right now, they are looking for building material and home improvement supplies. If you want guidelines on what specifically they are looking for and/or want to donate money, check their website.
- Volunteer with Grassroots Community Development, an organization that takes an asset-based community development approach to serve neighbors, children and communities.
- Volunteer with Charity Champions — a collection of nonprofits chosen by TFNB— and help them in one of the specified ways listed on their website.
- Spend a day at Waco Lions Park and Kiddieland!
For more information on nonprofits in our community, be sure to check out this month’s Wacoan — The Community Issue!