2020 Is Awful. These Charities Will Help Those Who Need It Most.

2020 Is Awful. These Charities Will Help Those Who Need It Most.

We don’t have to tell you that 2020 has been a rough year. Between the global pandemic that has infected two million people in the United States alone with no signs of stopping, a slew of natural disasters—from hurricanes to fires—and general political and social instability (and a president who golfs through it), the gap between the haves and the have-nots feels wider than ever in America. If you fall into the former group, here are some charities to put your money toward on this Giving Tuesday, December 1.

Whether it’s a little or a lot, these organizations are dedicated to helping our most vulnerable populations and will surely appreciate the help.

Natural Disasters

With the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season setting records for storm activity, All Hands and Hearts’s mission has become all the more crucial. The charity is aimed at helping communities recover from natural disasters, particularly storms. Currently, the nonprofit is working to help victims of Hurricane Laura, which devastated Southern Louisiana earlier this summer.


Ady Barkan, who suffers from the terminal illness ALS, made headlines for his speech at this year’s Democratic National Convention, where he used text-to-voice to call for universal health care. His charity, Be A Hero, aims to make that case on the ground, funding money for ads in support of Medicare for All, as well as giving thousands of masks to health-care workers.

The ALS Association raises funds to help scientists, as well as support caregivers and patients of the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Association has partnered with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for research; one of the challenge’s founders, Pat Quinn, died this year after his fight with the disease.

California Wildfires

While COVID-19 has devastated the nation, residents of California have also had to deal with a series of wildfires ravaging the state, burning thousands of homes. To address the damage, the state’s emergency services offices have partnered with philanthropy groups across the state to provide a list of organizations providing California Wildfire Relief to those on the ground.

Criminal Justice Reform and Civil Rights

America’s criminal justice system has long been slanted against the poor and people of color. The Innocence Project’s mission is to reform that system, both by changing laws and using DNA testing to help exonerate the falsely convicted. Just this month, the project’s work helped exonerate a Queens man who served 25 years in prison for a wrongful conviction.

Founded by former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s legal fund is one of the nation’s longest-running law firms dedicated to defending civil rights. Among other causes, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund has argued in support of voter rights, affordable housing, and equal protection under the law.


No More Deaths is an organization based on stopping the deaths of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, one of the deadliest in the world. Based in Arizona, No More Deaths leaves water and blankets for those making the journey across the desert, which can reach freezing temperatures at night.


With COVID-19 cases reaching a second grim peak this winter, frontline workers will need PPE all the more urgently. Masks For America aims to do just that, looking to bring protective gear to health-care workers in need in the United States, as well as Puerto Rico and native territories.

Reproductive Rights

With abortion rights under attack, both in red states and at the federal level, The National Network of Abortion Funds aims to provide “safe, peaceful, and affordable” reproductive care to those in need. The fund distributes resources to its 70 partner organizations nationwide.

Mental Health

While Logic’s “1-800-273-8255” made the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s phone number a household name, the organization behind it could still use support. The lifeline operates crisis centers nationwide.


The Trevor Project is a charity dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ youths nationwide, running a 24/7 hotline for young people in need. The charity got its name from director Peggy Rajski’s 1994 film, Trevor, about a gay teenager who attempts to take his own life. After Rajski learned that no infrastructure was in place to help the real-life version of teens like Trevor, the project was born.

Economic Inequality

Don’t know what people in need, well, need? Giving money straight to GiveDirectly is an option. The nonprofit allows you to send money straight to families in need, both in Eastern Africa and the United States.

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