Ways to give back this holiday season in Atlanta

Santa loads his bag of goodies before the start of the Hosea Helps Annual Christmas Event at the Georgia World Congress Center on Thursday, December 24, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

There are many organizations around the Atlanta area dedicated to serving the community for its overall betterment, and you can help be involved with the change this holiday season (and beyond). Whether you are looking to help feed the hungry, help curb poverty, donate gently used products (ensuring that they don’t end up in landfills), mentor those who are suffering hardship, give a loving home to a homeless pet, and so much more, get in the spirit of giving back to the community this holiday season by exploring the options below.

Families First

As the name would imply, Families First puts families first, ensuring that they have the resources they need to succeed, from behavioral health to parenting and more. Consider gifting a family in need and making the holiday season a little brighter for them through the Gift-A-Family donation program, co-sponsored by Macy’s.

Location: Northwest Atlanta - 80 Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard NW; Website: familiesfirst.org; Contact: 404-853-2800

Free Bikes 4 Kidz

There’s nothing like the joy of riding your first bicycle. Free Bikes 4 Kidz accepts new or gently-used bicycle donations, where they clean, refurbish and give away bikes to kids in need. If you have children who have outgrown their bikes or simply want to donate a new or used bicycle to a child in need, please consider donating this holiday season to Free Bikes 4 Kidz.

Website: fb4katl.org

Hands on Atlanta

If you’re looking to support the Atlanta community in multiple ways and don’t know where to begin, Hands On Atlanta is a great starting point for local volunteerism. They will connect you to opportunities revolving around food insecurity, education, environment, STEAM/STEM and more.

Website: handsonatlanta.org

Hosea Helps

Named after civil rights leader and philanthropist Hosea Williams, Hosea Helps’ mission is to provide services and care to families who are experiencing poverty. Whether through donations, financial literacy programs, food drives, dinners, job readiness, healthcare and more, Hosea Helps lives up to its name. Consider volunteering your time or donating to this important community organization that continues Atlanta’s prominent civil rights legacy.

Website: 4hosea.org


Inspiredu’s mission is to provide technology-based learning tools and activities to underserved youth, ensuring that they have the necessary skills for school, career and life. Consider volunteering at a workshop or warehouse, where you can help set up computers and navigate software for families, as well as clean and refurbish hardware, or donate your gently used laptops, phones or other hardware this holiday season so that they may have a second life for a family in need.

Website: iuatl.org; Contact: 404-600-4010

Lifeline Animal Shelter

Give a homeless pet the gift of love this holiday season by adopting or fostering from Lifeline Animal Shelter. If you are unable to adopt or foster and would like to donate instead, Anisa International is stepping in to help match your donations throughout the month of December, providing twice the funding for veterinary care and more for pets in need.

Location: Multiple Locations

Lift Up Atlanta

Lift Up Atlanta provides food, clothing, shelter, school supplies and more to those in need within the Atlanta area. Consider contributing to their Community Clothing Closet by providing your gently worn coats, scarves, gloves and winter wear. You can also donate toys, gifts and shoes for children, as well as participate in holiday food baskets.

Contact: liftupatlanta.org

Open Hand Atlanta

Open Hand Atlanta focuses on providing fresh food and nutrition to the broader Atlanta community in need. Consider volunteering this holiday season through opportunities including meal packing and delivery around the Atlanta metro area. Plus, if you’re wanting to get a head start for the new year and are looking for a meal plan, look into Good Measure Meals, Open Hand Atlanta’s social entrepreneurship program that provides fresh, ready-to-eat meals with all proceeds towards the Open Hand kitchen to support the local community.

Location: Northeast Atlanta - 181 Armour Dr NE; Website: openhandatlanta.org; Contact: 678-306-6649

Refugee Women’s Network

Over the past few years, more and more families have been displaced and resettled into the greater Atlanta area. Refugee Women’s Network (RWN) seeks to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee women, particularly those who have survived war, conflict and displacement. Consider donating your kitchen, bath, bedroom and clothing supplies to RWN this holiday season, or donate money through multiple contribution levels including Hope, Strength, Resiliency, Inspiration, Sustainability and Empowerment, which directly serve families through social adjustment and economic empowerment.

Location: Decatur - 500 South Columbia Drive; Website: refugeewomensnetworkinc.org; Contact: 404-437-7767

Second Helpings Atlanta

Food insecurity is prevalent in Atlanta, and that is no more apparent than during the holiday season. The mission of Second Helpings Atlanta is to reduce food waste and hunger in the metro Atlanta area, distributing healthy and nutritious surplus food to those who need it most. Give back this holiday season by volunteering to drive a food rescue route or assemble and pack food donations.

Location: Northwest Atlanta - 970 Jefferson St NW; Website: secondhelpingsatlanta.org; Contact: 678-894-9761

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