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  • Writer's pictureSam Worley

15 ways to give this holiday season

Here's a handful of our favorite opportunities in metro Atlanta

Art by Khoa Tran
As the year comes to a close, many folks are looking for places to give a little money—and many worthy organizations are busy soliciting donations. Here's a handful of our favorite opportunities from around the Atlanta area. Some are related to specific holiday and winter events, while some are organizations that do good work all year round—and could always use the support. Consider chipping in!

Coming Up Soon


Agape Holiday Gift Store Throughout the year, Agape Youth & Family Center serves families in need with in-school and after-school programs, student mentorship, and much more; around the holidays, the group sponsors an annual toy and coat drive for underserved families, this year planned for December 14 and 15. You can shop online for specific items or just make a cash donation.


Christmas at Emmaus House Promoting justice and equity while lifting the social and economic fortunes of its Peoplestown neighbors, Emmaus House provides Christmas gifts to more than 500 local kids every year. They’re welcoming unwrapped donations between December 11 and December 21 (gift suggestions available on this PDF) and plan to distribute them at an annual Christmas Festival that will also include treats for kids, holiday movies, and storytelling. 9 a.m.–noon, December 23, Emmaus House, 1017 Hank Aaron Drive, Peoplestown


Clark’s Christmas Kids For more than three decades, WSB host Clark Howard has teamed up with the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services for a holiday gift drive benefiting kids in the state’s foster system. Want to contribute? You can shop off an online wish list, make a cash donation, or drop in on WSB as it broadcasts live from Walmart stores in Duluth on December 9 and Marietta on December 10.


Empty Stocking Fund Launched almost a century ago, ESF supports financially struggling families by giving them an opportunity to select free holiday gifts from an online store, then extends its work beyond the holidays by providing similar access to things like back-to-school supplies. Make a donation to support ESF’s work here or learn about volunteering here.


Family Feeding & Holiday Healing In 2020, following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, We Love Buford Highway launched Feeding Families to connect BuHi-area residents with free groceries. They’ve since kept the program going, with a commitment to feeding 500 families every month; at this holiday event, in collaboration with the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, they’ll distribute healthy produce and other staples to folks who need them, and there’ll be music and various festivities. You can donate to the effort here. 9 a.m., December 16, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, 3510 Shallowford Road, Chamblee


The Ghosts of Christmas Eve The arena-rock phenom Trans-Siberian Orchestra offers an opportunity to do good while listening to great music: A dollar from every ticket sold for the evening show will go to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. 7 p.m., December 10, Gas South Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth


Lift Up Atlanta This Decatur-based org offers a panoply of support and services for people in the metro: You can buy gifts for kids from an extensive list of suggestions, donate gift cards to provide holiday food baskets for families in need, help support emergency winter housing, or drop off winter clothing at a donation site through December 14. All that and more here.


Sol Below For the fourth winter in a row, the mutual-aid group Sol Underground is organizing pop-up overnight shelters for folks “not reached by the city’s winter warming shelters.” Sol Below will be open whenever nighttime temps fall below 35 degrees, offering a warm place to stay, sleeping bags, winter clothing, food and drink, and more. There are many ways to help this effort, from volunteering to donating money or gently used items to helping find space for the pop-up shelters. (DM for details. More info here).


Winter Wonderland & Toy Drive For the third year, the Beauty Experience salon opens its doors for a holiday soiree with Santa photos, kids’ activities like crafts and face painting, and a toy drive and toy giveaway for families in need. Drop a new, unwrapped toy at the salon by December 22 or make a donation online. 1–5 p.m., December 23, Beauty Experience, 236 Hurricane Shoals Road, Suite A, Lawrenceville

All Year Round


Atlanta Community Press Collective This abolitionist media-making collective, whose goal is to “make the day-to-day workings of local government accessible to the public and to provide an independent voice in the local media landscape,” scored a major scoop this past year, breaking the news that the controversial Atlanta Public Safety Training Center (aka Cop City) would cost Atlanta taxpayers tens of millions of dollars more than the city had claimed. The group’s efforts earned it a Good Trouble award from the Center for Civic Innovation.


For Our Sibs Launched in 2020, this Atlanta-based mutual-aid collective supports Black trans, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming, and intersex people through financial assistance and arts programming. Check out their GoFundMe campaign here.


Lifeline Animal Project Overcrowding at area animal shelters has reached critical levels, making it all the more meaningful that Lifeline—a nonprofit that manages shelters in Fulton and DeKalb—recently took over operations of a new Fulton facility. Donate to support that work here (or . . . consider adopting a dog? or a cat? or both?).


New Disabled South Launched in 2022, this new group is the first regional disability rights organization in the U.S., fighting for justice in 14 southeastern states. They divide their priorities into three “buckets”: poverty and care, criminalization, and voting rights.


South River Watershed Alliance Rising in East Point and flowing through DeKalb, Rockdale, and other counties before joining the Altamaha, the South River is often listed as one of the most endangered waterways in the country—but advocates from the SRWA are working tirelessly to both clean it up and open it up to recreation.


This collaboration of nonprofits—New American Pathways, the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities Atlanta, and Inspiritus—welcomes new refugees to the Atlanta area, helping them secure housing and get settled. The Welcome Co-op also operates a thrift store, Shop of Hope, where clients can “shop” for donated clothing and other goods for free. Donate money or gently used household items here or learn about volunteering here.


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