We often think of giving around the holidays, but there are many very deserving Utah charities that desperately need help all year round. Many organizations are in especially great need of financial help right now due to the pandemic and a huge increase in need that will likely last for some time.
If you have the resources to give, please consider some of these local charities. When we help them, we help our neighbors and strengthen our community.
Utah Community Action
Utah Community Action (UCA) takes on poverty by helping those in lower-income brackets. They provide emergency food, shelter and utility assistance. Those in need can apply for help with utility bills and deposit and emergency assistance with rent. UCA also has homeless resource centers for this in need of immediate help.
In addition, UCA provides ESL and other adult education classes like GED classes to serve those who need additional skills to be able to find a job. They also take applications for Head Start Preschool at various locations throughout the valley.
Family Promise Salt Lake City
Family Promise Salt Lake City is actually an alliance of religious organizations throughout the city and surrounding area. Family Promise works with homeless families to help them find lasting independence and security for their entire families.
The organization provides emergency housing assistance, including transitional housing and more long-term solutions. This can include rent and utility assistance, budgeting assistance, and referrals to government organization. Family Promise offers up to two years of case management to make sure families are stable after going through homelessness.
If you’re interested in donating to Family Promise, go here.
United Way of Utah
United Way of Utah provides a wide variety of services to help those in greatest need in our communities with many different resources.
Their 2-1-1 hotline connects people to resources and services across the entire state of Utah. This includes things like housing, utilities, food, mental health services, domestic violence, employment, and more.
United Way works in schools and brings community resources together to remove the barriers those in poverty often face when it comes to learning. They do this by connecting organizations and communities together to make sure everyone is able to get what they need.
United Way of Utah is also currently administering a COVID-19 Response Fund to help those who find themselves in great need of financial resources right now.
If you’d like to donate to United Way, go here.
The Road Home offers shelter and housing services for men, women, and families in the Salt Lake area. The Road Home has emergency shelter as well as emergency services to help people transition back into the workforce or stay employed, which helps them qualify for housing. Case management teams work with each individual to connect them to community resources that will help them live successfully in our community.
The Road Home also provides an array of programs for veterans and others who often face barriers to finding housing and other resources.
It takes just $17 to shelter a person for a night, so you CAN make a difference right now. If you’d like to donate, just go here.
Utah Food Bank
Utah faces a widespread hunger problem, and a large number of the food insecure are children—in fact 1 in 7 Utah kids doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from. The Utah Food Bank has been working tirelessly since 1904 to fight hunger throughout the state, distributing millions of meals (38 million last year, to be precise) each year through its network of 140+ emergency food pantries and agencies statewide.
You can host a food drive or even host a virtual food drive to shop for the Utah Food Bank’s most-needed items. You can also donate cash or drop off food. If you’d like to volunteer your time, go here! Last year, they had 107,297 volunteer hours (that’s the equivalent of 52 full-time employees).
House of Hope
House of Hope helps women and mothers affected by substance-abuse disorders. They do this by providing treatment programs, education, and health services. Their facilities include both residential and same-day treatment for women and they have a safe space for their children to stay.
Services are offered at seven different facilities in the Salt Lake and Provo area. They all work hard to treat substance-abuse disorders, rebuild lives, and strengthen families through their programs.
If you’d like to donate to House of Hope, just go here.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area
The Ronald McDonald House has been helping families live in a place that feels like home while they’re away from home since 1988. They provide stability and resources for families when they need to be near seriously ill or injured children. This home-away-from-home experiences eases daily burdens and allows families to be with their hospitalized children for as much time each day as possible.
Services include giving families a place to stay (regardless of ability to pay or not) and providing linens and washers and dryers for them to use. The house also has a communal kitchen that is stocked with staple foods and basic cooking supplies for their use. Volunteer groups regularly make meals for the families, and RMHC provides a complimentary shuttle to take families to and from the hospital. The house also has groups that regularly host events like craft nights, movie nights, game nights, and other fun events to distract families from the grueling days at the hospital.
If you’d like to donate to the Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake, go here.
The Humane Society of Utah
The Humane Society of Utah saves the lives of over 12,000 pets annually. Their placement rate exceeds 90%, meaning that they facilitate around 10,000 adoptions each year. The Humane Society of Utah is the largest open-admission animal welfare organization in the state. They work hard to find each pet a loving home and eliminate pain, fear, and suffering for all animals. They do not euthanize any health or treatable pets and their save rate in 2019 was 97.11%.
Because the society receives no city, state, or federal government funding, they rely solely on private contributions, which you can give here.
Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity
The Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity helps people get into safe, well-made homes rather than face homelessness. Habitat for Humanity builds new homes and repairs existing homes, revitalizing neighborhoods. They also assist dozens of people through their transitional housing program.
In addition, Habitat for Humanity runs a ReStore where they sell gently used construction materials and home goods to raise money for the organization.
If you know of any deserving charities that could use all of our help, please read a comment! When we all do a little, it adds up to a lot. Thanks for helping take care of our neighbors.