Local Charities & Organizations to Volunteer or Donate to | In & Around Madison, WI

The new year is a great time to reflect and recuperate. I’m not sure about everyone else, but I tend to get swept up in the holiday season treadmill and start of winter by mid-November. It doesn’t stop until late December making it hard to think beyond this time. 

Around the holidays, I ask my kids to think about goals for the upcoming year. There’s typically a few that would be considered attainable and some that are innovative and would span their lifetime. I love to hear their thoughts on how to better themselves, community, or the world. 

Alongside this, they pick a charity and make a donation. 

This year, we’re pushing a bit beyond the donation and pairing their charity with an event. Visit the shelter, help at the pantry, or volunteer at a senior center. 

As if on repeat, the state of the world is negative, depressing, and scary. Trying to find some semblance of positivity is a challenge. Paying it forward might be the only way to feel that even a small gesture or impact can make a difference. 

Here’s a list of some local charities or organizations that appreciate support year round:

Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Dane County: providing mentors to children since 1966.

Clean Lakes Alliance: protects and improves our local waterways.

Cook It Forward: a new nonprofit connecting local restaurants to supply meals to other nonprofits that distribute food.

Dane Buy Local: a group that supports local businesses.

Dane County Humane Society: a 100% adoption guarantee shelter since 2012.

Goodman Community Center: a near east side community center providing support, classes, and food to children and families. 

Just Bakery: a nonprofit providing a 12 week vocational program to those experiencing significant barriers to employment. 

Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund: a nonprofit supporting local families heating and cooling bills.

Madison Reading Project: a nonprofit giving books to local children in need.

Middleton Outreach Ministry: a nonprofit supplying clothing and food to families experiencing need.

Porchlight, Inc: a local nonprofit providing housing and crucial social services to the homeless.

REAP Food Group: a group supplying food to those experiencing insecurity. They also support food to schools and businesses under normal circumstances.

Reach Dane: a local group supporting education of children and social services for families in need.

River Food Pantry: feeding families during times of need. 

Ronald McDonald House: provides support and services to children and families during illness.

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin: provides food to those experiencing hunger. Many programs educate families and children on healthy eating, teach cooking and support those with diabetes.

United Way of Dane County: a nonprofit providing support services for the community.

YMCA of Dane County: provides fitness classes, food and programs for families and children with financial assistance when needed.

Here’s to helping our local community!

Lyndsey was born and raised in New Orleans which instilled a deep passion for architecture, history, and FOOD. She and her husband James are proud graduates of UW-Madison. Go Badgers! They live in the Madison area with their 3 active children. Lyndsey is a freelance writer and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. When not working, she can be found running her kids around to swimming, ballet, basketball, and skiing. They all love new adventures, travel, cooking, being outdoors, reading, biking, and trying to keep up with their new puppy.

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